For various reasons, I have not had a chance to hike any Big mountains for many months, but was eagerly looking for a day when the weather, my schedule, and my friends would all converge. Today was that day – beautiful blue skies, crisp temperatures, and decent trail conditions. We followed the Glencliff Trail – which is part of the Appalachian Trail – up Mount Moosilauke. This is my favorite winter approach; despite it having the greatest elevation gain of any approach to the summit, it is the shortest approach in winter and allows one to traverse the beautiful ridgeline between south and north peak.
On Friday we had a lovely snowstorm that brought us only a couple of inches of snow… but it was fairly wet snow. It stuck to every twig and leaf, and there has been absolutely no wind… so the forests are now a beautiful palette of white, brown, and green.
Another snowstorm is due tonight… I’m hoping we’ll get a substantial snowfall that will provide deep powder for snowshoeing and skiing!
I enjoyed photography in 2022 and decided to share my pick of favorites. It was not easy! 12 photos for 12 months – not one per month, but just the twelve that I felt were especially beautiful or interesting. See the full gallery – where I recommend clicking the “play” button to see them as a slideshow – and read on for some commentary about each one.
Fall foliage has hit its peak color in many parts of the Upper Valley. I had limited time to get out into the woods this weekend, but had the opportunity to join some friends on a walk up the first mile of the Tunnel Brook Trail on the southwest side of Mount Moosilauke. Despite their hundreds of visits to Moosilauke over nearly four decades, they had never been on this trail – and I’d been here only once. Today, its trees were at the peak colors of leaf season… with beeches, birches, and maples reaching prime color and dusting the forest floor with colorful leaves. The trail follows Slide Brook as it cascades over the ancient, moss-covered rocks of Mount Moosilauke, so I stopped often to set up my tripod for long-exposure photographs. I’ve selected four for the gallery.
I am pleased – but in retrospect, have ideas about how I could have done better with exposure, composition, and editing. I’ll just need to go back!
I can’t seem to get enough of this place – my third overnight visit in two months. The weather was hot – with a high in the 80s at the lodge and in the 70s on the summit – so the conditions weren’t great for hiking. But my group took our time climbing and descending, enjoying the summit breeze and the mix of clouds and sun (and a brief sprinkle) the weather delivered us today. It was my great pleasure to introduce the mountain, and the lodge, to a new group of people.
On the final day of my vacation we took a late-morning walk along the Ammonoosuc River, upstream from the Mount Washington Hotel. This is a beautiful mountain stream formed upslope in the Ammonoosuc Ravine on the slopes of Mount Washington. Along this section, it passes through several narrow cracks in the granite, forming cascades, waterfalls, and deep pools of cold, clear water. Beautiful, yes … but also a great playground on a hot summer’s day. Check out the gallery.
Hike stats: Distance: 6.27km Time: 2h19 with many stops Gain: 54m
Today broke clear and cool. I wanted to get out for one more hike, before we had to head home. From the Mount Washington Hotel I have found many lovely, short hikes, doable before breakfast. I selected the most convenient, the short jaunt up Mount Willard. It’s one I’ve visited many times. It includes a nice waterfall and a grand view south along Crawford Notch.
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.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting an opportunity to hike Mount Moosilauke this winter. My schedule rarely gives me a window of opportunity… and this winter, those windows have often corresponded with heavy cloud cover or intense cold. So this weekend I was pleased to see that Sunday’s (today’s) summit weather appeared to be reasonable – midday temperatures around 10ºF, with winds 20-30mph – and even better, there was snow forecast for Saturday (yesterday). The icing on the cake was a hiking invitation from an old friend. Thus, we found ourselves at the Glencliff Trailhead at about 9:30am, suiting up in single-digit temperatures. Read on!
Today was a beautiful fall day, with blue skies and a hint of oranges and reds scattered through the hardwood forests on the slopes of the White Mountains. I had a slow start to my morning but wanted to visit a new place, so I selected Hedgehog Mountain from the list of “52 with a view”. I’m surprised I’d never heard of it before, though it is located in the center of the Whites and is a close neighbor of some of the better-known four-thousand footers.