Mt. Monadnock on 10/14


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  1. #1

    Mt. Monadnock on 10/14

    Did my first Mt. Monadnock on 10/14 with my wife. Started at 11:30AM on Birchcroft then to Red Spot. The weather was perfect for hiking but the trail was a bit muddy in places. We spent quite a bit of time waiting in line about half way up and were always in sight of other hikers thought the day. The packs of screaming kids was almost unbearable and I was tempted a few times to bad things. We stopped near the top and found an isolated spot to have a PB&J and some fruit and enjoy a the views and some solitude. Dug out some warm fleeces to counter the cold winds and passed a few small patches of ice and made it to the top a bit past 2. There were only a 100 or so people at the top so it wasn't overly crowded but the views were fantastic. The highlight for me was the 2 A-10 Warthog jets that buzzed the top of the mountain (wish they used the guns.
    The hike down was about as long as the hike up due to long lines and terrified people. Some turd graffitied a rock about a mile from the parking lot which I did not notice on my way up but was a fitting end to the hike.
    Is this the norm on a good weekend? Also, I'm fairly new too hiking and am looking for some goals/ guidance on how long a hike like this should take for a reasonably in shape person and how often and how long are your breaks? I want to attempt some 4k mountains next summer but I don't know what expect. I hiked Mt. Burk in VT(3200') this summer and almost did not make it to the top as I ran out of gas to the point that I would take 5-10 steps and have stop for a min. then continue. Since then I get out for at least 2 hours each weekend and, panting and wheezing I can get to the top of Pac. Monadnock in 40 min with two 3 min breathers.

  2. #2
    If you want to hit the 4k-ers in the Whites you should start small and build yourself up. You are relatively close to me so I can recommend some home-base mountains. Anything along the wapack is good, but wapack will not give you anything steep like in the Whites (except maybe pack monadnock -- wapack is more useful for distance!). Wachusett in MA is good and is steep enough to help you gauge your strength (but its VERY short). Monadnock is the closest thing you'll get to a white mountain experience in S NH so doing that a few more times (lots of trail options!) would be beneficial. Kearsarge and Sunapee are also not super far from you and might make good gateway hikes.

    Check out the site in my profile, I have maps descriptions, and pictures from all of the above mentioned hikes as well as almost all of the 48 4k-ers. Have fun and good luck! PM me if you want to do any local S NH hikes sometime during the week.

  3. #3
    Monadnock's crowds are atypical. It is said by some to be the second-most-climbed peak in the world. There are plety of options, once you're experienced a bit and prepared for them, which will easily get you away from the crowds.

    As for typical time/distance thoughts, I usually use what the AMC calls "book time" as a guide: 1/2 hour per mile plus 1/2 hour per 1,000ft elevation gain. I find it to be pretty accurate for my hiking style, though on some trails I can better those numbers.

    Have you got the AMC's Southern New Hampshire guide? Definitely pick up a copy. If you can climb Monadnock, you can climb Cardigan, a similar mountain but a much nicer destination.
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

  4. #4
    Ya, the only summits you'll ever see more people on than Monadnock are ones with auto roads... or Cog Railways (or Aerial Tramways/ski lifts for that matter)
    Last edited by MarcHowes; Oct 16, 2006 at 2:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Another couple of weeks & the crowds will thin out on Monadnock, that must of been peak foliage weekend there. I try & go either real early in the AM (read start in the dark) or late in teh day trying to catch a summer sunset 9read descend in the dark)

    For heading up Marlboro or the Old Dublin Path (each just over 2 miles to the top) I can get up to the top between an hour (when fit) to an hour and a half at a more leisurely pace or when in less than fit shape.

    In comparison I can get up Tecumseh or Osceola in less than an hour and a half, even in average fitness.

    I'd look at doing Tecumseh, Osceola, Pierce, Hale, Waumbek & Jackson first when you start doing the 4K's. Osceola, Pierce & Jackson have the better views IMO.
    Happy Trails, be safe & Good Luck
    Mike P.

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