Monday, November 19, 2012

Family Weekend

Last month I promised to post the photos from our hikes over fall family weekend, but didn't have time to edit the photos until now. And I think most of the photos are probably on my mom's camera in Texas... oh well. Time to dive in.

For our weekend, my parents and I stayed at Pinkham Notch in the White Mountains. It's near the base of Mount Washington. The weather was iffy, so we decided early on that we wouldn't make an attempt on the summit, especially since we've done it a few times before and didn't need to again. Given our chosen path, that was probably a good decision. The route my father decided to take was up Huntington Ravine, through the Alpine Garden, and down the Lion Head. In retrospect, that was not the smartest way to go on such a damp and windy day.

Huntington Ravine is arguably one of the more dangerous paths in this area of the White Mountains, because of the rock slab and other outcroppings you have to climb up to get to the top. While these would not be too nasty on a dry day, they're slippery when wet. It's a good place to have a rope, even if it's just to be extra cautious. We didn't have one.

When we got to the rock slab, which requires a friction climb to the top, we found that it was very slick in some places, and at first it looked like we wouldn't be able to scale it. Having dismissed the marked route as not doable, we then proceeded to look around for all other possible ways up. Nothing went. Finally, we retried the marked path, and by that time it didn't seem so bad compared to the others. It went after all. Amazing, right? Who would have thought that the best path would be the marked one?

Finally we made our way to the top of the ravine, where we suddenly realized that--wow--it was actually kind of windy. The clouds were amazing, spilling from the Alpine Garden down into various ravines and gulches like the one we'd just come out of. The landscape looked very Scottish.

At the end of the Alpine Garden, which was actually a very short walk, we started down the Lion Head. I think that was probably the least comfortable part of the hike. I liked it more than scrambling up the seemingly endless Huntington Ravine, but the Lion Head was a steep downhill on rock. Even though the rocks were like stairs, all of our knees took a beating.

Just in time, we emerged from the woods and back into Pinkham Notch. It was just beginning to rain, and there was enough time to take a nice hot shower and be dressed in time for the 6:00 dinner call. It was short hike, but seemed like a pretty long day. There wasn't enough vertical rise to compare it to a lot of the hikes we do in Jackson, but there were some pretty sketchy spots in Huntington Ravine, and I wouldn't call it an easy hike.

As for photos, I just checked my hard drive and it turns out that for most of the trip, I was busy playing with my mom's new Rebel, so all the photos are on her computer. The one good photo on my camera that I actually took myself was this one:

Reminds me so much of fall! Fall is a great season. But it's winter now, so frost and snow are on their way! I have mixed feelings but winter means that morning and evening chores need doing on the farm, so I'm happy.

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