Pemigewasset Wilderness from Mount Osceola
Mount Osceola 4340'
Tripoli Road and Mount Osceola Trail
12.4 Miles 3050' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
This trip report could have many different names. One could be: Killing the White Whale. Another could be: Making Osceola Long and Difficult. You get the idea. In February of '06 we climbed East Osceola. Instead of being tough, we turned back because we were cold and tired and not really sure we were doing this W4K thing. Last year in terrible unconsolidated snow conditions we turned back before even reaching East Osceola. Sick of climbing that side of the trail, we opted to go to plan B. Three miles of groomed roadwalk, then three point two miles up, three point two miles down and three more miles of groomed roadwalk. Sounded good. Would the trail be broken out from that side? Trip reports said, "Yes!" Well, there was a trench, but there was still three to five inches of packable snow to break through. Conditions were just right that it packed nice, but didn't stick to our snowshoes or to Emma's fur. Thank you mountain gods!
The trip in along Tripoli Road went well. We shared the road with the paying customers who were on skis. This went well until I noticed someone coming down the hill. I called Emma to me well in advance of this skier's arrival. Unfortunately, someone else was skiing up the hill behind us. With the noise of our snowshoes we never heard this person approach and we were fixated on the descending skier. When I called Emma to me she ran right into the path of the ascending skier who saw fit to just ski over her. No harm done and he wasn't angry or anything, just kept going, but it would have been nice to know he was approaching from the rear before he was on top of us. The skier descending hadn't reached us yet, then passed without incident. The rest of the day we were looking over our shoulders. I'm sure many are thinking "Well, why wasn't your dog on a leash?" Well, because she follows voice command very well. If we had known someone was approaching from the rear she would not have been in their way, but this skier gave no warning. Anyway, my point is: if you're skiing and approach someone on snowshoes from the rear, they may not be aware of your approach due to the clatter of their snowshoes or whatever. Give some warning or you may find yourself skiing over them!
At the kiosk we had a quick bite and a drink, then started the ascent along the Mount Osceola Trail. All the snow had melted off the trees, so this was not to be a problem as it had been for Steve a week or two ago. There were still some face slappers to try to avoid. A few eye gougers, too. I managed to retain most of my facial skin and sight in both eyes again on this trip. Not always easy, but easier on this trip than most. We got a little mixed up at one switchback, but soon figured it out. It was actually nice to climb by switchback on this day. Usually I hate them, but they do make the going easier.
Eventually Jude shot ahead and beat me to the summit where there were deep drifts to negotiate. This slowed her down enough that I caught up and we arrived about the same time. Standing on one of these drifts we got our first look around. To the southwest Moosilauke rose above the landscape. Further north was Franconia Ridge. To the north lay the Pemigewasset Wilderness ringed by Garfield, The Twins and the Bonds. Owl's Head lay nestled in between Franconia Ridge and The Bonds. East of there lay the Hancocks and Carrigain with Mount Washington being the only President to poke his head above the clouds this day. Further east were the Carters, the Baldies, the Doubleheads, Kearsarge North, The Sisters, Chocorua and then finally to the southeast the Tripyramids with the great scar of North Tripyramid Slide reflecting it's white surface back at us. Turning completely around we could see Sandwich Dome and the Waterville Valley Ski Area on Mount Tecumseh.
What a day! It was 45 degrees on the summit! Eat some lunch, soak up some rays, knock off another W4K, nice! On the way back down we had the good fortune to run into LRiz with a mystery woman. As is usually the case, this person recognized Emma right away! Being at a loss, I finally asked, and she introduced herself as Cath Goodwin! Seriously, I was humbled in their presence. Here were two women that I knew could kick my butt at this hiking thing. I know. There are many, many more on these boards as well! It was great to see Larisa again, and equally great to finally meet Cath. They didn't hike no Tripoli Road to get there. They came over Tecumseh, over Osceola and East Osceola, then back along Greeley Ponds. Wish I could hike like that, but I'm not a girl! Emma tried to remain aloof, but later she told me, "Those two rock!"
Great trip report and fantastic pictures. It looks like it was a near perfect day. It must have been nice to sit on the summit in 45 degree weather. Thanks for sharing.
Congratulations Capt. Ahab - the whale couldn't survive you persistence!
And what an amazing day to finally bag it. Great pictures as usual. The first closeup shot of Emma looking up at the camera is one of my favorites ever. Nice to see her in her beloved mountain snow without her being a walking icicle (not that she seems to mind that either). Great contrast with the closing picture from the next day at the beach. Gotta love New England...
3rd Times A Charm-Osceola
Great report and pictures of your day. I too wish I could hike like Larisa and Cathe. Maybe in my next life. Also, it is sooooo nice when you can sit on the summit and enjoy the views.
I enjoyed your trip report and the picture of the Pemigewasset Wilderness! From the Kanc to 13 Falls, from Cannon on the west to the Zealand Ridge in the east. and in between Flume, Liberty, Franconia Ridge, Owlshead, Garfield, Twins and Bonds. A great shot of the heart of the White Mountains.
Myths can't be translated as they did in their ancient soil. We can only find our own meaning in our own time. -Margaret Atwood, writer (1939-)
Jimmy Legs- Yup, third times a charm on this mountain, too!
Laudizen- Thanks, it's really a great view from there. The first couple of trips I had no idea! We were in fog.