Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hiking the Winter 4,000 Footers

The White Mountain 4,000 Footers are a collection of mountains nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire that are all over 4,000 feet. Ranging in height from just over 4,000 feet (4,003 feet is the first peak) to over 6,200 feet (Mount Washington).

The White Mountains of New Hampshire is home to some of the best hiking, camping, and backpacking in the country. Thousands flock to the peaks and the rivers throughout the year, but particularly during the summer months. By last count thousands of peakbaggers have tackled the 4,000 Footers during the typical hiking season (spring, summer, fall, etc.), but under one thousand (I read this in a recent newspaper article, but have not found a definitive number online) have completed the list in the winter.

The winter list has fewer hikers for numerous reasons. Throughout the year the Presidential Range of New Hampshire (part of the 4,000 Footer list) is known for some of the worst weather in the world with some of the highest wind speeds ever recorded. Average wind speeds are regularly over thirty miles per hour with hurricane force winds occurring during just about any month of the year. The Observatory records and studies these unique weather patterns.

Challenges of the list include severe weather including high wind speeds, heavy snow fall, mixed precipitation, roads closed for the winter adding mileage to already difficult climbs, shortened daylight, and well frankly more challenging climbing with heavy packs and heavy boots.

Our official start date:

We started our 4,000 Footer list this past summer and accumulated amazing memories and 37 peaks- read about them here. List from AMC here. We started the winter 4,000 Footer list this year on December 22, 2012. Any peaks we have already summited in the winter have been tossed out and we've started completely from scratch.

Our List:

  1. Cannon Mountain
  2. Tecumseh

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