Saturday, January 28, 2017

a hike to the summit of White Ledge

Today's hike: 2 h | 3.4 mi | 1.7 mph with an elevation gain of about 1400 feet.

I hiked to the summit of White Ledge in Albany, NH, starting from the White Ledge campground. The gate is closed, but parking is possible just off the road. The trail is still completely covered in snow, and it's pretty deep, at least a foot in most places.

I used my Kahtoola microspikes the entire way. Some form of traction is really necessary, imho. The snow has a pretty good crust on top, so post-holing is rare. You are more likely to slip on the icy crust, instead. I'm guessing, but I think the trail is pretty solid because of previous hikers who have been along here and compressed the snow in the weeks past. I saw just one set of tracks on the trail, and met someone coming down off the mountain about halfway up. I suspect the trail is pretty well used in the winter, though.

Near the summit, the snow got a lot softer and I wound up post-holing more frequently. I would have been glad to have snowshoes, but the idea of bringing them all that way just to use them near the top seems silly.

The weather was pretty good on the way up, with some blue skies, and the sun peaking through clouds. The clouds thickened up as I reached the summit, and a few flakes of snow came floating down, resulting in a rather gloomy descent.

Here's a note for naturalists: I saw lots of snow fleas along the trail. It did warm up into the 40s this week, and today it was in the mid-30s. The snow fleas seemed to want to congregate in the boot holes left by the person in front of me... Interesting, I have no idea why.

Coming down off the summit of White Ledge

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