Over the summer I got completely addicted to hiking the 4,000 footers of NH. On a recent trip one of my hiking buddies suggested that I start keeping a record of each trip up both to share with others and to better remember the day, which I thought was a great idea! So now that I’ve reached 13 peaks, I’m going to back track and write up what I remember of them, and then will hopefully be better about writing it all down when I get back on the mountains in the spring.
My first trip up was as part of Stonyfield’s hiking club. They were hiking Mount Eisenhower and I decided to go with them. There were 9 of us in the group, along with 2 truly awesome dogs. We met up at the Edmands Path parking lot at 8am and headed up. Here’s one of the pups once we reached the summit. She was trying to beg my snacks:
As it turns out, I was WOEFULLY out of shape for this hike. I managed to keep up with the folks in the middle of the group the whole way, but I was definitely hurting! Lots of water breaks and panting for me. I was a total mouth breather from about 5 minutes in until we reached the top. I also was totally unprepared snack-wise. I had some trail mix and a Clif Bar, which actually would have been fine energy-wise, but when my companions started pulling out apples I was drooling. Luckily one of them had extras and I was able to partake in that most perfect trail snack, with just the right amount of fiber, sugar, and juicy liquid to keep you hydrated and satisfied.
After climbing what felt like FOREVER to me, we got to a point just below tree line where the view opened up and I remembered what I was doing this for:
We climbed just a little bit further after that before we got to a giant rock pile that we had to make our way across. Once we tackled that we were at a perfect lunch spot and those of us in the front/middle of the pack took a load off to wait for the folks bringing up the rear. We had a pretty beautiful view while we waited.
The somewhat foolish newbie in me actually thought that we had reached the top when we took this little break. Once everyone else caught up and we all started putting our gear back on I realized that I was mistaken. We had more climbing to do, and it was the steepest part so far. Luckily, it was as short as it was steep and we were at the summit within 15 minutes or so. I had a bunch of summit shots that I took that day but they have since disappeared from my phone, so now I only have one.
It’s probably the least impressive of all of the shots I took, but somehow it’s the one that I saved. Whoops! This trek to the top also marks my first Summit Selfie, which I now do on each mountain I climb. Here is the fabulous group of fellow Stonyfielders who helped me get up this mountain:
At this point one of my fellow hikers said, “you know, Pierce is only a mile and a half over there. We could peak bag it if everyone wants to…” My response at the time was, “WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO THAT, YOU COMPLETE AND TOTAL CRAZY PERSON?! DON’T YOU REALIZE WE JUST *FINISHED* CLIMBING?!” but that was my total lack of fitness talking. Sadly, I was NOT overruled on that one though, because clouds were coming in fast with giant lightening bolts visible in them so we all decided it was better to turn around and save Pierce for another day. We climbed back down pretty uneventfully, and then all made our way to the Woodstock Inn for some much deserved beer and food. I could barely move the next day, but I knew that I was totally hooked anyway. I couldn’t wait to go back up!