East Osceola Mountain

Made it to East Osceola Mountain on January 28, 2019. New England 4,000 footer list: 2/69.

I didn’t take any photos at the top because it was so cold and windy; I couldn’t wait to get back to the car. Even with spikes, I superman’d it at one point on the steeps going down, which was pretty nerve wracking. Once I got to the flatter section I put on my snowshoes and enjoyed a walk in the woods as the snow started to fall. I will make it to the main peak, Osceola another day.

Save the best for last

I had the best mileage-wise training week this past week. I hit 50 miles, probably for the first time ever. This is good – going into 2019! Now I just need to keep the momentum going.

Today I hiked to Tecumseh with Winnie to start the New England 4,000 footers. I hope to hike them all in 2019. I still have one more summit to finish hiking all the NH 4,000 footer.

New Hiking Gear Winter 2018

Sunrise Concord NH

One of the positive aspects of changing from triathlon to trail  & mountain running/hiking/backpacking is all the new gear I get to buy.

While some of the winter running and biking winter clothing transitions well but there are some accessories I must invest in.

Number 1: Water filtration system

Katadyn BeFree Water Filter 0.6L
Katadyn BeFree Water Filter 0.6L

I chose a collapsible water filter option so I could back it pretty easily in a small running pack. I’ll be trying the Katadyn BeFree on the long hike to Owl’s Head this week so we’ll see how it does. This is new technology for me so I can’t wait to see how it works on the trail.

Number 2: New hiking boots

Salomon X Ultra 3 – Day One, 1.4 miles

I’ve been hiking in trail running shoes for so many years and never considered hiking boots. I always thought that trail running shoes were less impactful on a trail and even when hiking sometimes I like to run.  This year is different and I’m winter hiking so I knew I needed to invest in a good boot. The hiking boots I currently own were given to me when I was a Colorado gear tester back in 2008. I still have them but they are pretty beat up. I’ve been reading so many hiking and backpacking websites and blogs, and one trail review writer recommended Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boots so I researched them. I liked the other reviews I read and decided to give them a try. The first break-in hike was this morning [see first photo in this post, a hike with a sunrise]. I’m not bringing them for the hike this weekend; this one’s a biggie and didn’t want to wear boots that need to be broken in. I’ll stick with the tried and true trail runners; probably my Ultra trail runners.

It’s good to get back into mountain sports. There is so much more equipment to research and try. Next up: tent and stove.

When I think of the NH Mountains

I’ve clipped articles all my adult life and the ones that have made it past the years of cleaning out and reducing my crap, are in the white binder. These articles inspired me through the low points of my life and kept me moving when I didn’t know what to do; which was a lot.

There is a frequently-read article I clipped in 2007 and placed in a sheet protector written by Drew Munro, then editor of the Sky-Hi News, a newspaper I later worked for in Grand County, Colorado. The article is titled: Distance sometimes offers a better view.

I didn’t know Drew at the time but his story touched me and I understood his feelings. I had visited the area, too as a 17-year-old traveling through the western National Parks. Now I was living in Granby, Colorado as well.

In the article he is new to the newspaper and his story starts as he is running around the Middle Park High School track at night for a cancer benefit. As he progresses around the track he sees the Rocky Mountains in the distance and thinks about a cross country trip in his youth; he is now living where he explored years ago.

He said quoting TS Eliot, “I intend to step back far enough occasionally to see [this place] or perhaps know it for the first time.”

And maybe that is what I need to do now here in New Hampshire. Step back, and get reacquainted with the White Mountains. I knew them so well over 20 years ago. I spent so much time hiking and camping and almost hiking all the 4,000 footers. I need to get north and hike those peaks that inspired me and gave me goals.