Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Glen Boulder

All last week I followed and tracked the weather for this weekend. Weather reports were indicating a wet and dreary weekend. Even the Mount Washington Observatory summit weather report was indicating a weekend washout. Seems New England weather forecasters are somewhat handicapped when it comes to predicting accurate future weather conditions. In all fairness, the evening local news meteorologists are very good at reporting what the weather did that day - after the fact.

So it was a welcome sight to see the sun as we departed for our hike although there was some threatening cloud cover at times that cleared up over the course of the morning. Not knowing what the weather was going to do we changed our planned 4,000 foot hike. We instead chose a hike to Glen Boulder with spectacular views of Pinkham Notch both north and south. I had not been up here in many years.

We arrived at the trailhead parking lot to find the gate still closed. I parked just outside the gate and we made our way to the trailhead. We had the trail to ourselves for the trip up. As we made our ascent the clouds continued to clear and the sun got warmer. There were only a few patches of ice left on the trail and posed no problem at all. This was the first hike this year that the microspikes could have been left behind.

We reached the part of the trail with open ledges and found the trekking poles to be more of a nuisance than a help. So we kept passing the poles back and forth as we climbed up over the granite. From here it was a short jaunt to reach "The Boulder". A nice breeze was blowing. We relaxed, enjoyed the view, ate a snack and snapped some photos.

Started our descent with the trekking poles strapped to my pack. After passing down over the ledges we broke the poles out again. We met our first set of hikers on the way down and then there was a steady stream of them all the way back. Reaching the trailhead the temperature had become very warm. Brand scaled one last boulder and our hike was over.

What I thought was going to be a cloudy, showery, wet day turned out to be a bright, sunny, warm day and we had a great hike with fantastic views of this area in the White Mountains.

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