Whiteface & Passaconaway 45 & 46
"And at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair should be messy, and your eyes sparkling."
I have kind of taking a hiatus from my NH 48 4000 footer list for a while. Mostly, because life gets hectic, I was traveling, and lastly because I am in no hurry and like to enjoy my time out on the trails no matter what trails they are. I have been stuck with only 4 left until my completion for over a year now.
Trish and the girls were kind enough to suggest a Whiteface & Passaconaway loop hike, knowing they were 2 of the 4 I needed for my completion. Also, 2 they had not enjoyed their "Desserts on the 48" yet. I am thankful they had suggested this one for the day.
6:00am came quick and I retired my winter boots for the season. I broke out my 3 season Vasque Taku GTX Hiking Boots. Instantly my feet felt 5lbs lighter compared to my Scarpa Mont Blancs. I also downsized from my Osprey Stratos 36L pack to my 20L Osprey Tempest pack. Today was going to be a gorgeous day.
|First lookout & Junction.|
In the car by 6:45am making a pit stop at Dunks for coffee and breakfast and off to the Ferncroft Trailhead I went. Arriving at the trailhead at about 7:40am with an 8:00am meeting time. I used the restroom at the trail head (there is a port-o-potty) in the parking lot for those who are wondering. A few minutes later, Trish and the girls arrive early, with John following right behind them. We all arrived early! I'd say we were pretty excited to get out on this beautiful day.
Hit the trail by 8:00am, we had to road walk a couple tenths of a mile to the start of Blueberry Ledge Trail. Headed up the trail it starts flat for almost a mile, then gradually getting steeper into the second mile. After about 2 miles you come to your first junction on a ledge with a wonderful view. We stopped for some water and photos and continued our trek up.
Continuing upward snow became more frequent up high, and a bit icy in some spots. A pretty firm monorail was in place so postholing wasn't much of an issue up to Whiteface. Arriving at the top of Whiteface, everyone was kind enough to allow me to be the first to touch the actual summit and have my photo taken, since I had never done either of these peaks before. Following with photos with everyone!
|I see my car down there.|
I haven't hiked a new mountain in the White's in quite some time. The feeling of completing a new peak was amazing. To see yet, another gorgeous hidden treasure that only those who work hard can get to.
Once photos were taken on the summit, it was now time to enjoy those Desserts Trish kindly carried the extra weight for all of us to enjoy! We enjoyed Wafers on Whiteface. Trish brought chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry wafers. They were amazing!
After, enjoying our snacks, I realized I had done headstands across this country last summer but have never done a headstand in NH or the White Mountains. I figured this would be a great place to start. Alex was kind enough to take a photo with my phone as well as Trish capturing it herself on her phone! Trish also, gave me a great idea of making a list for "Headstands not he 48." Which might be fun, and I may have to start working on that once trails are dry.
|Wafers on Whiteface|
Off to Passaconaway we went. Within the first 100 feet, Sage fell into a post hole quite deep and her boot went down and forward, basically being wedged into the snow. She pulled her leg out, but not her boot. The next 5 minutes were spent full of laughter, Sage holding onto her sister Alex for support while she stood on one foot trying not to get her sock wet, and Trish trying to dig out her shoe. It was all in fun, and I had mentioned how I enjoy hiking with them because it's alway a great adventure! Eventually, Trish's hands were getting cold and I offered to try. I tried to prevent snow from getting in the boot, but that was difficult. The boot eventually started to wiggle, and become unstuck! HOORAY. I guess I am good at something? haha.
|John, Alex, Myself, Sage, Trish on WF|
2.4 miles on the Rollins Trail to the Junction of Dicey's Mill and the summit of Passaconaway. This was by far the most exhausting part of the entire hike. It was fun and funny the first 10 times we all fell into postholes, but then it just became exhausting and quite frankly annoying. Eventually, coming to the junction we ran into 2 gentleman who had snowshoes on and they said it was just as annoying for them in snowshoes, and they didn't feel as though it made much of a difference.
|The Stuck Boot.|
|Trish digging the boot out!|
|Photo Credit: Trish|
We hit the trail after eating a snack, to the summit of Passaconaway. This was a pretty steep .7 miles up. We made it up pretty quickly, walked all over the summit just to make sure we tagged it. Then put our stuff down and Trish and John both pulled out our next dessert. This time we enjoyed Pound Cake on Passaconaway. Looking across to Franconia Ridge, Tripyramids, and Waterville Valley Ski Resort.
|The walk back to the car.|
The hike out was pretty easy. Dicey's Mill Trail was soft, but monorail was firm. As always, it was another great day on trail, with great company. Lots of fun was had and laughter. The temperatures were perfect, and I may have ended up with my first sunburn of the season on the back of my neck. I am pretty sure we all fell at least once, got back up and laughed it off. We took lots of photos, and helped each other when needed.
Spring is finally here in the mountains. The trail conditions are rotting day by day, hour by hour. Be prepared for any kind of conditions imaginable. I am happy to be transitioning into my lighter gear in preparation for the next season. Also, it feels great to be back on trail hiking at least once a week again. Looking forward to some more amazing adventures this summer!
|Thank you to the owners who |
allow hikers to pass through their property.
|Looking back on my day.|
Hike Safe & Keep on Trekking