Back in New Hampshire, I spent the weekend at the Mount Washington Hotel in the White Mountains – with perfect weather and a grand view of the Presidential Range. Pam joined me for the two-night stay. On Saturday morning the day broke cool and clear so I headed a few miles down the road to Crawford Notch and headed up the Crawford Path. This path is the oldest continuously used mountain trail in the United States, dating to 1819. There were few people on the trail this early in the morning (7am), but that would soon change. Read on, and check out the photo gallery.Continue reading “Mount Pierce and Mitzpah Hut”
A beautiful day for a drive.
It’s been over six years since I was last at the Mount Washington Hotel, one of my favorite places in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Today was a beautiful day, in fall foliage season, so Pam and I decided to drive up there for lunch and a chance to enjoy the views along the way.
Northern New England has been suffering through an extended drought, ending yesterday with a very welcome and drenching rainfall. I’d guess we were two weeks too late for the peak colors at this latitude and elevation, the peak coming about 3-5 weeks ahead of schedule due to the drought. Although the colors were a bit muted today, it was still a beautiful drive.
The Mount Washington Hotel is one of the last great Grand Hotels from the early 20th century, and still carries much of its grandeur despite a thorough renovation and several recent expansions. We found a table on the patio looking out at Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, its granite ridgeline gray above the rust-colored fall foliage on the valley slopes below.
There were quite a few other people there, although it was mid-week, enjoying the clear mountain air and the warm days of early fall weather.
Fortunately, last weekend I explored the back roads of Lyme during what may have been its peak-colors day, and took many photos. I hope to post them soon.
Sunset views of the Presidential Range from Mount Martha, in New Hampshire.
On the night before the spring equinox I hiked with a dear friend to the top of Mount Martha in the northern White Mountains of New Hampshire. We aimed for sunset, knowing that Martha has a spectacular view of the Presidential Range to the east.
The snow conditions were excellent, after a week of warm weather had consolidated the snow and a day’s cold weather had firmed the packed trail into a solid base that was perfect for micro spikes. I pushed up the trail hard and fast, carrying a heavy pack with photography equipment, spare clothing, and a warm dinner, with a wary eye to the sun setting behind me as I neared the ridgeline. I arrived at the summit 15 minutes before sunset and was pleased to see the Presies still fully illuminated, with the nearly-full moon rising above them. The wind was dead calm, and the temperature a moderate 15 degrees. As the sun’s orange globe glowed orange through the trees behind me, I quickly set up my tripod and started snapping photos of the Presies.
We reveled in the beauty of the moment, as the sun set in the west while the white-capped Presidential peaks turned pink and the sky above blended into a gradient from purple to blue. After about forty minutes we reluctantly turned and headed back down the trail, with the rising full moon so brightly illuminating the forest floor that we never needed headlamps. A magical evening in an amazing place! I’ve posted my favorite photos in this gallery.
Alright, I finally need to admit it. Winter is over. Although many folks in the northeast are tired of winter and are glad to see signs of spring, I have been relishing every last opportunity to enjoy the incredible winter conditions Nature delivered to us this season. I’ve been out hiking the past three Sundays, and for a week prior I was out skiing nearly every day, soaking up the beautiful scenery, outstanding ski conditions, and incredible hiking. I brought my camera along for many outings this winter. Here’s a quick recap.
January 2: hiking Moosilauke with son Andy and with friends (Lelia, Jen, and Lars) in a snowstorm. Cold temps, fierce winds, and blowing snow led Andy to bundle up and exclaim “I feel invincible!” as we climbed the summit cone. [more photos]
February 28: Mark and I skied up and down the Carriage Road on an intensely sunny day, catching the powder before it softened and with noontime views from the summit. [more photos]
March 14: hiking Moosilauke again with son Andy and his friend Sam, plus friends from Thetford. We made it to South Peak but were socked in by clouds. [more photos]
March 22: A bitterly cold morning on Cummings Pond, one of the last good mornings for skiing. A day later I had the chance to ski at sunset, and completed my longest-ever loop on that trail network. [more photos]
April 5: Easter hike up Mount Moosilauke; a fresh early-morning snowfall was followed by a brilliantly sunny day. The deep snowpack was decorated by a soft covering of fresh powder, and the summit lent me great views of the Franconia and Presidential ranges. [more photos]
April 12: a sunny jaunt up North Kinsman with close-up views of Franconia Range and awesome butt-sliding back down the Fishin’ Jimmy trail. [more photos]
Finally, April 19, an awe-inspiring morning in the northern Presidentials, freshly dusted by snow and rime ice, capped by a deep blue sky and bathed in intense spring sunshine. I was up Madison and Adams before noon. Incredible day. [more photos]
It’s now time for the trails to rest. Meanwhile the ice on the river is out and I’m looking forward to boating season!
A traverse of (most of) The Presidential Range on the longest day of summer.
The summer was starting and a bunch of friends decided to do a one-day Presidential Traverse around the summer solstice. It’s a very seasonal thing to do, don’t you know. Most of us had done a Traverse, although I think I was the only one to who’d done a one-day trip before.Continue reading “Presie traverse – summer solstice”