My friend Josh and I had a trip to the Bonds planned for today but the weather looked really awful so we scratched it. However, I had the time set aside anyway and I was bummed I wasn’t going to get to hike at all, so I decided to pick a really easy 4000 footer to do on this rainy day. I’m non-aggressively trying to do the 4000 footers, as in I casually try to target them in order to expand my hiking horizons. I haven’t started actively trying to knock them off just for checklist sake yet. I went with Tecumseh mainly because it had some of the crappiest views and was easy to get to. So I figured I wouldn’t be missing too much.
I had some new gear I wanted to test in the rain so it would make a nice quick dry-run…;)…of the gear. I was testing out a pair of glove liners to use to protect my hands from my hiking poles and to keep them from getting sunburnt. Additionally, I was trying out a pair of synthetic sock liners, to attempt to prevent the blisters that seem to always happen whenever I’m hiking in rain.
The drive took less than two hours from my house north of Boston, so that was pretty nice. I got to Waterville Valley ski area at around 8 o’clock in the morning. The sky looked cloudy and there was a light mist but none of the predicted rain or any of the crazy bursts of rain I had gotten on the drive up. I almost drove by the trail entrance, so nestled into the side of the parking lot it was. There was no one there at all, no cars or people.
I started up the trail, pretty pumped up on the caffeine I had been drinking all the way on the drive. I had some Ellie Goulding going in my headphones so that probably also was contributing to my fast pace. Without much problem and very quickly, I crossed the Tecumseh Brook a couple of times (It was running strong but not hard to cross) and made it up to the ski slope viewpoint I had read about. The viewpoint wasn’t incredible, but it was mildly clear and I hadn’t been expecting much, so I snapped a quick pic and moved on.
After the viewpoint, the trail got a lot harder and the caffeine started to go away. I started to regret not having a larger breakfast. Even though I had a lot of internal energy, my legs felt like lead and I was sucking wind. It’s also quite a slog of a climb. It’s continuously upward for a while and not really winding or interesting scenery so you’re just climbing a really long boulder ramp.
After a while the boulder ramp got near the summit and the terrain got more interesting. There was more soil on the trail, moss around the trees, and the grade improved. The trail joined up with the Sosman Trail and then split apart only to rejoin at the summit. This was a bit confusing but I was prepared for it, having read a great trip report here.
The summit was ridiculously cloud covered, so I got this amazing glowy picture:
I didn’t stay long here because it was still morning and I wasn’t that hungry and didn’t need the energy for the downhill. I practically ran down the hill, making it back to my car in about 40 minutes, half the time as the ascent. I did manage to lose a hiking pole tip on the way, but that’s not an unusual occurrence for me.
Ironically, it never rained. So I didn’t really get to properly test my equipment. However, I did get pretty sweat soaked so my first impressions are that I liked the sock liners and don’t think the glove liners are going to work. The gloves didn’t get slippery which was my biggest concern but they already are showing wear and I had some chafing on my hand which they were supposed to prevent.