On Sunday, January 22nd 2017, Monica and I headed out to complete our 20th mountain over 4000 feet in New Hampshire.
We started hiking the mountains during the summer of 2014. So we have been working on the list of 48 4000 footers for 2.5 years now. Since Monica and I are both mothers we have a lot of scheduling to do to be able to slip away to the mountains for a whole day, especially since we live 2 and a half hours away. We are always so exciting to get away to the mountains.
We have done a few of the mountains during winter and always check the weather and trail reports religiously before going. On Sunday we ended up with perfect trail conditions on Mount Jackson and very warm weather.
We parked on the side of the road near where the Webster-Jackson trail starts. We had to ask a couple of people where the trail head actually was though. It is a small old white sign on the other side of the highway. We set out at 9am.
It was so mild that Monica didn’t even put her jacket on. She just carried it in her pack the whole day. I always over dress. So I put on my winter jacket (though it was my thinner one) and my touque before heading out.
The trail was smooth and snow covered. We wore our Hillsound microspikes and were comfortable the whole hike.
We made quick progress up the trail and took the spur out to Elephant Head.
Elephant Head was cool, we could see my parked car and see other people getting ready to head out. There were some nice views of the surrounding mountains as well.
I quickly took off my hat and gloves and unzipped my jacket for the rest of the hike.
There were a couple of water crossings but they were almost completely snow covered. I love to listen to water running underneath ice.
The trail was steep in some places so we took our time and paused for breathers. There were a couple of icy sections but it was easy to go around them. The trail was well packed down. If you stepped off the trail you sunk to your hips though.
We chose Jackson for our 20th because it looked like a good hike that wasn’t difficult in winter AND it has 360 degree views.
Alas, Mother Nature had a different opinion. The air was full of mist and thickening fog as we ascended.
The summit was completed shrouded in fog. There were no views for our 20th mountain but it had its own kind of ethereal beauty.
There was a little wind on the summit so we didn’t stay too long as the dampness and wind chilled us quickly. We went back down the trail a ways to sit and have an early lunch. There were two extremely friendly grey jays that became my bestfriends while eating my sub.
One grey jay even perched on my snowshoe pole!
After eating we flew down the mountain! The trail was so smooth that it took no time at all to descend.
It took us 2.5 hours to ascend and eat lunch and it only took us 1 hour to descend the mountain. It was a fun hike but so short! We have put in a 14 hour day before climbing mountains so to be done in 3 hours 40 minutes was crazy for us. It took longer to drive than it did to hike.
Mount Jackson, NH (4052 feet)
#20 of 48
Distance: 6 miles (with Elephant Head spur)
Time: 3 hours 40 minutes