Before I get into the meat of this post, right now I'm eating a Beef Stick and sharp cheddar omelette and let me tell you, it's fantastic. I'm making this stuff for breakfast next time I go camping with the guys.
Anyway, yesterday, I decided I'd set out to climb one of the White Mountains today. Taking a hike struck me as a good way to spend some time and try out my new snowshoes (Xmas loot, kind of). I was looking through my list of good hikes that I want to take and I decided to try to get up Mount Moosilauke (there's debate between whether it's pronounced to rhyme with rock or rocky, but I prefer pronouncing it as though it ends in uh). The plan was to set out around 7a today, get to trailhead around 10a, reach summit before 5p, turn around, camp at sunset and finish up tomorrow. That I'm writing this now means I obviously didn't succeed.
The problems began when I pressed snooze until 6:40a, then I had to go get some food for my trip so I ended up with setting out at the equivalent of 8a which put me at the trailhead around 11a. 11a was still a pretty reasonable start time by my figuring but then between there being a whole bunch of snow, the trail up Moosilauke being really steep and me being plenty out of shape, I hiked woefully behind schedule. By 2:00p, I had made it up 2/3 of the elevation and 3/8 of the distance, which gave me 3 hours to make it the rest of the way and find shelter. Figuring I wouldn't make summit before sundown, I figured I'd turn around, so as to be able to sleep in a proper bed tonight. Also, it was really cold up there (definitely <20°F, maybe <10°F but certainly >0°F), which had me a little concerned that my 0°F sleeping bag might not cut it. So I took the safer approach and turned back.
Coming down, as is always the case, was mighty quick, taking under an hour to cover the previous three's distance. Seeing as there was a whole ton and a half of snow, going down was a mixture of glissading and ass sliding almost the whole way. Also, the steepness that had been a bother on the ascent made the descent fantastically keen. I almost wish I'd brought a sled with me, though that's probably the sort of bad idea that would have tossed me off a cliff.
In summation: I'm fat and slow; Moosilauke is really steep; I like my new snowshoes.
Afternote: The highlight of the hike was the wonderfully amusing sign on a privy by the shelters where I took lunch that read something very nearly, 'THERE IS NO "P" IN THIS RIVY USE THE WOODS'.