Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sage is Back! Waumbek on February 26, 2018

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Mt. Waumbek
Starr King Trail
 7.2 miles round-trip
2,650 feet of elevation gain

This was Sage's first hike after having had pneumonia.  We took it slowly on the way up; she had trouble at first (her chest hurt), but after the first mile and a half she felt much better.

We got an early start to give Sage plenty of time and to beat the storm that was coming.

I will let the photos do most of the talking for this trip report, as I have a major exam soon and must study!

Sage on Starr King!

Summit of Waumbek...

It started snowing as we went down, but the storm didn't hit full force until we were in the car on the way home.

It is good to have Sage with us again!

Warm Day on Moosilauke, 2/21/2018

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Glencliff Trail, Carriage Road
7.8 miles round-trip
3,300 feet of elevation gain

Photo by Trish Herr

We knew the temperature was going to be higher than normal on Wednesday, but we did not anticipate the weather to feel so warm.  Mom and I delayered after about 15 minutes of hiking; the sun had not yet come up and we had taken off our jackets.  We were so hot that we took off our snowpants as well.  As we hiked, we experienced warm air pockets here and there that felt like we were taking a stroll inside.  It was quite odd -- especially for February.

Photo by Trish Herr

As the sky lightened, I noticed pink and orange clouds in the sky:

Photo by Trish Herr

When we reached the intersection with Carriage Road, the signs had clearly been painted recently, for there was orange paint in the snow.  

The signs just keep getting brighter and brighter shades of orange!

At the intersection, Mom and I put our snowshoes on (the snow got pretty mushy from here to the summit).

The ridgewalk was beautiful and pleasant.  Since the level of the snowpack was unusually low, we were blocked from the wind, but we were not so low that we could not see views.

Photo by Trish Herr

Photo by Trish Herr

Later, we came out of the trees and saw gorgeous views all around us.  It was so warm up there that the wind seemed to blow warm air on us!  It was a bizarre, but amazing, day.

Photo by Trish Herr

On the summit!  Photo by Trish Herr

After taking a nice break on the summit of Mt. Moosilauke and taking some fun live videos on Facebook and Instagram, we started heading back down.  As usual, the way down the mountain seemed to go quickly; before we knew it, we were back at the car. 

I will never forget this hiking day because of the abnormally warm temperatures and the spectacular views.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lincoln and Lafayette. February 14, 2018

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Lincoln and Lafayette
Falling Waters Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Greenleaf Trail, Old Bridle Path
8.9 miles
3,900 feet of elevation gain

Yesterday, on Valentine's Day, Mom and I hiked the Lincoln and Lafayette loop going up Falling Waters Trail and down Old Bridle Path.  This isn't the direction we usually take (we usually go up Old Bridle Path and come down Falling Waters Trail), but the temperatures were going to warm up that day, and we didn't want to be on Falling Waters Trail as the temperature rose in case those frozen waterfalls melted and became difficult to cross/navigate.

We started hiking in the dark, like always.  Even though the coldest temperatures of the day were in the morning, I didn't feel as cold as I usually do.  Someone's glove was on the trail sign.

Photo by Trish Herr

The sun was up by the time we arrived at the first clearing.

We continued hiking up to Little Haystack.

Photo by Trish Herr

The views from Little Haystack were gorgeous!  There were beautiful mountains, amazing light patterns, and interesting cloud formations.

The summit/intersection sign: 

After getting to the summit of Little Haystack, we kept hiking over to Lincoln.  I continued taking pictures along the way.

The wind and recent high temperatures have gotten rid of much of the snow on the ridge.

Right on the edge... 

Looking at what we have to climb...

The mystifying long string of clouds in the distance...

Hiking toward our destination...

Mount Washington in the distance, past the Bonds...

The remnants of the sunrise...

Cannon Mountain...

Going forward...

When we got to Mt. Lincoln, we saw an undercast.

Photo by Trish Herr

Clouds rushed toward us and swept over everything in their path.

The cloud formations were huge tentacles of water and air.

Suddenly, the clouds surrounded us and created thick fog.  We thought they might pass, but they sat on Lincoln and Lafayette for the rest of our hike.

On Mt. Truman, a bump between Lincoln and Lafayette, I came around a corner and saw Mom on the ground.  She had fallen on her knees and palms.  After sitting for a moment, we kept hiking to Lafayette, but she had to go slower than normal; her right knee was hurt and she could not bend it.  After hiking for a bit, we arrived on Mt. Lafayette.  Rime ice...

Mom was feeling pretty good, but her right knee was causing problems.  Her left knee was fine though thankfully, so she could put more weight on that side.  Here she is on the summit!

Photo by Trish Herr

Photo by Trish Herr

There were absolutely no views now.  I am glad we saw some on Little Haystack and while we were hiking up to Lincoln.

There was quite a bit of ice up there, but hiking on it was manageable with Microspikes.

One of the summit signs had been knocked over because of the wind!

After taking a quick break on Lafayette, we headed down to Greenleaf Hut.  Coming down Greenleaf Trail from the summit of Lafayette was difficult for Mom (it is hard to go downhill with a knee you can't bend very well), so that section of trail took a long time to hike.  She did a great job though, and she made it to the hut!

We took a break at the hut.  We grabbed food and water, delayered, and then started carefully hiking down Old Bridle Path.

Coming down Old Bridle Path went quicker than I expected, and Mom did a great job hiking with her hurt knee.  Later, her left wrist starting hurting, and she realized she couldn't bend her wrist either. 

Hair frozen, as usual...

Heading down...


The clouds smothered Franconia Ridge.

Looking back up...

Hiking carefully...

It was easier for Mom to hike when the trail flattened out.

We made it back to the car without too much trouble.  The next day (today), Mom got x-rays and was told nothing had been broken.  Her wrist is sprained and her knee is badly banged up, but she should be able to hike again next week as long as she is careful this week.

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!