Friday, October 29, 2010

My Hiking Season

Jill and I on Mount Lafayette in early September

As I sit here on Friday night, writing in my blog, I can't help but feel saddened as October comes to a close. As October ends, it definitely signifies the end of hiking season for me. I'm not saying I won't go on a few hikes this winter, but I know that a bulk of my hiking occurs between late spring and early fall.

Jill and I on Mount Osceola in late May

I feel that the reasons I don't do much hiking in the winter months are pretty common. The first and most obvious reason is the weather. The days in which I wouldn't feel comfortable hiking due to high winds, icing, snow, etc. are much more frequent in these months. The second reason is really due to schedule. During the spring/summer/fall months, I seem to have an easy time procrastinating and ensuring that all my free weekends are spent with nature, out on the trails. In the winter months, I play catch up and work on all the house projects that I have neglected during hiking season!

Me, conquering Mount Moosilauke in early May, One of my greatest adventures!

As I reflect back on my 2010 hiking season, I can honestly say I wouldn't change any part of it. Jill and I hiked many mountains that were goals for us heading into the hiking season. We hiked the difficult Holt Trail on Mount Cardigan, overcoming some true worries and fears while executing the rock scrambles. We traversed the Franconia Ridge and got our first ever views into the beautiful Pemigewasset Wilderness. We climbed the Sugarloafs and had the summits to ourselves for over an hour, just admiring how beautiful New Hampshire really is.

This year, I've hiked with great friends as well. I climbed the intimidating Flume Slide Trail and lived to tell about it with my good friend Matt. I brought my buddy Sean up to his first summit bid ever, to top of Mount Potash in the Sandwich Range Wilderness. And I helped organize an employee hike for my company, which was part of our Wellness Initiative at work.

Me, roosting on top of Mount Flume in mid September, amazed by my accomplishment!

Aside from the summit and destination objectives, a lot of other great things happened this hiking season too. I've met so many great people in the State who have the same passion for the outdoors that I do. Through forums and blogging, I could say I've networked well, which has resulted in meeting these people, but I feel it is much more than just that. I would gladly call these people my friends, not my network. I would proudly hike with them all and would want to grab a beer with them after to share hiking adventures. Like I said, they're friends to me.

Finally, maybe one of the best things that happened this hiking season was signing onto Blogger and starting my blog, Live Free and Hike New Hampshire. Through a lot of encouragement from Jill and the inspiration of a few blogs I had been reading on a regular basis, I decided to try it. I honestly thought I would write two posts and probably forget about it. After all, I'm an engineer, not a writer. I wrote my first blog posting and I was hooked. I believe that is because I'm writing about what I love...

Sean and I on Mount Potash, Sean's first summit bid in early October

Now, even though I consider this the end of my hiking season, it does not mean I will stop hiking. It's just that I will not be hiking as frequently. I already have plans to go for a hike or nature walk in the seacoast region this weekend...possibly Stratham Hill Park...who knows. Since I will not have as many up-to-date trip reports to share in the coming months, I plan on writing about other things such as hiking equipment reviews, memorable hikes of mine and the beautiful mountains in general. The hiking season coming to an end isn't all bad, though, because it gives me an excuse to get my snowshoes out :) !

Jill and I on Mount Jackson (fighting off gray jays!) in early August



  1. Hi Karl! Congrats on all of your hiking accomplishments this year. Those are some wonderful looking areas that you got to hike. Way outshine the puny little hillsides I get to walk here in NE Iowa. But they should be somewhat of a challenge this winter. I might even give snowshoeing a try myself.

    Here's to next year! Hope it goes as well as this year for you.

  2. Karl, I've enjoyed following your hikes. And by the way, Engineering and Writing are not mutually exclusive - if push comes to shove, we can still string a sentence or two together! ;-) (or is it string together a sentence or two...)

  3. Hi Casey, thanks for checking out my blog. I have to say, New Hampshire is truly a beautiful State, especially up in the northern half with the White Mountains National Forest. If you ever make your way over here from Iowa, drop me a line and I can give you some hiking suggestions.

    Hey Jim, I've enjoyed following your hikes down in CT as well. Especially your recent posting on Bear Mountain. A forum friend of mine just hiked that peak a couple weeks back and it is now on my list! As far as being an engineer...math has always been my stronger skill...have never done well with writing...but, if my blog has a grammar mistake or two, I won't sweat it. My readers will get the point!

    Take care guys,

  4. Karl ~ I do hope you continue writing even if the season is at a close...especially since you have been chosen to be a Featured Outdoor Blogger of the week on the OBN this week!
    Congrats to you. I'm placing your RSS feed on the site now and the official post will be up by the end of the night.
    Well done!

  5. Wow, thanks so much! It's very exciting and unexpected. THANKS!

    I will certainly not stop writing. The funny thing is, I'm looking at it as an opportunity to catch up on other nature/hiking/equipment topics.

    Also, just because I feel my season is over doesn't mean I won't hike or snowshoe whenever the opportunity arises. In fact, I hiked this past weekend and may be hiking this weekend coming up!

    Thanks again for featuring my blog and allowing me to be part of the Outdoor Blogger Network!


  6. Karl, sounds like an awsesome season! Gotta say - I did the Flume Slide trail on a 90 degree day this season and man, almost died! That trail is no joke.. We felt pretty triumphant when we finished that day, lol.

    I kind of stop hiking during the winter too, I don't have the gear & don't like the cold! I am going to try and do some local hiking if I can over the rest of the winter.

    Here's to a badass 2011 season in the Whites! :D


  7. Hi Liz!

    Glad you found my site! I agree, I think the Flume Slide was the hardest trail is one of the hardest trails I've been on so far. The upper portion of the Holt Trail on Cardigan is the only one that may have been more difficult. I remember feeling triumphant, too, when finally make your way to the Osseo Trail junction...I think my favorite part was Liberty's summit. That has to be one of my favorites so far.

    Hiking in the winter is a different animal, for sure. We do a lot of local hiking in the winter and a couple bigger hikes, but nothing too crazy.

    I hope you bag a lot of peaks in 2011 toward your quest for the NE67!

    Thanks for stopping by!