Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Overnight backpacking trip to Stairs Mountain

We were lucky enough to squeeze in an end-of-season backpacking trip last weekend. In summer-like weather we hiked 7.6 miles each way to the summits of Crawford, Resolution and Stairs mountains, along the ridge that connects them together. Our campsite was on the summit of Stairs Mountain and it afforded us spectacular views of the fall colors in the White Mountains.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"52 With A View" - An Ascent of the Royces

Sunday was a spectacular day in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, so we couldn't rest on our laurels and we just had to get out into the mountains.  We decided to tackle an easier peak with great views, so we chose to hike the Royces (East & West) which can be easily accessed from the Evans Notch Road.  This was just 20 minutes form our campsite near Gorham.

East Royce is in Maine and West Royce is in New Hampshire, but they are easy to hike together (and there is no border crossing to be concerned with!).  We saw quite a few people on the east summit, but we had the west summit to ourselves.  Apart from being attacked by a territorial grouse on the way up the hiking was uneventful, but steep.  Our knees were very happy once we'd made it back to the parking lot!

At the summit of East Royce

Near the scene of the grouse attack

A lovely rocky trail

Mike & Denise enjoying the view from West Royce

The end of one list, and the start of another....

There are forty-eight peaks over 4000-ft in New Hampshire and over the past few years we have been  gradually tackling them whenever the the summits of the high peaks were clear.  Sometimes this was in the winter, sometimes in the summer, and sometimes at other times of year.

By the middle of September this year we had just one remaining peak to go.  We had in fact managed to catch up to our friend Denise who had been at 47 for almost a year (did she wait for us?).  So, we planned a camping trip last weekend to celebrate and to tackle our last remaining peak, Mt Moriah near Gorham, NH.  We were accompanied by our friends Denise, Mike, Bill and Kim.

We chose to ascend the peak via the Stony Brook trail which gives great views of many other peaks including Mount Washington, Pine Mountain, the Carters, the Wildcat range, the Wild River Wildernesss, the Royces (East & West), and the Baldfaces.  Once on the ridge to the summit we relaxed and enjoyed the hiking and each other's company.

To celebrate our achievement we had a picnic lunch at the summit of Mt Moriah, washed down with "bubbly" and tequila.  We took lots of photos and lingered to enjoy the moment.

Our descent took us over the open peak of Shelburne-Moria and then onto the Shelburne Trail.  We hiked about 13-miles in total and finished the day by hiking down an old logging road in the dark.  It was great feeling to have completed this group of high peaks, and now we are trying to decide what list we will tackle next...