FULL MEMBERS ONLY: Mount Sunapee Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 11/11/2017 - 11/11/2017
Trip/Event Location: Newbury, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Get to know fellow sustaining members! Dinner afterwards in Newbury.
We will hike the Newbury Trail to the summit of Mount Sunapee, elevation 2,726 feet. Mount Sunapee shows off the far...
The official start and parking place in the Newbury Post Office lot on NH 103, opposite the Newbury town dock. We'll be driving a blue Toyota Tacoma truck.
At one point, we had a waiting list but with the below normal temparatures forecasted, nine FULL members ended up joining us.
This hike gave way to below normal temparatures with a crisp, chilly, winter like temperatures. Craig registered 20 degrees on the summit ridge! This was our first "full member's only hike" and we'll be having more of these based on the success of this one.
It was a nice, relaxing hike, although not quiet! All of us had a lot to talk about, catching up on adventures we've had this past summer as well as learning more about our newer members: Bruce and Craig. Welcome!!!
Rick shared with us how much fun he had last weekend at a Pinball Machine Party and seeing Janet Jackson on Wednesday. Chuck shared with us his trip to Norway this past summer. And Manchester Chuck gave us an on his partner's recovery from a recent surgery.
On the Newbury Trail we got into the sun a little bit. As we climbed higher, we began to encounter a minimal trace of snow, and some patches of ice flows. The sky was totally free of clouds, and the trees bare, so our views stretched far into the distance. Newbury Trail is part of the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail. Monadnock and Cardigan were clearly visible from the crags and clearings on Sunapee.
For lunch, we stopped at White Ledges, a high cliff on one of Sunapee's sub-peaks. The cliff rises a hundred or so feet over Lake Solitude, an elevated lake on the backside of Mount Sunapee, and probably the most gorgeous part of the mountain. We sat at the edge of the cliff, warming in the sun while we watched the blustery wind draw patterns across the lake surface below. We began thinking about the coming winter. It was a fine day on a mountain in New England!
From White Ledge to the summit of Sunapee isn't far. Up top, we encounted snow guns blazing and found ourselves hiking through a man made blizzard to reach the top! Up top, we wandered around on the outdoor decks of the summit hut to get views to Vermont, as well as Monadnock to the south and Cardigan to the north.
I doubt there would be a view from the summit without the ski trails - I know there are a lot of views on the Long Trail in Vermont that wouldn't be there without the ski trails - but I still can't get used to looking down a clear-cut in order to get a view from a mountain. Even in a large hiker shelter, or in a fire tower, I still feel like a guest in nature. With the ski lifts and huge summit huts, it feels like a visit to a conquered land, sterilized and turned into an amusement park. There's more joy from a view that comes naturally, like on the White Ledges, without the help of heavy machinery and at the expense of the mountain itself.
We retraced our steps and hiked down the Newbury Trail looking for the turnoff to the Eagle's Nest Trail we missed on the way up. We found the turnoff marked with a large cairn [no sign] and took in another incredible view of Lake Sunapee!
At the end of the hike, some us had dinner at Bubba's. It was nice to get out on the trail for some relaxation! It was a great day of hiking and looking forward to the next!
~ Mike Boisvert
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