Mt. Monadnock

Jaffrey, NH

October 14, 2014

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trail sign

Clouds hung low as we set out on our annual fall break hike of Mt. Monadnock. After 1.2 miles on the Parker trail and an elevation gain of nearly 500 feet, we reached the Cliff Walk Trail intersection.
Group on Parker Trail
Cliff Walk vista We reach the first of several amazing vistas along the Cliff Walk Trail. Wenwen, Madeline, Marie and Olivia climb up to check out the view.
Foliage view It was a spectacular year for fall foliage and we were there right at its peak! Leah finds a perfect spot to gaze across the treetops.
Marshmallow field Off in the distance we spotted a field of giant marshmallows.

Even the moss was unusually vibrant this year, especially the lime green variety.

mossy rocks Lime green moss

More fall foliage views awaited us on the Cliff Walk Trail when we reached Point Surprise.

View from Pt. Surprise Group at Pt. Surprise
Greg enjoys the Point Surprise view and the vibrant red colors back toward the steep incline our trail had just climbed.
Red foliage
Being silly Just a bit of trail silliness.

Rising to the top takes determination!

Ascending the Cliff Walk Trail Ascending the Cliff Walk Trail

After passing over Bald Rock we arrived at the White Arrow Trail which would bring us to the Monadnock summit. Olivia, Marie and Leah check the view from a vantage point just west of the trail, from which we could see Black Precipice and the Monte Rosa peak behind it.

Olivia, Marie and Leah View of Black Precipice & Monte Rosa
Group ascending White Dot Trail
Nearing the summit, Daniel, Jiaqi, Leah, Marie, and Wenwen disappear into the clouds. But as we arrived on top, the clouds parted just long enough to catch a quick view of the forest below.
View from summit
Leah Greg On the summit we were met by a ferocious wind. Simply standing up was a bit tricky. Leah became a human windvane and Greg had the best surfer head.
Marie and Madeline Marie and Madeline stay low and brave the summit wind. We could hardly imagine that we'd begun the hike wearing tee shirts and tank tops.

Enough is enough! We take the express route down on the White Dot Trail to escape the summit conditions.

Greg beginning descent Group descending White Dot Trail
Group photo Reaching an alcove with some shelter from the wind, we stop for lunch and a full group photo.
Rock ledges We pass some impressive rock ledges further down the White Dot Trail.
Brighter landscape Here comes the sun! Finally the skies begin to turn blue and the sun's rays illuminate the landscape. If only it came an hour earlier when we were on the summit! We joked about hiking back up, but sixteen tired legs quickly put that notion to rest!
Madeline taking pictures and a big cairn Clearing skies=more pictures!

Back down into the woods we stopped to rest and a chipmunk came along and joined us. Later, Olivia and Marie take up residence in a hollow tree which was somehow still alive and standing.
Hollow tree
Marie Inside the tree, Marie is right at home!

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