I'm feeling pleasantly zonked and relaxed after climbing Mt Tecumseh (4,003 ft) this morning, number 48 on the White Mountain 4,000 footer list. It's the first time I've gotten out in few weeks due to a sinus infection I picked up on a business trip and it felt good to blow a little plaque out of my arteries on the short but steep ascent.
The trail up Tecumseh is only 2.5 miles long but it ascends 2,200 feet in that distance with a very steep bit that climbs over 1,300 feet in one mile. The trail starts out easy, leaving from the parking lot of the Waterville Valley Ski Area, a small town ski operation, with runs on Tecumseh's south face.
From the parking lot, the trail climbs through gently rolling woodland before crossing the Tecumseh Brook and climbing steeply up an old logging road to the summit ridge. From there, the last 0.3 miles were an easy ascent through rime covered trees and several inches of fresh powder.
Although the lower parts of the trail were fairly well packed out, I decided to wear crampons for the entire hike. They came handy on the very steep segment providing good purchase on the high angle slope. I hate bare booting in winter with all of its slipping and sliding.
The summit was covered in cloud when I reached the cairn, but started to break up, providing intermittent views of the Sandwich Range. I took a bunch of photos with my new Panasonic Lumix digital camera, trying different settings to see what impact they would make on the pictures. The controls and options on this camera are way outside my point-and-shoot comfort zone, but I plan on expanding my photography knowledge and skills this year and so far I am in awe of this new camera.
After a spell, I climbed down the peak, making excellent time back to my car and buzzed back to Boston by 3 pm. While this was a good hike, it was rather short by my standards. But next weekend should provide another opportunity for a longer hike, and since it's a big birthday for me, I hope to bag something memorable.
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