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Back Country Adventures

May 12, 2011

Being home has been so relaxing and peaceful. I love spending time with two of my brothers who are home, and my high school friends who have been trickling back from college this week. Sean, my oldest of three brothers, keeps very busy, but Wednesday was completely clear for him so we decided to embark on a spontaneous day trip up north to New Hampshire!

Every summer growing up my family ( including cousins, aunts, and uncles) would go on “The Annual Basin Run”, which involved a full day of activities including getting covered in mud in the caves at the top of Loon Mountain, swimming in the famously ice cold natural water slides at The Basin and Lower Falls, viewing the Man on the Mountain before he came tumbling down, ordering the “Farmer’s Daughter” (aka every topping possible) at Pizza Barn, and finishing the night with ice cream at PJ’s Ice Cream. I have such wonderful memories form this trip, it is sad that time becomes so precious and families lives’ split in hundreds of different directions. It makes finding one day for everyone to get together nearly impossible! So my brother and I took advantage of this day to try to relive some of these memories, and make some new ones in the process.

After stopping for the essential snacks on the way, our first stop was at The Basin. We walked along the river in hopes we would come across the certain area where our family used to jump in the freezing water. We finally found it, and plenty of fond memories came flooding back. My brothers’ body’s beet red from the icy water slide, my shrieking voice after sticking my big toe in the river, and my parents’ laughs when year after year we kept going in for more!

Don’t worry, this was not the water slide we went down; ours was much less rapid. But nonetheless the cascades were gorgeous as was the actual basin itself (below).

Our next leg of the trip found us at the base of Mount Washington, in Pinkham Notch. We had discussed hiking Mount Washington the day before, but with my upcoming marathon I felt as though it was a risky idea. But as we drove closer and closer, and the mountain grew larger in size and beauty, we felt compelled to at least try. Little did we know, most hikers this time of year go up with all of their ski gear to ski down Tuckerman’s Ravine, because most of the trails are still snow covered. We stuck out slightly in our average sized backpacks and simple hiking shoes, but we forged on.

The trail to the summit is 4.1 miles, but with the amount of snow covering the path it took us nearly two hours to make it to the first base which was 2.4 miles up. We met some crazy skiers, and watched others climbing up what appeared to be a completely straight down trail, far in the distance. This is what the headwall looks like on a late spring day:

We decided to turn around not quite making it to the summit, but pleased we got to witness such amazing views and meet some interesting people. We plan to make it the top in August, when the trails are safer.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the journey with a few more stops and interesting sights!

Have you ever done back country skiing, or anything this crazy? 

I can’t think of anything that would compare to this kind of skiing which looks very dangerous! I’m hoping to get to the top in August which would be crazy, as Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeast!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2011 9:19 am

    Nope, no back country skiing for me, and certainly no jumping in that cold water! I’ve hiked in NH though. It’s so beautiful up there!


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