Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Frigid Day on Carter Dome, South Carter, and Middle Carter, 1/8/2017

***We are pleased to announce that we will be fundraising over the coming years for Union of Concerned Scientists.  As citizens of this planet and students of science, we fear for the future of our environment.  The incoming Trump administration seems neither to understand the science behind the threat nor care about the welfare of future generations.  We strive to do our part to support science-based research and education concerning climate change so that We The People might give ourselves and future generations the chance to enjoy continuous clean water and habitable environments, regardless of the actions/inactions of the imminent United States Powers That Be.

We are meeting with the good people at UCS next month.  After that, we will write more about our plans and actions.  In the meantime, please visit the UCSUSA website to learn more about who they are and what they do, and DONATE...because it certainly looks like science and the procurement of real knowledge will be more and more dependent on public, and not governmental, support over the next four years.***

Carter Dome, South Carter, and Middle Carter
Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, North Carter Trail, Imp Trail
13.2 miles
4,300 feet of elevation gain

A very cold day awaited us on the 8th of January.  It would be 3 degrees on Carter Dome with -33 degree wind chill.  I kept on more layers than I normally wear. 

I saw the river with snow all around it.  Parts of the river were frozen over and others were not.

Mom is in this picture and you can see the trail extending beyond her.


This part of the river was mostly ice-covered.

As we ascended, I saw vibrant colors of pink and orange flooding the bright, blue sky and taking over the horizon.  It was beautiful and exciting, and the silhouettes of trees made pretty patterns above me. 

We arrived at an intersection and continued on towards the summit of Carter Dome.

Some of my pictures are rather blue tinted because of the early time of day.

We reached another intersection...

The snow on the trees made for a charming image.

Spectacular views appeared as we got above treeline.

I could see Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range looking as magnificent as ever covered in sparkling, white snow.

Mom took these pictures of Sage and I on Carter Dome.  It was extremely cold up there; my hands got numb if I took them out for more than thirty seconds.  There were amazing views, though, which were greatly appreciated by all of us.

After that experience, we ventured on to South Carter.  When we hiked here before, there was a rock Mom sat on with a little drop where she could put her legs.  Now, the rock is completely covered in snow.  Mom took the following two pictures:

(On the way to Middle Carter...)

Beautiful trees and perfect blue sky!

The path behind us...

When we got to Middle Carter, my hands had warmed up more and since this summit is lower than Carter Dome, it was easier for me to take my hands out of my gloves to eat.

Mt. Washington in all its glory!

This is a really nice picture Mom took of Sage and I with the Presidential Range behind us.

Coming down...

There were many rabbit tracks scattered all over this area.

Also, we kept seeing this deer print, but we never saw any animal.  The prints stayed on the trail for quite a long time, and we were all impressed and surprised by this.  The animal seemed to be grateful for the trail!

This intersection sign looks so tall because I was sitting down when I took this; I was using my sled on the steep parts when I could.

Finally on the herd path to Camp Dodge.

Back in the car!

We brought hot chocolate and the top part of the Nalgene froze in a funny way:

It was a cold but gorgeous hike!


  1. Frozen hot chocolate! Don't they sell a version of it at Dunkin?????

    I've got a question for you (and your sister and mom, if they care to comment). Although I didn't bring a sled, I've had a few fun moments here and there butt sliding (most recently descending Field). Some folks are critical of sledding/butt sliding, claiming that it smooths the trail down to the point of creating an ice slide, weather permitting. What are your thoughts? Are there times where you would avoid it for this reason? I had a great time and didn't read any accounts the following days, so I don't think I (or the other happy souls I could hear) messed it up for anyone.

    1. Trish here -- Alex will answer this coming week. She has midterms to study for and an international karate tournament coming up, so her usual replies and posts will happen next week instead of this week.

      Alex told me she wanted to answer your question personally, so all I will say right now is that we sometimes buttslide, and that people who need the trail to look a certain way just for their own personal preference (or lack of being able to navigate on a firm/icy surface) need to chill out and remember that these are the mountains and not a groomed touristy resort area. In the Whites, there is no one "right" way of hiking...people who try to tell you that there is are wrong, and I suspect they have nothing better to do than play holier-than-thou. If folks aren't prepared to deal with whatever winter conditions they might find on the trails, then they need to stay home (or learn more winter hiking skills). I could say more, but I'll let Alex take it from here later this week. ;)

    2. Thanks! Good luck to Alex on midterms and the tournament!

  2. We have a lot more deer here in Connecticut than you do in New Hampshire, judging both by the deer I see and the deer tracks I see in the snow, and deer following a human trail is not unusual. You have to be careful, though, when a deer has "broken trail", since after a while its tracks will wander off the trail and if you get to just following them you'll wander off trail too.