Oh yeah! I forgot to mention my winter camping and hiking trip! In February, I went up to New Hampshire with Al, Nate, Tom, Brian, and Bob. We camped out in a state forest Friday night and I just about froze my butt off. It was down to about zero at night and our tent was on a sheet of ice. I didn’t sleep much at all…maybe an hour all night.
On Saturday, Al, Nate, Tom and I backpacked up Mt. Chocurua and spent the night on the mountain. It was about 3.1 miles from the trail head to the split off that went to the campsite. Then it was about another 1/4 mile to the site.
We opted not to rent snowshoes since we figured the snowshoe-ers would have packed the trail down nicely. They did…until the split off. We had to trudge through thigh-deep snow for about 1/4 mile. That was one of the most exhausting things I have ever done in my life. The person leading (Al and I took turns) would take a few steps…rest for 20-30 seconds…take a few more steps…rest…etc. We finally got to the lean-to at about dusk.
We set up our small tents right inside the lean-to, and that worked pretty well. I had brought up some home-made venison stew, so we had that for dinner and it was awesome, if I do say so myself!
I slept quite a bit better Saturday night. I was actually too hot!
Sunday, we hiked to the summit. We had to stow our packs and use crampons (1.5 inch spikes attached to our boots) to climb the icy rock the last 1/4 mile or so. The wind was pretty intense. So was the view!
Anyway, it was a pretty cool trip. Hopefully this will become an annual event. But I think I need to get some better winter gear first…