Friday, April 6, 2018

Cannon, 4/3/2018 & Tom, Field, and Willey, 3/21/2018



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Sage's birthday was on March 24th!  Now that she is 13, she has created her own blog called Sage's White Mountain Treks.  Please check out her blog!  Sage and I will alternate posting on our blogs each week.

On March 5th, we had the wonderful opportunity of hiking the Wildcats with Gale Straub.  After the hike, she interviewed us for her popular podcast She Explores.  I am honored and excited to be part of such an inspirational, female-empowering podcast.  In her podcast, Gale interviews accomplished women from many different locations and backgrounds.  The episode we are featured on, called "The Girls Behind 'Granite Gals'", has come out!  After she interviewed us, we interviewed her for GraniteGals.

Cannon
4/3/2018
Kinsman Ridge Trail
4.4 miles round-trip
2,100 feet of elevation gain

This week has been productive but busy; I had a major test in one of my classes that I took on Monday (so I could not hike that day).  The only day of the week left for me to hike something was Tuesday, but I tutor someone every week at around 10:30 am every Tuesday.  Crazy times!

We decided to hike on Tuesday and wake up earlier than normal so we would be finished the hike on time to run to my 10:30 engagement.  Conveniently, we needed to hike Cannon for the Grid during April, so this was a perfect opportunity to hike something short, due to my complicated schedule for that week. 

Even though it was early and the sun had not come up, it did not feel particularly cold outside.

Photo by Trish Herr
The moon from above...


Someone left blue goggles at the trailhead:


As many White Mountain hikers know, Cannon immediately begins with a steep ascent.  



The trail was firm.




Still immensely dark outside...



Lights in the distance...




As the sky lightened, we could see more detail and more distinct outlines and shapes.



Continuing up...


The higher we climbed, the better the views!




We came to the section of trail that skiers sometimes use.


Looking back...






The views became enchanting when the sun began to rise.


We arrived to the place where the trail goes above treeline to a lookout before heading up the actual summit of Cannon Mountain.


Admiring Franconia Ridge from a distance...




If you look closely, you can spot the summit tower of Cannon:



There it is!


Enjoying the scenery...







The final ascent to the official Cannon summit does not feel difficult at all for us, but that may be because the hike up to the lookout point is so steep in comparison.


We stopped to fully take in the breathtaking views.

Photo by Trish Herr

We reached the ski resort building on top of Cannon. 




About to go to the summit tower...



Franconia Ridge looked even more spectacular now with glowing sky emanating from behind its peaks.




We took a short break on the summit before heading down.  I took some summit selfies!




We saw no other people on this hike since we did it so early in the morning.  We had the summit to ourselves!


More summit pictures...

Photo by Trish Herr

Catching a last glimpse of beautiful mountains before heading back down...


The birds were chirping so much on the way down.  It was lovely to hear!



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Tom, Field, and Willey
3/21/2018
Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Willey Range Trail.
10 miles total
3,400 feet of elevation gain

For our hike of Tom, Field, and Willey on the 21st of March, it was fairly cold outside; we moved quickly to warm up.



The trail was decently packed out.



A beautiful blue sunrise...



One of the perks of hiking during early morning hours is we get to observe a gorgeous sunrise through the trees on our ascent.


The intersection with the A-Z Trail and Avalon...


Enjoying some Powerade Zero before heading up to Tom...




We were able to turn off our headlamps once it got lighter outside.


Intersection with Mt. Tom Spur...


We began hiking up to the summit of Mt. Tom.


On the top, the views were amazing...here are some pictures:











I took a Pano attempting to capture as much beauty as I could.



Summit pictures...



These are nice snacks to have while hiking.  We each munched on one of these on Mt. Tom.


Back down at Mt. Tom Spur!



Serene silhouettes of tree branches with berries...


We continued hiking to Field.


A tree archway just for us (okay, maybe not)!


Surrounded by snow-covered trees...


Going up...


The hike up Field is very gradual.



This was one of the rare occasions when we actually had views on Field!  We definitely appreciated them.








The summit was peaceful, and the temperatures of the day had increased, so it felt comfortably warm on Field.


Summit picture!








After taking a nice break on Field, we kept hiking to the summit of Willey.


The Presidentials looked magnificent from the ridge.





The views from Willey were stunning!  We were lucky to be up there on such a clear day.






A Pano I took:



We had a perfect view of Mount Washington and the other Presidentials.


After Willey, we turned around and went back the way we came to head back down.


On Mt. Field (coming back), a couple gray jays chirped and flew around us.  




Coming back down...






That's it for my two blog posts!  The views were amazing for both hikes.