Click for Mount Washington, New Hampshire Forecast

Mt. Washington Temp.
Click pic for forecast.

...More Topics...

 

 

Get Firefox!

Backcountry ski and snowboard gear, camping

Donate towards my web hosting bill!

Made with CSS

Validated by W3C

       
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:44 am



Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
 Best Peak for a First Time Winter Hike? 
Author Message
Leg Burner
Leg Burner
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:00 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Arlington, MA
 Best Peak for a First Time Winter Hike?
Hey Everyone,

I'm looking to get into winter hiking this season, and was wondering what a good first time winter hike would be.

I am experienced with three season hiking and have used snowshoes on the flat Lincoln Woods trails. I would go with a friend of mine who has experience with winter conditions, and I do own snowshoes, basic microspikes, and the proper clothing. I do admit, that I have a slight fear of icy rocks and am hoping to learn how to face and conquor it.

Can the winter hikers on this board let me know about what their first winter hike was, or what they'd recommend for a good first time confidence builder? I know that the conditions can vary greatly baseed on the snowpack and weather conditions, and I obviously will only do it if weather looks good.

Thanks for any advice!

_________________
Exploring New Hampshire one peak at a time.


Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:37 pm
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:11 am
Posts: 2230
Location: candia nh
 
Can't go wrong with Pawtuckaway, either North or South or both together. Definitely good for confidence building.

If you want to go bigger here are some other recommendations - roughly in um, ascending, order -
Mt Major
Mt Roberts
Black Cap
Mt Crawford
South Moat
Mt Avalon
Mt Tom
Mt Clinton

_________________
"Prism means never having to feel like no one ever listens to you" - Anonymous


Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:17 pm
Profile
I Spend All My Time on This Forum
I Spend All My Time on This Forum
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:52 pm
Posts: 4029
Location: Goffstown Avatar:I am the Yin to Jimmy's Yang.
 
Well, in general if you remove the Presis and Franconia Ridge from consideration, then just about anything you would find easy in normal seasons would be so in winter (assuming roads are open....but even then you would just then be looking at a longer, but flatter, non exposed and easy extra walk). Add the Presis back into the mix and, as long as conditions are not brutal, Jackson, Pierce and even Ike can be pretty decent hikes not in the realm of impossibility. Anything on Franconia Ridge too would not be too bad again assuming conditions are not that bad.

As for suggestions for easier winter hikes (non 4K since there are already good ones above on that score) to get the ball rolling:

Sugarloaves off Zealand Road.
Willard
Hayes (on the end of the Mahoosucs)
Pagus
Indian Head
Stinson
Cardigan

Brian

_________________
Trekking for a cure blog: http://hardcorenhhiking.blogspot.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trekking-for-a-cure-Giving-MS-the-boot/415764651890362


Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:55 pm
Profile
Adept Ascender
Adept Ascender
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:40 pm
Posts: 653
Location: Earth
 
Any of the following would be excellent IMO:

Stinson Mtn
Mt. Willard
Pack Monadnock
Lake Solitude/White Ledge
North Pawtuckaway loop

If I had to pick one, I'd probably recommend Willard. It's short enough that it's not a trudge, but the views are excellent. If you think that alone isn't worth the trip, you could hike Stinson Mountain off exit 26 (I-93). Easy to moderate grades and good views.

If you're looking for a lowland hike that is on the long side, you could make some nice combos in Pawtuckaway SP.

Good luck!

_________________
NH4K: 48/48 (Completed 10/4/14)
NHFT: 13/15
48X12 (GRID): 55/576
NH52waV: 16/52


Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:10 pm
Profile
Master Mountaineer

Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:40 pm
Posts: 889
 
Since I've just timidly done a few, I may have a feeling for where you're at. Prema and I did Willard with our microspikes 2 years ago MLK Day. It was a nice intro, and the parking was close by. Later that winter, we snowshoed Mt. Tom, same vicinity. That was nice, but remember the temp will drop and the winds will pick up as soon as you're out of the trees. Our other winter stuff was mostly walks in the woods. We did do Waumbek on Easter in wintry conditions. It's not a big long hike, so that may be good (don't know how far you'd have to drive).

Oh geez, I almost forgot, and this is a good one with mega-views and decent climbs, but nothing too major. Mt. Hedgehog, the UNH trail (there are two Mt. Hedgehogs, so make sure it's UNH, off the Kank). Again, it was spring, but lots of snow - we used the shoes on this one - it's a beautiful trail, views of Passaconaway, Chocurua, etc. Have fun!


Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:23 pm
Profile
I Spend All My Time on This Forum
I Spend All My Time on This Forum
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 4828
Location: Exeter, NH
 
scooter wrote:
Can't go wrong with Pawtuckaway, either North or South or both together. Definitely good for confidence building.

If you want to go bigger here are some other recommendations - roughly in um, ascending, order -
Mt Major
Mt Roberts
Black Cap
Mt Crawford
South Moat
Mt Avalon
Mt Tom
Mt Clinton


I second all that. I've been spending a lot of time in Pawtuckaway lately and it's great for winter hiking when they have enough snow if you don't have time to get farther north. Lots of varied terrain and scenery. A month ago they had 18 inches of snow, 10 days ago they had 90% ice on the trails and 6 inches or so off trail, and today was 4 inches of fresh sticky snow on top of that ice, which made bare booting possible my entire route with a slip n slide here or there. Might have been wise to pull out the spikes but I lived to tell the tale (see trip report later once the kids are asleep :wink: )

But based on where you are located that would be an easy drive and spikes would be perfect until more snow arrives. Trails are well marked, although usually in white (which made route finding slightly challenging today in the unbroken snow stuck all over the trees) but you can do anything from a few hundred foot climb up Middle mountain to a complete loop of the ring dike over North and South mountains which is 7 miles with 2000 feet of climbing. Conveniently I have both those trips in one TR here from exactly one year ago today in remarkably similar conditions to what:s there right now if you're interested :D If not, the AMC Southern NH guide does a good job covering many of the trails there too.

http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=5788

Oh, and my first hike in full on winter conditions was East Osceola, but eh first calendar winter hike was Mt. Pierce, but I didn't even know Pawtuckaway existed then.


Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:53 pm
Profile
Peak Bagger
Peak Bagger

Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:02 pm
Posts: 323
Location: New Hampshire
 
I can recommend both Mt. Pemigewasset and Lonesome Lake Trail for good winter hiking with either MicroSpikes or snow shoes. Both are probably easier trails in winter than in the summer and short enough to test your time/distance without getting caught by the early sunset. No icy ledges to climb. Both have spectacular views on a nice day. Both also have easy winter parking.

Mt. Willard would be excellent, too.

I tend to agree with the suggestion in another thread that up and back is probably "safer" than a loop hike in the winter because you can always turn around if you come across uncomfortable conditions (or if you just run out of time).


Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:50 am
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:35 pm
Posts: 1923
Location: south of the notches
 
hwc1954 wrote:
...up and back is probably "safer" than a loop hike in the winter


Generally accepted to be a good practice for beginners especially. When backcountry skiing as a beginner I was advised to always hike up what I planned to ski down. That way there were no surprises.

Of course, if you have a fairly small loop you still have the option of turning back at any point.

_________________
Life is a trip ~ pack accordingly


Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:17 am
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:35 pm
Posts: 1923
Location: south of the notches
 
Interesting resource

http://www.newenglandwaterfalls.com/4000footers.php


worth checking out. I do not necessarily agree with every rating, but a boatload of work and a good resource. YMMV

_________________
Life is a trip ~ pack accordingly


Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:48 am
Profile
Master Mountaineer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:21 am
Posts: 981
Location: Lynn MA
 
My first winter peak was Mt. Moriah from Bangor rd.

(one way according to WMGO)
Distance 4.52 mi
Time 3 hr 58 min
Elev Gain +3411 ft
Elev Loss -185 ft
Elev Change +3226 ft

It was well packed out when i went. Put on microspikes and it was basically a long ramp to the peak with a few PUDs thrown in for good measure. The views along the way i would stack up against other favorites like Pierce any day of the week. Excellent views into the Great Gulf and Northern Pressis. The trail is practically sheltered the entire route minus a few just off trail ledges with the views and the summit. The summit is just a few moments away from the shelter of the trees.


Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:43 am
Profile
Leg Burner
Leg Burner
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:31 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Bellingham, MA Dubois, Wyoming
 
Mt Tecumseh is always a good one to start with. Round trip is only a little over 4 miles. Steady not steep. No exposed ledges. Ski area is right there. Really good for testing out what to wear and how to adjust your body temperature. Like pretty much everyone, my first winter hike I over dressed, sweated like crazy, then got cold.


Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:29 pm
Profile
Peak Bagger
Peak Bagger

Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:02 pm
Posts: 323
Location: New Hampshire
 
Hah. I had to buy a bigger backpack for winter hiking, just to accommodate the increased number of clothing layers, gloves, hats, etc that I feel like I nee to carry. As it turns out, I usually end up dressng much lighter than I ever would have imagined, but god help me if I'm every forced to stop for long dressed like that. Hence, the bigger backpack with a ridiculous number of layers...

Looks like hiking conditions should take a marked turn for the better across NH this week with snow and then consistent cold instead of the rain/freeze/snow/rain/thaw cycles that have made for miserable trail conditions for a month. Not sure I'll brave the single digit temps mid-week, but I'll be out somewhere towards the end of the week. I'll probably either explore Pawtuckaway or cruise up and do Lonesome Lake if it's a bluebird day.


Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:29 pm
Profile
Adept Ascender
Adept Ascender
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:44 am
Posts: 700
Location: Boston's North Shore
 
I think Pierce via Crawford Path is always a great place to start. It's one of the 4Ks, but it's fairly benign. Don't let the 4Kness intimidate you. It's sheltered most of the way up, not too steep, and there are usually other hikers there to help out or offer advice.

The views for the effort are incredible, too!

_________________
My Outdoorsy Blog: www.outdoorsbycracky.com
My daily journal: https://www.facebook.com/outdoorsbycracky


Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:06 pm
Profile
Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:33 pm
Posts: 21
 
Our first winter hike was Blue Job. We have been taking the dogs to Northwood Meadows for the past few winters, but wanted to get out and do some more challenging hikes.

We chose Blue Job as it was close to home and a short hike too. We got to test out the new pack and microspikes. Of course, we went on Saturday...right in the middle of a storm!

Sunday, we hit up the Indian Head trail up Mt. Pemi. It was a fairly easy hike up, but the view at the summit wasn't so great due to light snow coming down. All in all, it was a good trip, and we hit up Moat Mountain brewery for a late lunch.


Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:41 pm
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:22 pm
Posts: 1974
Location: Boise, ID
 
I would put a vote in for Kearsarge North. Not too long, great views from the top on a sunny day, and a fire tower that can be used to warm up/get out of the elements/have a snack.

_________________
NH4ks 48x3
W48

They call me Mrs. Ambitious.


Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:51 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Hike-NH.com based on STSoftware.