Two straight weeks, two straight failed attempts at reaching the summit of Whiteface. Scaled the ledges just fine with the ice axe and crampons, but with several feet of fresh powder up top, we simply ran out of time. I was probably no more than a couple hundred yards from the summit when I turned back.
This mountain is one frustrating winter climb...
We luckily were able to follow old tracks most of the way up
This horrible weather/early sunset/insanely busy lifestyle is starting to take a serious toll on this picture-a-day business. Hopefully I will finally have some time this weekend to be able to shoot outdoors when it is actually still light out.
I really want to invest in a macro lens, but in this case, the inability to get a clean focus up close and the accentuation of the highlights in the picture creates a wonderful, dreamy soft-glow effect.
Accidentally made the mistake of hiking in the exact opposite direction as planned; don't ask what I was thinking, but I never go off plan like this. Was planning to go Diceys Mill to Blueberry Ledge cutoff, up Blueberry to the summit of Mt. Whiteface, and then Rollins Tr back to Diceys up to the summit of Passaconaway and Diceys back to the bottom. I planned this way so that, in the event that the ledges were too risky, I could simply turn back safely. Going in the opposite direction practically required me to commit to heading down them.
Despite my original planned route, I ended up going straight up Diceys to Passaconaway first and then attempted to rush to Whiteface via Rollins. After about 3/4 mile, decided the trail was too loosely packed to be able to hit the pace I needed to be successful before sunset and turned back (assuming I deemed the ledges too risky to descend, I needed to do the 4.6 round-trip on Rollins in 2 hours, and then the 3.7 down to trailhead in 1 hour... an indescribably brisk pace).
Only saw one other on the trail today. Microspikes the entire way and crampons for the final icy ascent. Snowshoes recommended for Rollins Tr.
Round-trip (including the Whiteface failed attempt): 10.6 miles / 5 hours.
Start of the day, looking up towards the Blueberry Ledges
"What would make our small, rural downtown square complete? How about a 100-foot tall model of a space rocket? Just make sure it is taller than the church steeple. That way we will offend not only the eye, but also the spirituality integrity of our residents and guests."
...I imagine that is how the town hall meeting went.
Who's idea was it to make this the tallest thing within fifteen miles?
Brutal conditions along the ridge up to the summit of Moosilauke today; 60 mph sustained winds and 50 feet of visibility made for a tough going. Barely took the camera out at all today; the wind managed to blow snow up and into my pack, effectively filling it (and my previously comfortable camera) with the stuff. With how well my pack was sealed, I still can't believe my misfortune on this one.
Lack of visibility and the barren conditions made it very easy to get lost across the 1.8 mile ridge loop, and any exposed skin was immediately subject to frostbite. Ice quickly formed across the pack and gear and left even the zippers on my jacket lightly frozen in place.
Looked like about six of us hit summit today, though conditions were reportedly substantially better in the morning given one hiker who mentioned he peaked without a face mask or goggles (impossible by the time I reached summit).
Shared the trail with Coco the stray Chocolate Lab on the way down, who was bitterly disappointed when I practically had to pull her out of the driver's seat of my car to inform her she could not come home with me.
Today's trip makes for 100 miles of hiking in the White Mountains in the past three months.
7.8 miles / 4hrs 45min
What to wear to a bank if you want to get LOTS of attention
I was the only one on the trail today; maybe because it was Super Bowl Sunday? Cold and windy? Or maybe just no one was in the mood today to add the extra six miles necessary to hike this mountain in the winter. Didn't really take the camera out much--in the clouds all day with lots of blowing snow and no views. Decided to just enjoy the serenity of the hike. 10 miles / 4hrs 45min.
Lessons Learned on the Trail Today:
1.) Get more than 4 hours of sleep before hiking unless you want even the car ride to the mountain to be physically exhausting.
2.) I love bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches.
3.) Bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches do not love me.
4.) Getting lost within the first 10 minutes of hitting the trials is incredibly embarrassing, even if no one is around to laugh at you.
Shadow-casts have always been interesting to me--I love how they can make your eyes play tricks on you.
Look quickly at the below shot.
If you didn't already notice, what appears to be a red brick building and chimney is actually just a shadow being cast on a larger brick building that is over-exposed (you can make out the outline of its roof at the top of the shot or an AC unit near the bottom right). By over-exposing the shot, the building I was actually aiming at became washed-out, but it brought out the details in the shadow from a building that was to my back. Just add in a little creative framing of the shadow and it creates enough effect to make you think you are actually starting at a normal picture of a brick building with a chimney on top.
Sorry for the lengthy explanation, but enough people commented on how they had no idea what they were looking at that I felt the need to elaborate.
Well, it just occurred to me that it is in fact my birthday today, so I gotta post something relevant. Well, I wasn't prepared for this at all, so I will post a light-art shot I made for a friend who had her own birthday not too long ago (sorry). So... here's to me: