For everyone who has ever asked, “Didn’t you just go [hiking|skiing|biking|rafting|kayaking|insert outdoors sport of choice here]?” Well here is my response. And you may (in fact I encourage you to) quote me on this.
There, I’ve said it: snowliage. That’s precisely what it was, and why we were there. We saw some pretty ripe leaves, some frosted peaks, and some blue skies and generally spent some quality time in the mountains getting stoked for the snow season! Eye candy was produced in abundance.
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:
Yesterday Sweeney and I headed up to the Whites planning to get another look from atop Franconia Ridge. We’d both done the Lincoln – Lafayette loop a few times, via falling waters trial, but it’s a solid day hike with great views and a healthy portion of elevation change-perfect for conditioning for the back country. We got on the trail around 9:40, and made good time up to Little Haystack. Along the way we crossed some pretty serious ice, making me wish I owned some micro-spikes.