Winter refuses to come this year, which sucks for those of us with a pile of winter hiking and backpacking gear. All through December there was bare ground and warm temperatures– I was starting to get really down because of all the plans I have this year that involve lots of snow. I haven’t been hiking in over a month now, lending to the intense cabin fever. But then I started tallying up all of my plans and realizing that even if the snow comes late and I have a very slow start, I should still have a pretty good winter. So let’s start off with a pretty picture of winter, and then get excited about some plans.
|Unknown Pond and The Horn. This is what I want things to look like!|
I’m hoping to do a lot more winter hiking this year than last, but I can’t just rely on own motivation to get out there at a moment’s notice, so I’ve got some trips planned. First will be a Backpackinglight.com Northeast Meetup redux, next weekend in Vermont. This will be very different from my usual winter backpacking in that it is very informal. More formal will be my third year in a row of joining my good friend Nancy in guiding a winter backpacking trip for my high school.
For something completely different, Yvonne and I just made reservations for a few nights’ stay at a bed and breakfast in the White Mountains, and I’m trying to convince Yvonne that we should try for a second one of these sorts of things up in Jackman, Maine, since my taste of the area last summer made me want to spend a lot more time up there. Two trips like this may not make great financial sense for two people who have barely any income, but we can make it work. And I do love the idea of staying in a nice little lodge and heading out for day hikes in a gorgeous area.
Hopefully there will be at least two big day hikes for the winter as well. Moss and I have been itching to try our hands at bushwhacking in the Pemigewassett Wilderness, since I am a little rusty and she needs to get some practice before hiking the Pacific Crest Trail next summer (you are definitely doing that, right Moss?). I’m also itching to go on another big day hike with a great group I met online, which last year did a huge day over the Twins.
Finally, what season would be complete without some new hiking gear? So far I’ve got two things that I plan to review, including a Marmot Ether Driclime wind shirt, and the Eastern Mountain Sports Mountain Light 0 sleeping bag. In general, I’m going to try to post my winter hiking gear list, along with a more comprehensive review of how I dress for snowy and cold hiking. I hope that kind of weather starts to show up soon…