A few weekends ago, Ziehl, his friend Annelise and I headed off to the Sandwich Range for a short hike and some ski recon. We decided to tackle Osceola and see if we could get a close look at the slides running down toward the Kanc on the North face of the mountain. The ski recon turned out to be a total flop: once at the top, we found ourselves totally socked in with only 100′ or so of visibility. We could probably have bushed-whacked to the slides using Backcountry Navigator for bearings, but the undergrowth was so thick and the visibility so poor that we scrapped that part of the itinerary. We would have had to trample all sorts of alpine plants and probably still not get a great look at the objective. The rest of the hike was pretty nice though, and Ziehl documents it here.
With winter fast approaching, Ziehl and I figured it was about time for a pre-ski season shakedown cruise on Franconia Ridge. In light of our lofty backcountry skiing ambitions, we felt compelled to benchmark our conditioning on familiar grounds. I also was interested to see how my new shell pants and jacket would perform in alpine conditions. And, with little else to do besides take in the view one step at a time, mountains make the ideal place to get fired up for the upcoming ski season by endlessly speculating as to the snow conditions of various aspects, potential challenges on the approach, estimated ratio of fun to effort…you get the idea. Any way, here’s the map: