Monday, May 14, 2007
Me and Christophe at the top of Moosilauke.
My brother came to visit last weekend, on his way from Colgate to London to Rochester to Seattle to Los Angelos to Lima Peru. And you thought I travel a lot?
He couldn't show up until saturday afternoon, and left monday morning at 6:30am, but he wanted to go hike in the Whites. So, we went up to Moosilauke Sunday, since none of us had ever climbed it and we heard it had a good view on top. Of course, there was a mtb race that I wanted to do AND an orienteering meet I wanted to go to, but its not every day that I can see Christophe. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made.
Moosilauke is 4800 ft, which is pretty big for around here. I figured that meant that it would be a pretty challenging hike, and had minor qualms about my leg acting all funny after a couple hours of hiking. I also figured that it would take us longer than the suggsted 5.5 hrs, since none of us are really in shape, and I was guessing there would be snow. Christophe and Ed were convinced there would be no snow, and Christophe even wore shorts... Dummy :). We had about four feet of snow while in the woods once we'd gotten up to about 3000-3500 ft, and there was one long section of trail that had a river running under the snow. This meant that although I could walk on the snow without any problem, being the small person, the guys were breaking through occasionally, really slowing things down.
Ed decided that just walking up the mountain would be too easy, so brought along a tree... (actually, he's clearing the trail).
After they had cursed at the snow enough, we got to someplace with some dry rocks to sit on and ate lunch #1. I thought we'd have a ton more climbing since so far the ascent had been really mellow. Practically flat. But no, that was it for climbing. We kind of rolled for a bit up a ridge to the top of Moosilauke, which was all open tundra with a stiff wind. Shot some pictures (I'll post them in a bit) and then headed down, mostly just sliding on the snow. That actually takes a fair bit of concentration--I thought I was going to totally lose it and go slamming into the trees or rocks a couple times, but I held it together. The weather was pretty much the best hiking weather you could ask for, with the exception of the wind on the top. Great day to be climbing mountains!
View from the top.
My shin held out great for the hike, so I'm feeling pretty positive about the Billygoat, which is next weekend. The Billygoat is an orienteering race that has to be completed in under 3.5 hrs to get your t-shirt. Its typically long, hard, hot, gnarly, and demanding both technically and physically. I think my first and only true bonk came at the Billygoat a few years ago, when I started with only a redbull and a brownie for sustenance. I don't recommend that one. I finished, but I finished in 3:34... after falling down a lot, bumping into trees, and having visions of oreos and apple juice floating before my eyes. As I said, I don't recommend that strategy. This year, I'll be eating a full breakfast and bringing food and water with me... normal actions, I guess, but sometimes the skier superiority complext gets the best of you. Now I'm going to go ride my pinarello in perfect weather :).