Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Monday, May 26, 2014

Windy Morning at Glen Boulder

After a hiking hiatus of seven weeks it was time to get back on the trail again. The weather forecast called for mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers early then a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Looked like I would need to squeeze a short hike into this small window of opportunity. Glen Boulder seemed like a good choice with its above treeline views.

 Last  night's rain clouds in the distance

 Peabody River

Line between clouds and blue sky

After a night of rain showers everything was very wet and the cloud cover did not look promising for views as I drove to the trailhead. Heading up into Pinkham Notch the wind was picking up and there were some occasional good gusts. The high summits were hidden in clouds but Glen Boulder was in the clear just below the overcast.


I pulled into the Glen Ellis parking area and with threatening skies overhead I wasted no time hitting the trail. It was plenty wet with all the recent rain. Rocks, roots, and wet leaves were all slick and cautious footing was required to prevent a turned ankle.

 Painted Trillium...lots of these

 Red Trillium...the only one I saw

Just before reaching the ledges I met my first and only hikers of the day, a couple making their descent. They confirmed my suspicions that it was very windy above treeline. I changed into a dry layer, put on my windbreaker and proceeded up over the ledges.

 Climbing above treeline

 A last patch of snow

 Glen Boulder

The wind came in gusts and I had to brace myself against it at times. The dark clouds coming over the mountaintop were a little bit more of a concern to me because of the thunderstorms in the forecast. Being above treeline I was very exposed.
 View to the North

 Standing in front of Glen Boulder

 Route 16 from Glen Boulder

Route 16 looking up toward Glen Boulder

I reached Glen Boulder and didn't plan on staying long. After several photos I was ready to make my descent. Clouds were spilling over into the Gulf of Slides and I didn't want to push my luck.

 Glen Boulder zoomed in

 A view toward the Carters

 Clouds rolling into the Gulf of Slides

Once again I found myself having to watch my step on the slippery ledges. I dropped down below the treeline and it wasn't long before the raindrops started. There were no downpours and it was short-lived.

 A view to the South

The sun actually came out and it got nice and warm. I changed to short sleeves and it was a pleasant descent to the parking lot. The one thing that was missing that I didn't miss was the flying, biting insects. Don't know where they were but they stayed away.

 Water crossing

 Mushroom steps

Seems I got back just in time. As I drove away the rain started pouring down, timed that hike just right. After taking a long break from hiking it was great to get back out on the trail again!

Panoramic view from Glen Boulder

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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