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I reach the summit of a non-mountain February 28, 2009

Posted by Jenny in hiking, White Mountains.
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I was hiding behind the rock in the foreground

I was hiding from the north wind behind the rock in the foreground. Lincoln is in the background.

(The pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

I climbed a non-mountain today, Little Haystack on Franconia Ridge, elev. 4760′.  When I arrived around noon, it was windy enough that I had trouble keeping my balance during the gusts, though I could see that it could be done with a little persistence—a group of three guys were making their way along the ridge toward Lincoln (elev. 5089′).  But I’ve already done all of the winter NH 4000 footers, so I wasn’t motivated enough to go any further.  (Little Haystack is considered a shoulder of Lincoln rather than a mountain in itself, because there is only a 100′ drop between them.)

We’re getting now to the point in winter when the sun starts shining very powerfully on all that white and blue terrain, so that it looks frigid but feels warm at the same time, somehow.   I had a beautiful climb up the Falling Waters trail.  It was well packed down by snowshoers who had probably gone up on Wednesday (the last good hiking day we had).  I carried my snowshoes and my crampons but ended up only using my microspikes, which are great for going up steep stretches of packed-down snow.

All of the waterfalls along the trail were hidden under a lot of snow, but every now and then you could see gaps in the thick cushion of white where the water underneath showed through.

This waterfall had an interesting hole where you could see the water behind the snow

This waterfall had a porthole where you could see the water behind the snow

I took another picture that got fogged somehow at the top, but I still like it, looking up at the morning sun through a grove of spruce.

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A frozen waterfall that flows in from one of the tributary streams

Near the end of my hike, I found some rocks that had perfect pillows of soft, fresh white snow on top of them.  I was reminded of that thing that happens in snowfall, which children notice but we start to take for granted after a while, when each object has its own snow cap on it that seems carefully tailored to fit the shape of the object.

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Plump snow pillows

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Comments»

1. Curly - March 4, 2009

Thanks for your recent comments at South Shields Daily Photo they are much appreciated.

I see you are the outdoor type, and probably a lot younger and fitter than I am. Do you ever feel pressured to add to your blog?

2. Jenny - March 4, 2009

Thanks for visiting here! Right now my blog is still only a few months old and I have so many things I want to tell about that it doesn’t feel like an obligation. I can see that with your setup, having a daily photo, it does seem to put you “under the gun” to come up with a new post every day. I think your visitors would understand if you skipped a day here and there!

By the way, to anyone reading these comments, please do click on Curly’s name or photo above and visit his site of photos from a town in northern England. They are wonderful!

P.S. to Curly: You’d never guess how I found your blog–it was because you had something related to the Boer War, which is one of my big interests!

3. Peter Bennett - March 7, 2009

Nice photo of the ice and trees with mist. Is the mist a result of fog or clouds, or is the mist rising from the falling water?

4. Jenny - March 7, 2009

Hate to say it, but it’s fogging on the lens. What might have happened is that when I took off the lens cap, my hand was so warm from the charcoal hand-warmers I use in my mittens that the temperature difference caused the fogging. But I still like the photo myself!


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