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Difficult Hike on Monadnock

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Saturday hike up Monadnock was difficult. First of all, I wasnít sure that this was the best day to hike. I had not hiked a mountain in about 30 days. The weather did not look perfect. Snow was in the forecast for the afternoon, and I did not want to get caught in a storm. Finally, the sun was not shining, and it was cold. It wasnít until 7 AM that we made the final decision to hike. Iím so glad that we did.

As we started out, there were tiny snowflakes in the air. We were experiencing frozen fog. It was beautiful and also ominous of the weather that we were about to experience. No, this was not a perfect day for a hike.

The trees were covered with rime ice. As soon as the water crystals hit the frozen trees, they froze. The patterns were unique and delicate. There was also a frozen layer of ice and snow on our trail and our coats.

One great thing about hiking in the winter is that the trail is much smoother. We donít have to maneuver around each and every rock and stick. The snow smoothes out the trail, and we made it to Monadnockís summit in 90 minutes. Unfortunately, the temperature was going down, and the wind was picking up as we crossed the tree line. With no protection from the wind, we added another layer of clothes.

We hiked to the summit of our favorite peak, careful not to slip on the rocks. The microspikes are a must on a hike like this. At the summit, we met some great people, and then headed back down. The trail conditions were quickly deteriorating as the afternoon approached.

We stopped for a snack, and then kept on moving down the trail. We wanted to get off the mountain as quickly as we could. Our coats were covered with ice, and there was no good reason to enjoy the nonexistent views. The mountain was enveloped in fog, snow and ice. We took the Old Halfway House Trail to our car, and high-tailed it home. Another great adventure on Mt. Monadnock completed. After a steak dinner, John and I can smile about the difficult hike.

What made this hike so difficult was the fact that we had to wait until the last minute to make the decision to climb. If we did not consider conditions safe enough to climb in, we would have stayed home. Normally we start getting our gear ready the night before. Not being prepared mentally can make a hike difficult.

Photo 1 by Allan DiBiase
All other potos by John and Jackie Stetser

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
PUDLECRAZY 2/25/2013 6:37AM

    Great hike!

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DS9KIE 2/24/2013 11:05PM


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68ANNE 2/24/2013 8:27PM

    Good hike and glad you enjoyed plus learning!

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 2/24/2013 6:04PM

  Thankyou for the tour

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MTPOETNH 2/24/2013 4:09PM

    Great Blog - Monadnock is a great mountain to climb - I LOVE winter hiking - " no roots,no rocks, no bugs " You are right that the trail is much smoother in the winter. Great pictures - my favorite is the first one with the mist. You made great time to the summit!!

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BOPPY_ 2/24/2013 4:07PM

    Thanks for the tour. Enjoy your success! emoticon

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TRI_BABE 2/24/2013 3:25PM

    Wow! Thanks! Looks great even if hard.

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MJ7DM33 2/24/2013 3:21PM

  WTG! Great pics! Thx for sharing!

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SUSIEPH1 2/24/2013 1:53PM

    Lovely photos! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon thank you for taking us with you on this big adventure Glad you got home safely xx
Hugs Susie

Comment edited on: 2/24/2013 1:53:59 PM

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1CRAZYDOG 2/24/2013 1:33PM

    What beautiful pictures of a beautiful hike! HUGS and thanks for sharing.

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GRAMMYEAC 2/24/2013 1:24PM

    What brave folks to attack the mountain in the face of an impending storm. Knowing the mountain as you do, and its weather patterns, must have given you assurance that you would conquer the elements on the hike!

Glad you were able to navigate down the mountain safely!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 2/24/2013 1:14PM

    Thanks for sharing your amazing hike! Your post-hike steak dinner sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate your difficult hike!

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POPSY190 2/24/2013 1:04PM

    A spectacular hike. Thank you for sharing it.

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BLUEROSE73 2/24/2013 12:47PM

    Beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. And good for you for getting out there and doing it.

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CLARALAW 2/24/2013 12:16PM

    I absolutely LOVE the first picture of the fog over the trees. Beautiful!.


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KAYOTIC 2/24/2013 10:39AM

    Looks like another great hike! Nice pics!

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RD03875 2/24/2013 9:50AM

    Great blog

Check out my blog on coming home

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ALEXSGIRL1 2/24/2013 9:32AM

    How awesome me and my husband used to hike every weekend before the kids and with them after. we haven't gone in years and now with his hips hurting i need to find a new hiking partner. It is great you adventure together and do something many others have not. I am glad you had a safe hike .

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LOVESTOWALK49 2/24/2013 9:31AM

    Nice pictures

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ERIN1957 2/24/2013 8:57AM

    Awesome adventure blog and activity...some of us do and some of us live through those that do. Great sharing.

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CAPECODLIGHT 2/24/2013 8:33AM

    It's good to exercise common sense over the love for adventure and the high it gives you. The phrase "throw caution to the winds" is not something one should do with mountain hiking or sailing. Glad to hear you are prudent. Lovely pictures!

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SALLYANNE0852 2/24/2013 8:12AM

    you're a great adventure writer! and i sure wish i could do that. im in bad shape these days everything hurts so ill have to keep reading your posts for my adventure hiking! emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/24/2013 7:55AM

    That is very, very cool! Good judgement and safety consciousness too....people that think and prepare like you help the rest of us enjoy great outdoor adventures!

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CHICCHANTAL 2/24/2013 7:20AM

    Wow, you're brave. We had a tiny bit of snow in the wind yesterday and that was enough to put me off.

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TORTISE110 2/24/2013 7:18AM

    Looks like an Excellent Adventure!

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/24/2013 6:44AM

    Love the steak dinner part, otherwise I'm shivering.

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MINILOVER1 2/24/2013 6:43AM

    Pictures are wonderful and I am glad that you made the trip back down and home safely.

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