Now I really have 8 4,000 footers, mis-count

Today I hiked to South Hancock and checked off number 40 of the 48 4,000 footers in NH. I thought it was 41 but I miscounted the number of peaks left. I didn’t hike the loop trail that would have given me 40 and 41 because the last half mile to the peak did me in. It was so steep and it was so humid and I was short on time.

I’m glad we turned around yesterday on the trail because the loop trail close to the summit is no place for a dog. Maybe after more practice. The Hancock Loop trail is spectacular and as I’m building up my hiking legs I’m hoping to finish the remaining peaks this year.

I met an interesting woman on the trail today, Jill. She is what is called a Grid hiker, someone who climbs every 4,000 footer in each month of the year. She is 58 years old and hikes primarily by herself although she does have two male friends also Grid hikers who sometime join her when they need to check one off. One of her friends hiked Waumbek today and she didn’t need it for September so she did North and South Hancock. She said she tries to find different trails to each peak. I thought it would be interesting to really get to know one trail, hiking it 12 times, but she liked the variety of different trails.

Here are the photos from the trip, in order:

First trail junction. 1.6 miles to the top.

 

.5 HARD miles to the top.
The Top of South Hancock. Wooded Summit
Trail marker on the top of South Hancock

Dog Hike to South Hancock

Winnie did great on the hike to South Hancock. There were several stream crossing and a few times she had to lay in the river to cool down. The trail was magnificent and a nice hike until the last mile to South Hancock when it was a good climb.

The first stream crossing. It was a nice leisurely hike for the first 2 miles and we took a lot of water breaks.
So many rocks and streams. The hike was awesome.
The start of the trail from the Kancamagus Highway.

 

Cardigan Mountain, Swim In the Merrimack – A perfect summer day

Cardigan-Summit-View August 2018

Today began with a hike to the top of Mount Cardigan at 3,155 feet.

I met a woman, and her dog, who is an ultra runner and former Ironman athlete. I love it when you meet your people. It doesn’t happen much for me but when you do, you learn so much. I didn’t snap a photo of her but I hope to see her on the trail again.

Here is the top – the view was great, a little hazy in the distance but after all the rains the last few days it’s understandable. The streams were running throughout the hike; it was glorious.

Mount Cardigan Summit

And as I made my way down the slabs of rock and into the forest, the streams were so cool and nice!

Once I got home it was a hot, 90 degrees in Concord so I took the Winnie-dog to the Merrimack River (Sorry, no pics).

It was a good day to be a New Hampshire resident. #hikeNH #swimNH

Mountain Rescue themed Month of Reading

Desperate Steps Peter Kick

I finished Where You’ll Find Me: Risk, Decisions, and the Last Climb of Kate Matrosova in two days. Matrosova’s story was so well told by Ty Gagne. As I read, I researched all the organizations and people. The SAR organizations are so interesting to read about. It was a sad story because she perished but every hiker/mountaineer should read this book and learn the lesson of doing research about a mountain region especially the weather; learn when to turn around. Here is a link to the NPR interview with the author,  a guide and a rescue organization.

It’s also inspired me to want to hike in the winter – and hire a guide. So I began researching guide services, which I’ve never done. But I never have been interested in hiking in the winter. What I really want to do is be comfortable in the mountains since my new life goal is to be a mountain runner.

A book that was listed in the bibliography is Desperate Steps,  Life, Death, and Choices Made in the Mountains of the Northeast by Peter W. Kick. The book is really interesting and the stories of rescues and (not) rescued are well told. These stories are educational about hiking in all terrain and conditions.

Up next after this is another book referenced in Gagne’s book, Not Without Peril.