GetWinter Hike #1: Greeley Ponds
Hiking/Walk DATE: 01/09/2010 - 01/09/2010
Trip/Event Location: Lincoln, NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I'm not making any money running this trip
Difficulty Level: Easy
Join our GetWinter hikes designed to get you into winter hiking. This is a series of progressively harder winter hikes leading up to a 4,000 footer.
This trip's focus is to get you familiar
We met at 1:00pm. The parking lot was plowed but full with Seth having to park at the alternative cross-country ski lot down the Kancamagus Highway. The weather was nippy (10F or so), with light breezes, and clear blue skies.
The trail was packed down and we were walking on a firm surface with our snowshoes. We went slowly, laughing and chatting, a typical GetWinter hike!
We were walking on the Greeley Ponds trail. The approach is only 2 miles with the total ascent only 400 feet. We found the trail easier in Winter because the bog bridges were covered with snow.
We climbed easily to Mad River Notch, where the Mount Osceola Trail diverges on the right. We met a couple who had just descended from Mount Osceola's East Peak and the guy's beard was covered with small icicles. It gave us an idea how brutal and cold the winds were up high.
We found the frozen ponds and were rewarded with the west shoulder of Mount Kancamagus and Mount Osceola's precipitous East Peak framing them in a wild and mountainous setting!
We arrived at the upper pond and walked onto a cold, frozen blue, alpine lake. We walked across the frozen pond under the cliffs. When we reached the other side of the pond, near the outlet, Jon broke thru the ice but only his foot went through. With a little guidance from me, I asked everyone to move towards the shoreline, and things were a little easier.
We then hiked toward the lower pond where the wind was stronger. It was real cold with the wind as we walked across the pond towards a sunny spot on the southern end. Finally, we took a short break in the sun. We ate and drank, and soaked in the sunshine gazing at the snow plumes from the towering cliffs on each side.
Sure enough we got cold after a while and returned facing a strong and cold headwind as we hiked across the open pond.
The hike back down was routine. We met nobody on the return.
We celebrated afterwards with pizza and beer at my house in Wateville Valley. The comaraderie just seems to keep getting better and better!
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- This was another great event with a great group of guys. Thanks Mike & Jon for hosting!!! - DaveSchumaker