I set out yesterday to climb Mount Whiteface and Mount Passaconoway up in that New Hampshire state thing. I planned it as a two day hike where I'd get as far as I could, set down with my sleeping bag, sleep and then finish. I had myself loaded out with altogether too much gear because I wanted extra weight such that I can go about beating myself into shape faster.
At any rate, I got to the parking area at around 11:30a yesterday and got going on the Whiteface bit. Along the way there were a few places where the melting snow/ice was flowing down the trail (sometimes under ice sheets) and it was absolutely beautiful; pleasant sound as well. The path had a fairly low grade for a while and then nearer the top it got pretty steep. The steep bits were pretty icy at times and I had to use trees to haul myself up a couple of times. There are a number of rocky ledges on the upper parts of Whiteface that afford some spectacular views of the region. I could see Washington at a few points and that's an impressive looking mountain (well, not just looking if you know anything about it). Eventually I reached the southern summit of Whiteface, which has a great view south and is mostly just a rock face (probably where the mountain name comes from). From there I proceeded across the real summit and over to Passaconoway. I started up the last bit of Passaconoway at about 4:30p and then stopped at Camp Rich (just a snow covered tent site) at about 5:00p. I dropped anchor, so to speak, and hopped in my sleeping bag for a long night. I'm not quite sure why but I wasn't able to sleep and at around 2:00a I decided to go on. It was a full moon so there was plenty of light to go by, and I had a flashlight for the hard bits. I finished up Passaconoway, which has a pretty disappointing summit, and headed down. I made it back to the car by 5:20a, an hour before sunrise, and then got home just a little after 8:00a.
I would rate Whiteface as pretty good with some fun scrambles and some great views. Passaconoway would likely get a rating of not really that great unless you just want to hike in the woods uphill. Also, hiking by moonlight is really quite nice.
That's two four-thousand-footers down and forty-six to go.