This will be my 4th season of winter hiking, and over time my gear preferences have evolved. This is an outline of everything I would have with me for a day hike in the White Mountains during winter time, although some items may be substituted for others. This is not to say you need all of this, or this is a comprehensive list; everyone’s personal preferences are different. I’ve gone through a lot of gear over time, and this is what I’ve kept because it works for me.
A few notes:
Thumb holes are AMAZING
Pit Zips are AMAZING
It takes a while to find what works for you, many stores offer lifetime returns. REI also offers some coupons from time to time. When they do, I try to stock up on items that generally never go on sale elsewhere, like Microspikes.
- Synthetic compression fit long underwear
- Softshell Pants
- Under Armor Compression Mock
- Patagonia R1 Hooded Sweatshirt
- Mountain Hardwear WindStopper Tech Soft Shell Jacket
- Stoic eVENT Stash Shell
- Patagonia NanoPuff full-zip jacket
- Outdoor Research Rainpants – Full Side Zips
- Mountain Hardwear Men’s Micro Dome Beanie
- Dakine Glove Liners
- Marmot Ski Glove
- Outdoor Research Men’s Alti Mitts
- Seirus Innovation Men’s Clava Combo
- Kathula Microspikes on a carbiner
- CAMP Crampons in Crampon bag
- MSR Evo Denali Ascent Snowshoes
- The North Face Artic Hedgehog boots
- EMS Gaiters
- Nylon liner socks
- Darn Tough Vermont wool socks
- Ski Goggles
- Mountain Hardwear Men’s Stretch Rappel Bandana
- Bag of lighters/Firesteel/Matches/Etc
- First Aid Kit
- Jetboil Flash
- 2 Naglene bottles in EMS Insulalted Parkas
- THE NORTH FACE Windstopper Ear Gear Headband
- Hand warmers
- Black Diamond ICON Headlamp
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It’s been awhile since I’ve set out to chase down another peak on the New England Hundred Highest list, so with a Sunday free and clear I decided to get out to the White Mountains. This was my 80th/100. Mount Nancy, elevation 3927ft, is located in Grafton county New Hampshire. There is no official trail to the summit, but there is a maintained trail from NH302 up to Norcross Pond, and a herd path direct to the summit from there. When doing my pre-hike information gathering, I found many trip reports and even a GPS track to follow, so I felt well prepared. Knowing it would involve some bushwhacking, I decided to go with a smaller pack. The trail begins on the eastern side of NH302 and quickly climbs to Nancy Pond at around 3,000ft, then continues on to the official trails terminus at Norcross Pond.
The trail begins on an old road of sorts, with a very gentle grade, and gets more difficult as time goes on. After a short while and several water crossings, some of which might be quite difficult at high water, I arrived at Nancy Cascades. It was running very well thanks to some rainfall in the day prior, and I spent some time here taking photos. From the cascade the trail meanders up and around to the top of the falls and steeply climbs to meet Nancy Pond, and eventually Norcross ponds. There were many sunken bog bridges between the falls and the ponds. Once arriving at the outlet of norcross pond, there is a path directly over ones right shoulder when looking at the No Camping sign. I followed this path and it soon came to a junction, to the right is a very nice campsite, to the left, the “unmaintained” trail that very steeply climbs to the summit of Mt. Nancy. Rain was threatening all day, but we did get some very nice views from the outlook.
I had never hiked in the Ossipiee range before, so I was excited when plans came togather at the last minute with some of my hiking friends to head there on Saturday. The plan was to meet at the trailhead on Route 171 where it meets Sodom Road in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, and hike to Shaw and Black Snout. The trails aren’t very well marked in some places, the beginning follows some piping along fields brook and then ascends very steeply for a bit and joins a carridge road of sorts near the summit of Black Snout. There are some red blazes marking the way but sometimes we didn’t see one for a while. Along the lower sections of the Shaw trail we stopped at a few of the very nice waterfalls to take photos and rest a bit. Once joining the Black Snout Trail we stopped and enjoyed the views to the lakes from the summit of Black Snout and had some snacks.
Next, we hiked back to the Black Snout Trail and over to Mt. Shaw, where we were awarded fantastic views north to the White Mountains, and caught glimpses of the new fallen snow shining on the high peaks. We could easily identify Moosilauke, Franconia Ride, and the Presdidential range with thier white summits sparkling in the sun. We spent a while anjoying the views and then returned the way we came. I suppose a better loop could be done by returning to Black Snout and descending the Big Ball Mountain Trail, perhaps another day.
Distance: 7.60 mi
Avg Pace: 43:35 min/mi
Avg Speed: 1.4 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,417 ft
I’ve been to Mount Moosilauke twice before, and had a weekend planned using the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Moosilauke Ravine Lodge as the basecamp for my group last weekend. I decided to take a new approach, via the Asquam Ridge trail over Mt. Waternomee, Mt. Jim and Mt Blue. The weather was misting and cloudy when we set out, but looked to clear up as the day went on. From the lodge the trail takes a very flat approach, following the river without gaining much elevation until gradually leaving the river on its way up to the ridge line. Our main destination was the summit of Mt. Moosilauke, so we didn’t spend the time to touch the official summits of any of the aforementioned peaks that were not on the trail, except for Mt. Jim and Mt. Blue, which has a very well defined herd path to it’s highpoint, and a canister as well. One thing I want to do next time I visit that area, is to checkout the Mt. Waternomee B18 Bomber Crash Site. We found a not-so-stealth camp site at the junction of the Beaver Brook Trail, and stopped and had some lunch before setting out to Mt. Blue and on from there. After taking some photos atop Moosilauke, we proceeded down to South Peak and caught our only views for the day as the clouds were coming in and out. This was the first time I had been up there without any significant wind and it was a very pleasant experience. We took the carriage road to the snapper trail for our return to the lodge. I highly recommend staying at the lodge, the food was excellent and the accommodations are more than affordable.