With summer finally here in New Hampshire, I’ve got the chance to schedule a hike in the mountains without concern for the weather. That’s tough to do the other 3 seasons of the year, as weather is temperamental; you don’t want to get caught in extreme wind or cold when approaching a summit or traversing a ridge. Therefore, I plan hikes during the other parts of the year no more than a week ahead, and only with the blessings of the meteorologists.
In summer, the worst that can happen is rain. And I suppose wind, but generally wind is less dangerous in the summer, as it’s less likely to make a cold temperature deadly. Rain is manageable. I have rain gear. Hiking in the rain isn’t at the top of my list of fun things to do, but it’s far from miserable in my book.
That in mind, I’ve booked a two-hut stay in the White Mountains for a couple of weeks from now. By a “hut stay”, I’m referring to a hut operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. I’m an AMC member, which gives me a bit of a discount to stay at the huts. Now, the huts are sort of semi-roughing it. It saves the hiker from having to pack in the food, tent, and some of the bedding you’d otherwise have to carry. You also meet some interesting folks. You are definitely far from civilization.
My trip will consist of driving into Gale River trailhead, and then grabbing the AMC shuttle over to the Zealand trailhead. I’ll hike the 2.8 miles into Zealand hut, where they’ll feed me and I’ll sleep in one of the bunks. Then in the morning, I’ll get breakfast and hit the trail. The goal is to grab as many 4,000 footers in the area as I can handle. If it’s not raining, that could be a lot. I’m hopeful at least. On the list of peaks to bag are North Twin, South Twin, West Bond, Bond, Bondcliff, and Galehead. Zealand, Garfield, and Hale are also in the vicinity, but I’ve already got them. I’ll stay at Galehead hut (dinner, sleep, and breakfast again), probably bag Galehead in the morning, then hike back to the car. Hiking into Zealand is 2.8 miles. The following day, IF I can bag the Twins and the Bonds, I’ll do 15.5 miles (if I did all my math right). The last day would be 5.4 miles.
I’m giddy to have this trip booked. Seriously feeling like a little kid before a trip to the amusement park. Something’s a bit off in my head perhaps, as I know I’ll be coming home tired and sore. But also happy. Nothing like time on the trail.