The list of 4,000 footers, AMC 24th Edition

I’ve managed to keep the 24th edition of the AMC White Mountain Guide in good shape over the years (even though I did buy the newest edition). I recorded my first hike in this guide. I visited the White Mountains for the first time in May 1988. I hiked Lafayette and Lincoln with my boyfriend and his family just before high school graduation. 

Completed 4,000 footers 24th Ed pg 1
Completed 4,000 footers 24th Ed pg 1 with dates. Just one left on this page: North Hancock.
Completed 4,000 footers 24th Ed pg 2
Completed 4,000 footers 24th Ed pg 2. Just Cabot, Owl’s Head, Waumbek left to do.

I caught the hiking bug from that hike and have Nathan to thank for that. Hiking and peak bagging kept me sane in my early 20s when I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I had no goals and no career aspirations. So I hiked the 4,000 footers in NH for a sense of accomplishment.

Every weekend I would head north from Portsmouth and hike, checking off each mountain. I got to a point where I had about 10 or 12 peaks and suddenly I found my career path. In 1999 I moved to the mountains full-time and stopped hiking 4,000 footers. Even after moving to Colorado I didn’t hike the big mountains, (14ers) but choose the mountains in the wilderness around Grand County to hike and explore with my dogs.

I knew I’d be back in New Hampshire to finish the list. Once I got here it took about a year to settle in and get back to my mountains.

I hope to finish the remaining peaks this month and start the list again. It’s been too many years and I need a fresh perspective of these beautiful, challenging mountains; and I need to hike Mount  Washington and the Presidential Range again. I can’t wait to start again.

Mount Garfield – Autumn in the valley, winter at the top

Mount Garfield Oct 14 2018

Garfield Trail is the perfect trail and the Mount Garfield is the perfect mountain. Water is abundant thanks to all the rain the last few days. The trail is medium difficult the entire way so I sweated but not that much. The views from the top are magnificent.

Garfield Trail Oct 14
My first sight of snow. Autumn in the valley, winter at 3,000 feet and higher on Oct 14, 2018

All the hikers on the trail were kind and interesting. One woman at the top finished her 48 peaks today! So impressed. One of her hiking mates was on her second round, hiking #19 today. All dogs were friendly and CUTE! I had great conversations with a few people about 4,000 footers and hiking buddies.

The last .2 miles to the top were pretty icy and a bit scary so it’s time to buy some spikes and start carrying them with me for every hike now.

Snow on the trees looking to the North Country from Garfield.

 

Looking southwest to the Franconia Ridge. All the peaks had snow on them. Such a great day!

Coming back down the icy .2 miles, I have to say, it was nice being behind 10 people as they slowly descended; I felt safe from falling. Winnie did great on the ice although most the time I couldn’t watch the path she took.

I’m excited to finished #44 of the 48 4,000 footers in New Hampshire.

Now all that is left is Hancock North, Cabot, Waumbek and Owl’s Head. Hancock I can do in a few hours, and Cabot/Waumbek I’ll finish next weekend. I’m still hoping to do Owl’s Head with Cheryl before the end of the month. I’m guessing Owl’s Head will be the last, and the most dreaded but still hopeful it will surprise me and be wonderful. 

North Twin hike during peak foliage in NH

North Twin October 2018

Saturday’s hike was epic. North Twin 4,761, 8.6 miles round trip during peak New Hampshire foliage.

North Twin from the outlook selfie.

4,000 footer #2 for Winnie and #43 for me!

We had to cross the Little River six times.

The Little River

After slipping on a rock half way through the first crossing I decided for safety I would just walk through the water and not worry about rock hopping. My Injinji socks and Pearl Izumi trail shoes quickly dried enough to not give me blisters.

The fall foliage was beautiful and the lighting just right:

Peak foliage in NH on the North Twin trail.

We saw a few dogs and about 20 people total which isn’t much considering the drive past Lafayette trailhead with cars parked for miles on I-93. I can’t image hiking Lafayette with all those people. One family hiked North Twin with children who looked 5-years-old – amazing! So many smaller groups that loved Winnie and petted her.

Winnie at the top of North Twin on October 6, 2108
North Twin trail sign
Top of the mountain. We took the outlook trail to see the view.

She’s getting less scared of people on the trail which is nice.

A great day to be on the trail. I had great conversations with hikers about hiking the 4,000 footers and other trails.

The view of the trail while almost to the summit.

Then after driving home I met my mom to see to movie, A Star is Born.

Weekend Recap: Sunapee & Liberty/Flume

Mount Liberty Sept 2018

 

On Saturday Winnie and I hiked to the top of Mount Sunapee. The trail was pretty wet and muddy from all the rain. The streams were flowing and Winnie had fun playing in both water and mud.

Sunapee with Winnie. She kept looking uncertainly at the chairs on the chair lift. It was a beautiful, cool fall day at the resort.

We saw a lot of people on the trail and Winnie swam in Lake Solitude. Winnie was beat for the rest of the day. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be taking her to the hike scheduled for Sunday: Flume.  

I hiked the Liberty Spring Trail to the Franconia Ridge Trail. The trail passed over Liberty and then I reached Mount Flume in 2 hours 30 minutes.  I saw a few hikers on the trail going up and about 10 trail runners coming down. I hoped that I would be running down, too.

I tried to run as much as I could but the trail was 75% rock with large roots thrown in for good measure. Once I passed Liberty Spring tent sites I could hear the wind and it got pretty cold. I put on a warmer jacket and a beanie. I didn’t realize that the Franconia Ridge Trail is an exposed ridge only on the northern section that is closer to Lincoln and Lafayette. This part of the ridge was wooded and smelled of pine.

Almost to Liberty, looking north to Lincoln on Franconia Ridge Trail.

The summit rocks of Liberty took my breath away when I saw it for the first time.

My first glance at Liberty – a stunning rock pile

The rock pile seems to rise out of the ground and trees. According to my AMC White Mountain Guide Twenty-fourth edition I hiked Liberty in 1988 and 1991 but don’t remember. I did note that on the 1991 trip I took the same trail starting on the Whitehouse trail. I’m so glad I kept that book over the years. I knew I’d be back to finish all the 4,000 footers.

About 15 people took pictures and hung out on the summit of Liberty. I don’t stop and continued hiking south to Flume; I passed about 10 people headed to Liberty.

Sitting on top of Flume looking south and loving my Altra trail runners.

Since my PI trail shoes were still soaked from yesterday’s hike in the mud at Sunapee I wore my new, not-yet-worn Altra trail running shoes. It was a risk to wear them on this important bag-a-4,000-peak hike but they turned out to be perfect. They got a bit beat up on the rocks and roots, and managed to stay comfortable the entire time.

I did like the Liberty Springs Trail  despite feeling like I walked up stairs for miles on end. As my thoughts started to wander through the sometimes monotonous terrain, I thought about the Grid and wondered if I might try to do it: hike all 4,000 footers in every month.

Sunday’s Total mileage: just about 10 miles round trip. I’m pretty beat and not sure I’d want to do that hike in every month,  but I’ve been thinking about winter hiking and with the right instruction I might give it a try.

Now I’m down to six remaining 4,000 footers: N. Hancock, Waumbek, Cabot, Garfield, N. Twin and Owl’s Head. My plan is to finish them by the end of October. November is too risky with the potential of ice and snow on the trails. I’m hoping that Winnie will hike Waumbek, Cabot, Garfield and N. Twin; the other two are too rocky and long.

Foliage Update: The leaves in northern New Hampshire are just about starting to turn. Next weekend they will be at their peak colors. 

NH 4000 Footer Grid 2018 KL