Thursday, April 27, 2017

GraniteGals Podcast

We had a great time at the March for Science in Boston, Massachusetts!  Support science with us and please donate to Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sage and I created a podcast called GraniteGals where we interview and celebrate the female hikers of New Hampshire.  We feel that there is not enough support for women hikers in general; our podcast is a safe place for female hikers to be themselves, discuss their experiences and accomplishments, and, if they want, discuss how they deal with sexism on the trail.  

We had our first interview with Sue Johnston, an incredible hiker with many amazing accomplishments from hiking the Appalachian Trail to running all sorts of marathons.  She was a great interviewee and we loved having her!  Check out her blog here.  Please subscribe to our GraniteGals blog!  The blog has the audio links for the podcast, and by subscribing, you will get each new blog post (with each new episode) in your email.  Thank you!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Garfield and Blisters, 4/17/2017

Renewable energy technology does not emit greenhouse gases and is generally better for the environment.  Read more about different types of green energy on the website of Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  Please donate to UCS to support important scientific research for a better future.  I'll hopefully see some of you at the March for Science in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday the 22nd!

Mt. Garfield
Mt. Garfield Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail
12.4 miles round-trip (with the roadwalk)
3,000 feet of elevation gain

This hiking day, in terms of temperatures, was odd; the day started off (in the dark) warmer and progressively got colder throughout the day.  Our friend, John Myers, came with us.  It was a pleasure hiking with him as always!

The road was still closed from winter, so we had to hike the 1.2 mile roadwalk (2.4 miles extra round-trip).  I am hoping the road will be open soon, through, because it looked like it was in suitable driving condition.

It was still dark when we got to the trailhead.

The sun started rising through the trees, creating a pink and orange horizon:

My feet got a bit wet while crossing one of the water crossings, so after wringing out our socks and dumping the water out of our boots, we kept going.  I still felt like my feet were sloshing in my boots, but I was not cold because it still felt warm outside.

The trail was full of leaves.

The sky was a fresh and beautiful blue.

Snow started showing up as a little monorail in the middle of the trail...

We got to the half-way point: the large stream running through the trail.

By now there was snow all over the ground.

As you can tell, the snow levels of the trail varied unpredictably.

The snow levels were very high on certain parts of the path -- so high that the usually steep incline of the trail got evened out by the snow pack.

Beautiful tree bark:

As we got to the summit, the weather became colder and colder.  The summit itself was full of strong, crisp wind that threatened to push us over.  I leaped into the foundation on the summit for shelter, and my hands and feet became very cold.

I took some quick pictures at the top:

There were some not-so-nice-looking clouds that we noticed, but they didn't end up being a problem for us.

After taking a super short break at the cold summit, we rushed back down out of the wind.  Once we were back below treeline, I changed out of my wet socks and put on dry socks to warm my feet.  We only happened to have one pair of socks, and Sage wanted to change her socks too, so she took one sock and I took the other.  For my other foot, I wrapped a towel around it which was decent protection.  Until I got below the half-way point, though, my feet were still cold.  Once I got to a spot low enough and therefore warmer, my feet felt better.  We usually each have an extra pair of socks with us...don't know why we didn't this time around.

On the way down, John pointed out an old bear "nest" (signs of past bear activity) on top of a tree.  It was amazing!

My microspikes fell off at one point and I had to go back up some of the trail to get them (not that far thankfully).

More sky:

Mom and Sage kept getting leaves stuck in the bottom of their poles!

I have had this reoccurring blister above of my foot for the past few hikes; I felt it on this hike but thought it was of little consequence since it always hurts a little when I hike.  This time, because the towel came down my foot a little, my bare skin rubbed against the boot and caused my blister to get really irritated and bleed.

It was a good hike.  The snow will likely be completely gone within a few more weeks!

My classes are, one by one, finishing up -- my summer vacation from schoolwork starts soon!  It will be nice to hike without worrying about all the schoolwork I still need to do later in the same day.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Osceolas on a Warm Day, 4/10/2017

Climate change is happening NOW!  Please donate to Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and read about some things you can do (from the blog of UCS) to help the environment.  Also, here are some tips UCS has for preserving energy.  They are very interesting and informative.  Thank you!

Mt. Osceola and East Osceola
Greeley Ponds Trail, Mt. Osceola Trail
7.6 miles
3,100 feet of elevation gain

It was still dark out when we started hiking, so we wore headlamps until the sky lightened.

When we got to the next intersection, the sky was light enough to take off headlamps.  This intersection marks the point where we turn onto the steep Mt. Osceola Trail.

We just have to get above that bump...

Sun, come up!

It was cool at first, but it became warmer and warmer as the day continued.  We delayered down to our T-shirts.

The sky was a powerful dark blue, and it was a clear day.

The sun felt amazing on my face and back.

Beautiful views on the way up!

Crossing the slide:

East Osceola came closer and closer...

Sage and me at the lookout point...(me)


We arrived at the simple summit of East Osceola -- there was so much snow that the summit cairn was no longer visible.

Traveling to Mt. Osceola...

The Chimney (left) and the Bypass (right):

We went up the Bypass because it looked safer and easier than climbing up the ice-filled Chimney. 

Looking down...

Views from Mt. Osceola!

The day had progressed and it was quite warm outside.  There was a nice, cool breeze all around the two mountains.  The sun felt so good!

Heading back down, we could see the Presidentials in the distance with their own personal layers of white snow, while the lower mountains around them were green, blue, and purple.

The trail was comfortable to walk on during the ascent, but the snow became mushy, slick, and soft and was extremely slippery to walk on while coming down.

Looking up at incoming Sage...

While Sage held onto a tree, some branches scraped her and left a rather nasty cut all down her right arm.

The weather is warming surprisingly fast (but then again, we are in New Hampshire)!  I can feel summer pushing through the icy winter gates, the sun melting the snow within.  A holiday is occurring this Sunday...Happy Easter, everyone!