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View Full Version : Fiance's 1st Hike: Welch-Dickey



claaky23
09-29-2009, 09:10 PM
Well after about 10 consecutive weekends of my fiance wondering what this little hobby/weight-loss tactic was all about, we decided that it was time I drag her on a hike. My first attempt at this involved dragging her up a 1/2 mile hill on Mt. Wachusett with 600 ft.. This didn't go so well, so I was very glad she'd give it another try.
My first idea was a simple trip up Monadnock, but then on the advice of MTruman and Anna Leblanc I decided to switch plans on Jen while she was sleeping in preparation of her big debut.
While she slept(she goes to bed very early) I was puttering around packing and realized that I had no idea how long this would take Jen, so I packed enough food for multiple meals. I knew she wanted to go very slow or else she wouldn't enjoy it, and I didn't want to ruin this experience since it was my last chance to get her interested.
I was carrying a very heavy pack, full of layers(she gets cold easy) and tons of food(I'd be hungry if I were out there for a long time.) We headed up the trail around Noon, on our way to Dickey. We went at a nice leisurely pace and were getting passed by just about everybody, but for once it didn't bother me. We got to some ledgey sections which Jen thought were fun, and also a section that was attempting to be restored and blocked off by fallen branches.
I started explaining to Jen as best as I understood that alpine plants are fragile and sometimes above treeline take years and years to just grow an inch. I also told her that they help hold soil in place so that someday the whole mountain isn't just one big rock(I'm not sure if that was true or not).
We got to a wide open clearing where there were a lot of people and I tried to point out whatever 4000 fters I could but it turned out that a father was doing the same for his son right next to us so I told jen to listen to him, he'd know better.
The rest of the hike is basically on ledge all the way to the summit. Some sections made Jen a little nervous being so exposed, but I told her you get used to it. It was also extremely hot without the protection of shade or breeze. Once at the top of Welch we ate an enjoyable lunch looking West and headed over to the other peak. Descending Welch had a section that Jen thought was comical because of the appearance of how steep it was(and it actually was steep). Climbing Dickey also had a few difficult sections for a new hiker(Jen) and for a person that had trouble squeezing between the rocks. Eventually we made it and I explained to her the Franconia ridge in the distance, as well as the hike from a few weeks before. She was a little more interested in my hike now that she was out enjoying the views for herself. The descent was uneventful except for a really nice section along the ridge that has a pretty steep cliff. I don't do well near heights so I stayed clear and advised Jen to do the same. The trip down was nice and Jen was doing much better than I thought.

All in all I think it was a very successful first trip. Now that she doesn't mind joining me I like scowering everybody's trip report to look for more hikes that give you "bang for the buck"

John

Brad
09-30-2009, 05:44 AM
John,

Nice trip and it sounds like a successful one. I like N Kearsage just north of N Conway off Hurricane Mt Road for an easy but longer hike. Most of the hike is protected by trees with some lookouts. Then the trail turns sharp right and you are out near the summit which has a fire tower on it. So, if it is windy or cool go up the steps and get in the fire tower. Great views and a nice day.

mtruman
09-30-2009, 07:55 AM
Sounds like Jen had a great intro to White Mountain hiking! Welch&Dickey is a great hike and something she should be proud of for a first time out. All it takes is a couple like this and she'll be hooked for sure. There are lots of other good "bang for the buck" hikes in the area that will get her to the views while she's breaking into the "legwork". A few good ones (all really easier than Welch/Dickey) - Mt Avalon (one of my favorites), Mt Willard, the Sugarloaves, Lonesome Lake, Lowe's Bald Spot - the list goes on and on. When the foliage is peak a mid-week hike up Monadnock (with slightly lower crowds) is good too. Looking forward to that in the next few weeks ourselves.

Anna LeBlanc
09-30-2009, 08:56 AM
John I'm sooo glad Jen enjoyed the hike.And Mark has given you a great list of hikes for you to do with her.All relatively easy with a little different twist to each of them.
She might also enjoy hiking up the West Side Trail on Mt Cardigan over near Canaan,NH. It has a wonderful 360degree view from the summit.Maybe some time in the future after she has a few more good hikes under her belt she'll be asking you to take her across the Franconia Ridge Trail;)Happy hiking!!!!

Snow Miser
09-30-2009, 12:33 PM
John, it's great that her first hike with you went well. May you two enjoy many more together. And if you don't already have one, might I suggest picking up a copy of the AMC White Mountain Guide with maps. I recently purchased one, and it is an excellent resource with very detail trail descriptions, elevation gains, etc. It would be great for planning those increasingly tougher hikes.

Brad
09-30-2009, 06:12 PM
John, it's great that her first hike with you went well. May you two enjoy many more together. And if you don't already have one, might I suggest picking up a copy of the AMC White Mountain Guide with maps. I recently purchased one, and it is an excellent resource with very detail trail descriptions, elevation gains, etc. It would be great for planning those increasingly tougher hikes.
What out - it is a very small book. So, you two will have to get real close to see it together.

claaky23
09-30-2009, 07:08 PM
For your comments and advice.

I do have the AMC guide though, and I browse through it, although hikes seem more interesting on here with pictures and TR's than the Guide makes them seem.
Brad, good idea though studying the book together. I could use it as an excuse to make a move!

Brad
09-30-2009, 10:15 PM
She had better watch out! Hiking could be fun. At least the planning part.

claaky23
10-01-2009, 04:09 AM
I figured out how to get the pics from the camera.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31463794&l=df27b5f778&id=60803290

Brad
10-01-2009, 06:08 AM
On a day like that how could anyone not like being up there?

mtruman
10-01-2009, 07:28 AM
Great pictures of an obviously great hike. The look on Jen's face says it all too. I see lots more hiking in your future. And Anna's suggestion about Cardigan excellent too. We've now done that one in winter and spring and I'm really looking forward to a fall hike there with the foliage!

CHRIS
10-01-2009, 07:49 AM
Wow I don't know how I missed this trip report. Duh!! Great report and I love the pictures. It brings back alot of memories as for this hike was my very first ever hike and I was hooked. Thank you for sharing and look forward to many more.

Snow Miser
10-01-2009, 04:48 PM
Very nice pictures John. I look forward to reading more of your TRs. Thanks for sharing!

Tim&Val
10-01-2009, 06:18 PM
What a wonderful first hike in the Whites! Congratulations for making it so great for Jen!

I agree with all the aforementioned "next hikes" from Mark and Anna. Also, don't discount the Squam range. The loop over Mts Percival and Morgan is great!

Looking forward to your trip reports in the future,
Valerie