Presidential Sunset

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.

2019-03-19-65317We 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.

I guess winter is over – sigh…

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.

2015-01-02-12729January 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]

 

 

2015-02-28-13174February 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 16: When I feared winter was almost over I spent a week skiing every morning in Lyme, often with impressive dawn views of Smarts Mountain.  The ski conditions were absolutely fantastic.

 

 

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]

 

 

2015-04-19-13879Finally, 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!