Mad Knock Knock!

I've been looking for a place to get some elevations, and "Bob" from "Southern NH" on TrailJournals suggested Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. My wife has been suggesting the same location so I checked it out (trail map here).

Was thinking last night of trying the trails, which might offer ice as well as elevation, with just a slack (fanny) pack, but this morning woke up and figured why waste the opportunity. Loaded the Gregory up with most of my gear plus 2 liters of water and it weighed in at 20 pounds, about where I'm hoping it will be before food and my final gear (closer to 25 or as high as 28).

Monadnock is about an hour away, and the weather forecast is for more snow this evening, so figured I'd get on the trail and see how things were before deciding how far to go. I knew the summit is basically rock with no shelter, and certainly didn't want to be up there with a weather front coming in.

Get out of my car and two what looked like experienced hikers were putting their spikes on their boots, telling me the trail was icy about 60% of the way. I don't have spikes (such as this) but figured "how bad could it be?"

Not finding much detail on what the trails were like, headed up the White Dot trail which would eventually make it to the summit. I split off this to take the White Cross trail until it reconvened with the White Dot. This will make more sense if you look at the map.

The trail was basically 90%+ ice, and what wasn't covered by ice was exposed roots and lots and lots of rocks. One rock on the way up was too tall and had lousy approaches, so took off and tossed my bag up on it before climbing up. Had a similar experience twice on the way down, both times letting my bag roll down the trail aways followed my butt scootching down the ice and rock.

It wasn't all bad. The day was sunny and once I was away from the trail head it was warm enough to drop my wool hat and down coat. Even went without gloves for a while. The trekking poles helped a lot, especially on the way down.

It was slow going, which is fine. More interested in safety than speed. Took about 40 minutes a mile for the 4.1 miles total miles or 2 hours 44 minutes.

Stopped at where the two trails met for a breather, trail mix and water. From here you can see the top of Monadnock in all its rocky glory. While there thought I'll try the summit next time, but with the trail the way it is - can only do that with spikes and maybe an earlier start.


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