Saturday, July 23, 2011


Last weekend, we took a hike up Mt Waumbec. Just a bit off Rt 2 north of Jefferson, with a wooded summit, it is unlikely that many people would climb it if it were not one of the 48 4000-footers in NH. Waumbec just barely counts at just over 4000 feet. But, as a 3.6 mile hike, it seemed about the right length for a hike with Brynna.

Jasper was thrilled to tag along, and was good enough to carry his own food and water.

Brynna started off the hike on her own two feet, and managed to get perhaps a half mile up the trail before needing to be carried. I don't think I had a good conception in my mind about how tough this was going to be. The trail ascends over 2000 feet to gain the ridge over about 2-1/2 miles, making for a relatively steep ascent. And let us tally the weight: 7.5 lbs for the child-carrier pck (empty), 5 lbs water, 5 lbs food, 5 lbs clothing, a few pounds of incidentals, and 30 lbs of Brynna! No wonder I had to pause every ten minutes, wringing the sweat from my bandana, I was carrying some 55 lbs up the mountain!

Once we gained the ridgeline, it was a relatively gentle hike to the summit itself. Naturally, with all the hard work done, Brynna was happy now to walk under her own power.

(notice the change in pants? aside from the heat, the change was necessary because Brynna is still a novice at the fine skill of peeing in the woods)

The summit itself is an unimpressive rock cairn surrounded by trees. A bit beyond the summit is a thinning of the trees that offered a fine view of the Presidentals. It took a while due to the haze to make it out, but we were able to identify Washington from the towers on top (it was also the highest - duh!), and the rest of the peaks followed from that. It was a fine place to have lunch, at 2:30, well past Brynna's usual nap time. For Hilary and I, used to cutting book time in half, the fact that it had taken us over four hours to get this far was a bit humbling.

After this fine picture back at the summit marker (can't spot Jasper? follow B's gaze), Brynna conked out for part of the return hike, giving my a welcome respite from the unending stream of questions she puts to us these days.

So for the 4000-foot tally, Brynna now stands at 1, Hilary and I are in the low 20s, and Mark is approaching 40. We have plans for Mark to finish by the end of the year, and perhaps B will come along with us.

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