For anyone who is interested in getting started hiking the 4000 footers of the New Hampshire White Mountains, this reference may be very useful. It rates the difficulty level of many single peaks and combinations, from easiest (Mt. Hale) to the hardest (The Bonds). I came across it while investigating some of the easier 4000 footers, which I am looking to hike since I sat out most of the winter due to a nagging hamstring injury.
On another note, there is at long last an official website for the Four Thousand Footer Club. It’s pretty paltry right now, but it will be getting better and previously the organization had no web presence.
For a warm up hike yesterday, I hiked Mt. Monadnock in Western New Hampshire. Mt. Monadnock is said to be the 2nd most climbed mountain in the world after Japan’s Mt.Fuji. I’ve read that on a holiday weekend in the 70’s, it is estimated that 10,000 people climbed the mountain in one day. Not exactly where you go for solitude, but there are some less travelled trails that can be use to avoid the mobs until the summit. We used the Parker Trail and the White Arrow Trail and they seemed to work.
Here is a picture of the rocky wonderland that is the top of Mt. Monadnock:
Climbing some of the rocks for fun:
While up in the White Mountains over the weekend I went to the New England Ski Museum and came across some early snowboards. These funky boards all had ropes to grab on to and I guess to steer. Below is a picture I took of them- from left to right: Snurfer, Winterstick and Backhill.
Down in Boston over the weekend, I noticed the new cable-stayed Zakim Bridge is now open for business. The bridge, named for late civil rights activist Leonard P. Zakim, is a sharp looking bridge that will probably become a prominent symbol of the city. One slightly disappointing thing about it is there is no way for pedestrians to walk across it. It’s too bad because most truly great bridges in great cities are walkable. Anyway, here is a picture I took of it:
I almost thought this had to be a prank when I first read this. The Old Man of the Mountain, the great symbol of the great state of New Hampshire, collapsed sometime over the last few days. For anyone who has never seen it, The Old Man is a natural rock formation that takes on the appearance of the profile of a face sticking out the side of Cannon Mountain. It has been a ritual for me to stop there and admire the Old Man when passing through Franconia Notch in the White Mountains. There will definitely be something missing the next time I am there. Besides missing the Old Man for sentimental reasons, he will also be missed because he appears on New Hampshire license plates, NH quarters, state road signs and in many other places.
Here’s a picture I took of the Old Man of the Mountain a couple of years ago…
Daniel Webster once said of the Old Man:
Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoemakers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but in the mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men.
I don’t know if I could do what this guy did. He was doing a solo climb in Blue John Canyon in southwestern Utah when a huge boulder fell on him, pinning his arm. After being trapped for 5 days and running out of water he amputated his own arm to get out- yikes! I hope that doesn’t happen to me when I go hiking in Colorado this summer : ) . Here is a link to this guy’s website.
Opera makes me want to surf even when I don’t need to look for anything, just to use it. Also, after using Internet Explorer for so long, switching to Opera makes you feel like you’ve jumped into the future and you are using the browser of 5 years from now.