No better way to celebrate completion of my 2012 Hike Challenge than to share hike #52 with my friend Stephen in New Hampshire.  But where to go?  Could there be something worthy outside of Colorado?

Arrived in Manchester on the 29th in between snow storms!  Literally started snowing 2 hours after landing – 8 inches of fresh snow which delayed my East Coast ‘welcome home’ party ‘til Sunday but…fresh powder is a mighty cool welcome of its own.

New Hampshire climate is not so different than Colorado with 3 exceptions:

  • lack of East Coast sunshine makes for lotta ‘grey’ days
  • lack of evergreens which makes for lotta winter season ‘stick’ trees
  • hard-core NH hikers are all-about 4’s – not 14ers.  Elevations in New Hampshire shoot up fast from sea level but nothing rivaling our Rocky Mountain peaks.  Tree line drops off at 4,000 ft in NH; 12,000 ft in Colorado.

All said, being outside & climbing a mountain ANYWHERE on New Year’s Eve is ROCKSTAR!  And similar to Colorado, we were not the only hikers out on Holiday Eve.  Epic hike challenge finale 🙂

Dressed a-ok for the sub-zero peak wind chill but could have been better equipped with poles & crampons.  Ice on granite makes for an arduous peak scramble – and creates a bigger calorie burn.  Selected the White Dot Trail to summit – most direct, but also the steepest climb.  I’d select a point on our trek horizon, then we’d push to reach ‘the 2nd dead tree’, or ‘the 1st boulder after the curve’, take a break & push to our next target point.

Reached tree-line where our trail flattened for half a mile, temps dropped, and the evergreens & underbrush sparkled under a dazzling coating of ice and light snow…like something from a Jack Frost Christmas special — BEAUTIFUL!

Two and half hours in & one last scramble UP, then SUMMIT SUCCESS!

Snapped a few pics, took a short video clip, then blasted down the mountain side in quick time…sliding on my heels most of the journey.  My Colorado seasoning hadn’t prepared me for bitter New Hampshire wind.  LOL>

 

52 week Hike Challenge — yeah, it’s possible.  Set a goal, stick a goal.  Done.

 

Mt Monadnock (summit clip)

 

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