The weather was much more conducive for hiking today than it was for cycling yesterday. Three couples plus super dog Lucy converged at the base of Mount Chocorua for a multi-hour hike to the summit. This hike was going to be interesting for Dave and I after thoroughly tenderizing our legs for 6.5hrs on the bike the day before. Plan was to hike up Brook Trail and down Liberty Trail. Brook trail is a fairly strenuous climb, and in the final push to the summit, requires a fair amount of scrambling. This 3500ft summit is steeper than most at this altitude. It stands out alone, is completely bare, so a panoramic 360 degree view is offered for miles around.
About three-quarters of the way up I slipped and tweaked a knee. Never fails. Anytime I do stuff off the bike, something bad happens. The granite was wet in many places. I was simply standing on a wet, off-camber spot when a foot slipped out. It was the same sort of injury with the same knee when I slipped down a snow drift while mountain biking in Colorado this July. Nothing ibuprofen for a few days can't fix.
The temp was in the low 40's at the summit and the wind was howling. Taking pictures was tricky while bracing against the wind. We encountered no other hikers in the two hours it took to reach the summit, but there were over 100 people up there. They come up more popular trails from Rt 16.
Descents usually give me the most grief on hikes like these. I tend to be an ankle roller. Most of the path is non-stop baby head rocks. There's rarely a place to plant a foot level. Dave and Beth brought an extra set of poles along, and I think this helped. At least I didn't roll an ankle on this technical hike. We finished the 7.5mi round trip hike in just under 4 hours (excluding lunch break at the summit). Next up is the Bear Brook Boogie on Sunday. Any muscle fibers that escaped 10.5hrs of aerobic activity over the last two days will not escape the Boogie unscathed.
Lucy, Dave and Beth on Brook Trail
Gina and Steve below summit
Cathy and Doug (with alien antennas) at summit
Looking north from summit
Looking south from summit
Beth scrambling almost overhead
Steve and Dave on a ledge on Liberty Trail
Cathy and Gina catching sun on a very steep slope on Liberty Trail looking up at summit area