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Tar Heel
03-29-2011, 07:05 AM
I haven't updated my personal blog yet with the pictures but if you go to the EMS blog they have a few of my pictures.



A Good Bye to Winter

As dad and I left my house on Friday it was hard to believe it was still winter. It was 75 degrees out after all. Memories of the warmth faded as we traveled north. Last year we had done a hike a day or two before winter officially began. It was -11 degrees at the trailhead with at least 2 feet of snow on the ground. As much as it felt like it was winter the cold hard truth was that we could not count it as a winter 4000ft. This time we were going out on the last full day of winter. No matter what it was like it was still winter.

We had been putting off doing Mt. Cabot because it was so far from the condo. No one else was going to be up with us this weekend so we decided it was a good opportunity to make the trek to the Great North Woods. Our concern was that there is a gate that closes at 4:00PM to the fish hatchery. We didn?t want to get behind on our hike and then be locked in. As we drove into the hatchery we almost missed even seeing the gate buried in the snow. Guess we don?t have to worry about that. I felt a lot better knowing there was no set time we had to be out by. I don?t feel like it is as much fun when you have restrictions on time in the back of your mind while hiking.

Starting off with just Yaktrax wasn?t our best choice. Within 30minutes we needed to switch over to our snowshoes. The snow was getting soft which meant we were post holing. The beginning of the trail was quite easy. In fact it included some gradual downhill. I don?t like going downhill when I am suppose to be going up. That just means later on when I am tired on the way back I will have to be going uphill. We were breezing through with ease. Part of the trail followed along a stream that would come back to haunt us on the decent. The trail doesn?t start to get steep until about 3.5miles in. To help with the steepness there are multiple switchbacks. I enjoy switchbacks. While it does require you to cover more distance I feel that they are kinder on our legs and lungs. We had stopped once for a short nutrition break but decided to power through and get to Cabot Cabin before having lunch. I was really hungry so the last little bit before reaching the cabin seemed to take forever. There was a small little clearing in front of the cabin that the heavens were shining down on. I proceeded to pop right down on the porch for my Pop Tart; food first, pictures second. I enjoyed basking in the sunlight when it was not hiding behind some clouds. After eating some lunch and checking out the cabin we decided to leave our bags hanging on the porch and head to the summit. The true summit was a short distance from the cabin. We found the sign at the summit and got our pictures to prove we had made it. Yay, 40 of the New Hampshire 4kers down, only 8 more to go (the Bonds, the Wildcats, Owl?s Head, Isolation, and Monroe).

On the way down we came across 2 people coming up. We discussed snowshoes for a little bit (they also were wearing MSRs) and then headed on our way. Generally I really enjoy descending, especially in the winter. I have a 6th speed which I crank up and go. Today was a bit different. Once we got off the steeper section of the trail things were turning into a mushy mess. Ick, spring snow is not cool. This was about the point I wondered if I should have brought my tails to put onto my snowshoes. Dad, being heavier, was having a bit more difficulty then me. That is until we reached the stream. Snow does a great job of covering things up. Now I knew I was close to the stream but I didn?t know how wide it was and didn?t know I was on it. I was just following all those footprints before me. So my right foot breaks through the snow and I start falling. I look to where I am going and think, well crap. There is a few feet of water and I don?t want to get my trusty EMS Power Stretch fleece wet, or the rest of me for that matter. Somehow as I fall sideways the snow bridge that is covering the water right where I am falling holds out. I start laughing and tell dad to get a picture of me. He then precedes to posthole both legs right by me. I can see under the snow and help navigate him stable land. From here I have to remove my backpack and hand it to dad so that I can get out. The rest of the way back was less exciting. This is a good thing because post holing can be a painful experience.

Snow Miser
03-29-2011, 07:55 AM
This sounds like a nice end of the winter hike, despite the messy spring like snow. Glad you didn't fall all the way into the water. Thanks for sharing. :)

KSearl
03-30-2011, 09:14 PM
Tar Heel,

Great TR! Thanks for sharing! I can see that post holing will be an issue from this point until the snow is gone. At least you did have snowshoes to strap one...smart move bringing them. I know what you mean about downhill trails on the ascent. It makes me feel very counterproductive!

Karl