Week o’ hiking: NH4k sort of fail, but tons of other great stuff!

H and I just got back from vacation. I had ambitious plans for the week–we were going to do the Bonds, and one or two of the northern Presidentials, and maybe some of the Carters…all the trail conditions were looking like late May rather than mid April, and I was feeling pretty good about hiking at a usually suboptimal time of year. Things looked good. We packed microspikes “just in case” but snow and ice were reportedly low. And then shoulder season in the Whites showed its usual colors, and it started snowing the night we arrived, and continued to precipitate until the day before we left. So…we bagged Zealand. Um, and that was it.  But–we got to experience some true winter-like above treeline conditions (good and bad), met a wide variety of fascinating and entertaining people, saw (way too much) wildlife, and hiked in very beautiful and peaceful places. It was great. Plus, on the far end of the week, we saw some friends who were way overdue for some quality time.

Pictures and commentary to follow later, but some random thoughts for now.

  • Much snow can fall in April.
  • Moose are large, smelly, slow moving, and do not care about your wishes.
  • I never fail to be entertained by my fellow guests at AMC lodging (stories to follow).
  • Hiking in shoulder season is way harder than in full summer or winter (excepting serious above treeline kind of stuff).
  • MSR Evo snowshoes are the bomb diggety.

I also mean to post my gear list, not so much because it’s so great or because anyone else should care, but because I am really trying not to pack so much damn junk every time, and for the first time I feel like I hit the balance of having just enough stuff without having too much.

I realize too that I’m way behind on some other things on the list, and I have a new thing to add (#n+1: volunteer as a medic at the Boston Marathon next spring), and there was one other thing that I wanted to write, but I seem to have forgotten and I want to go for a run before the blissfully long daylight runs out.



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