The Most Hiked Mountain in the World! 6/9/13...Overrated ;-)
Actually I think it's said to be "one of the most" but the most sounds better. MT Monadnock.
Since Saturday's plan to work on the few peaks I need to finish my list was washed out I was looking at no hiking. I don't do long days on Sundays. But after awaking to a pretty great looking day on Sunday I started to look at maps. I wanted a decent climb, with views, and a reasonable drive. I was coming up with nothing. Then it dawned on me, Monadnock. I'd only climbed it twice before. First time was 1960'something and about 7 years ago on what turned out to be a crappy day. No photos of a Monadnock hike. So, I said what the hell. I knew it's not the place to be on a nice weekend day but thought I could deal with the crowds. To make it potentially worse, I decided to use the White Dot Tr. as it would make for the quickest hike.
I got there with #1 lot full and #2 lot filling fast. On trail at 10:00AM and in 5 minutes already on the heals of the masses. I was starting to utter the phase "mind if I sneak by" every couple minutes. This was just not going to work. I pulled out the map and saw a trail, Old Ski Path, would take me to the Red Spot Trail. It was only .2 miles and the Red Spot had to be better. I could not get there fast enough. I reached the Old Ski Path and was on the Red Dot in no time. Not a soul and complete silence. The Red Spot trail was nice. Rocky, a few scrambles, and some nice views from it. A bit creepy though. The trail stares at you.
I was moving along a pretty good pace with not having to play, dodge the tourist hikers.
Just before I reached the end of the Red Dot Trail I wanted to try my luck at finding Pumpelli"s Hut which was mentioned in a recent TR. No luck there but a cool view of the summit.
I poked around for maybe a half hour looking for that and came out at the last junction. Too distant to see what I was in for.
Then I was was close enough to see what everyone talks about when discussing Monadnock. The CROWDS. The other side had 3 times as many as in this photo.
The views from this mountain are OK, but distant views were fairly hazy. But what I like about the Whites is no matter what peak you climb you've big mountains all around. I like that better than the miles of basically flat (by comparison) you have from Monadnock. That's just my feeling. Nice though.
I pretty much just hit the 4 points of the compass for photos and did an immediate about face and heading back the way I'd come up. I'd thought about altering the decent to avoid the White Dot all together. But that meant more mileage and I really wanted as short a day as possible. Little did I know what was to come. Every pocket was full of water but made for some cool photos.
I was back on the White Dot trail about 1:00 PM. Now I'm dealing with just as many people heading down, as still heading up. I was starting to perhaps be a bit rude about the passing but it was ridiculous. People just standing there looking at the wet, muddy ,slick rocks wondering how on earth do I get down. The lower section of this trail is fairly steep and was very wet from Saturday. Between the people heading down and still up at this time of day, I say I had to bob and weave around 100 people in a half mile. The the unpreparedness I saw was like I'd never seen before. I passed the kiosk and didn't see it, but there must be a sign that reads like this.....
To all first time hikers:
Leave your backpacks, water, food, and extra clothing in the car. You will not need them. And flip-flops are the footwear of choice. If your kids are too tired to walk, just piggy-back them, it's easy. And by all means, of anyone you do see with a backpack, ask as many stupid questions as possible.
Thank-you. Have an unsafe hike.
That's all I have to say about that.