Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SheJumps and a Brief JMT Update

Southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts folks, I hope you can join us at the Rye Library in Rye, NH this Sunday, November 3 at 3pm for a SheJumps event!  Alex, Sage, and I will speak about our hiking adventures.  The suggested donation per person is $10; all the money will go to the nonprofit organization SheJumps.  SheJumps' mission is to "increase female participation in outdoor activities."  We're completely on board with that!  :)  Hope to see you in Rye.


There's a new, short post on our JMT site regarding our continuing prep for next year's thru-hike.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

(Chocolate) Oranges and Easter Oreos on the Osceolas (Middle, Main, and East). October 18, 2013

Mt. Osceola Trail, bushwhack, Greeley Ponds Trail.  About 8 miles (traverse).

I (kind of) cheated as far as Desserts on the 48 is concerned.  Since I couldn't figure out a two-word dessert that begins with the letters E and O for East Osceola, I made "Easter Oreos" (store-bought Oreos with homemade pastel candy coating and sparkly sugar sprinkles).  For Osceola, I chose a chocolate orange.  Middle Osceola is a Trailwrights peak and not technically a Four Thousand Footer, so I didn't have to prepare a dessert for that one.

Easter Oreos

The girls and I met our friend Samantha at the trailhead to Greeley Ponds.  We left Samantha's car there, then drove my Subaru to Tripoli Road.

I hadn't done the Osceolas in a couple of years; the trail was more moderate than I remembered.  Funny how a few years of constant hiking can render "difficult" trails fairly easy.

Trailwrights is a popular list, so herd-paths have developed toward many of the off-trail peaks.  Middle Osceola's herd path begins about a quarter of a mile from the summit of Osceola's main peak, right at the last switchback on the way up.

This is NOT the entrance to Middle Osceola's herd path.

This IS the entrance to Middle Osceola's herd path.

At first, the herd path is easy to follow.

A tenth of a mile or so into the woods, however, the herd path ends in a jumble of blowdowns.  At this point, multiple unofficial pathways go left and right.  We went left, ended up in a nasty, thick, impassable area, then backtracked and went the other direction.  TW72 peakbaggers, your best bet is to approach the blowdowns, then head to the right either just before or immediately after the jumble of toppled-over trees.

There was usually a faint treadway to follow, but the trees grew thick and the hike took on the feel of an obstacle course.  It was always easy to figure out which way to go, though.  We could usually see the summit area from where we stood (I had a map and compass, of course, but the visuals of the summit area were clear).

We reached the summit area (it's obvious once you're out there).  Here's a view...

Though it was obvious we were on the summit, we couldn't figure out exactly which spot marked the highest point.  We wandered a bit, staying on herd paths whenever possible, and stood on all the tall bumps we could find.

We eventually meandered back to the Mt. Osceola Trail...

...sat on the main summit's official highpoint...

...and lounged on the ledges.

Orange (chocolate) on Osceola!

After we demolished the orange, we headed over to East Osceola.

The girls went down the chimney, but I took Max on the bypass.

One more half-mile of steep up...

...and we're there.

Easter Oreos on East Osceola!

The way down East Osceola (toward the Kanc) is steep, and the trail crosses the bottom of a slide.

Finally, we reached Greeley Ponds Trail.  The path flattened significantly.

At Greeley Ponds Trail (and Samantha's car).

Congrats to Samantha, who needed the two Osceolas for her NH48!

This was Alex's third and Sage's second time on Osceola and East Osceola.  It was our first time on Middle Osceola, which Alex and I needed for Trailwrights.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

JMT Planning

We didn't hike last week, hence the lack of post.  We did, however, buy a few items in preparation for our 2014 John Muir Trail thru-hike.

Many thanks to Gail Smith, who donated to our virtual food drive for Feeding America!  Help us out, folks -- we'd love to have all $2104 raised before we begin our thru-hike!

We plan on hiking tomorrow, so there'll be another trip report posted this Tuesday.

Happy hiking,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mt. Roberts (52WAV). October 4, 2013

The girls and I had plans for the evening, so last Friday's hike had to be quick and close to our home.  We looked over our various lists and settled on 52 With a View's Mt. Roberts of the Ossipee Range.  Forty minutes later, we were at Castle in the Clouds.

We parked outside this gate...

...walked a tenth of a mile down this road...

...took a left at the sign...

...walked up to the stables...

...said hi to the horses...

...entered the woods...

...and began our hike.

We passed this interesting electric fence...

Mt. Roberts Trail is a nice change from the usual rocks-and-roots of the White Mountains.  The path is relatively smooth and the grade never gets steep.  It was a nice, fairly gentle climb to the ledges.

Shortly after the above picture was taken, we began to hear gunshots.  Those shots got closer and is hunting season in New Hampshire...we donned our bright orange vests.

Ledges!  The rest of the walk to the summit was more or less open.  We enjoyed the views as we made our way to the top.

Alex took this picture of me...


View from the summit of Mt. Roberts...

We ate our snacks, then headed down. 

'Twas a nice morning out.