Coming Up: Preparing For Winter

This weekend's weather will be a big determinant in the 'plan', but as long as nobody destroys one of my cars this week I'm good to go. After all that static w/ the PM about hiking in Vermont, it got me yearning to head back to the Green Mountains. Unless somebody pipes up, it'll be a Green Mountain trek for sure.

[Update 12/2/07, 4pm] Green Mountains for sure ... that is, unless it's in the Whites, which it was. I was encouraged by the Mt. Washington forecast: clear air, cloud deck around 7-8k ft, winds hovering around 10-20mph, temps around 0-10°F. The proverbial 'calm before the storm' (6-14" forecast for Danville). Franconia Ridge Ahoy! Because I'm always the first to put on crampons and the last to take them off, I figured I'd bare-boot it all day. The trail was well packed, so except for a few icy spots it's wasn't a bad choice. Because of the low wind I hiked in my black top w/ light patagonia for layer=1. That, a beanie and wind gloves was it for the entire hike. Just before ascending to Lafayette's summit, in the little col with short trees, I put on my precip jacket in case the wind was roaring and in anticipation of the extensive exposure descending the Bridal Path. As it turned out, I wore the precip jacket for about 20 min total. Other discoveries:

* I went almost to my knees in water twice. The water crossings on Falling Waters were treacherous, especially w/ no traction. No snow, just ice and high water. I discovered that my standard outfit is waterproof.

* On the ascent of Falling Waters, at the big upper falls, there's a big step up - a big rock with a crack in it on the left hand side and a big tree trunk laying across the slab. The rock forms a step of about 4-5ft, and in summer we normally go up the crack on the left. w/out crampons it posed a challenge. I had my left toe in the crack and had just reached out w/ my right hand for some root of the exposed fallen trunk. My right leg was up on the rock. Suddenly my left toe levered out of the rock and my pack almost flipped me on my back. I held on w/ my right hand as my body swung around, and even though my feet ended up dangling only about a foot or so above the ground, I had painfully rolled on my upper thigh (over the edge of the rock) and couldn't see what was below my feet. That was awkward. I couldn't get my feet to stick anywhere so I let go and landed okay... a little slippy, but nothing remarkable happened. It took a while to get over that icy step.

* Other than one guy who I passed on Falling Waters, I didn't see a single person - even from a distance on the ridge. Finally on the way down the Bridal Path there were 8 pairs of hikers.
From Lafayette I could see 47 of the 4k-ers. I could clearly see Waumbek and probably Cabot but I wasn't sure. I could make out all the ski slopes on Mansfield with ease and *all* the summit detail on Washington. Everything was looming large, like through a magnifying glass (a common effect of a high pressure system). At one point I thought I was looking at Greenleaf Hut, but it looked all wrong. When I had a clear view I could see it was the summit structures on Cannon. If there had been somebody there reading a newspaper, I could probably have been able to tell which paper.

* Bad News: my camera is hosed. I got a few shots early on, then the motor refused to open the shutter. Crap.

A great day. 5hrs exactly.


  1. Count me out for a couple of weeks....I'm out of town for the weekend to attend the Holiday Party for the new job. They are flying us out and putting us up so the only hard effort will be the trek through the airport terminal. The following weekend I'm hanging with EZ-E and I don't think he's yet ready for a winter climb. Enjoy!

  2. MuthaZ,
    Was this today (Sunday?) I would have anticipated a Saturady report to read as it did but today ot was gray, cloudy and pretty much sh*t all day down here - yesterday on the otherhand was awesome but cold and windy.

    I did nothing other than a standard trail run in Sat with the pooch. I had that "going to get a cold" feeling all weekend so it was good to lay low for the most part.

    Next Saturday I'll be looking to wind up the wagon and head North - NH or VT. Bamforth perhaps?

  3. It was indeed today! Yesterday was BITTER cold and windy on the high summits (even in Danville it dropped to about 0°F with gusty winds). On Mt. Washington the winds hit 100mph w/ -45° wind chills. I didn't have the balls to go out in that. I xc-skied around the woods here, and that was pretty cold.

    We're about to get dumped on with over a foot of snow tomorrow. Next weekend should be lovely. I'll be around.