A Short Weekday Jaunt Up Mt. Morgan and Mt. Percival
I've been pretty overwhelmed lately with grad school and life stuff, so I've been taking every chance I get to do things that take my mind off it. This past weekend I was lucky enough to tag along on a weekend ski trip with the family I nanny for. Although the storm on Friday night made driving up there hard, the skiing was amazing all weekend. It was my first time at Sugarbush, and it was so great to spend some time with the kids. Having a weekend of skiing with the gorgeous conditions was a much needed break. I've also missed seeing the kids every day since I haven't been working as much because of school.
Even though I had an escape last weekend, Monday was a pretty rough day with a difficult exam at school. I realized that I didn't have any major commitments on Tuesday, so when a friend said he was going to be hiking I jumped on the opportunity to go hiking. We decided on Mt. Morgan and Mt. Percival because it wasn't too far of a drive from the city and it's a short loop with some nice views.
Yesterday I slept in and got up to Holderness in pretty good time. I'm used to getting up at 3:00am when I leave from Boston because it takes 2-3 hours to get to the whites. I like to get an early start so that I don't have to be worried about being out after dark, but since this loop was under 6 miles I got to sleep in! We hit the trail around 10:30 heading towards Mt. Morgan. We took Mt. Morgan trail, which started off pretty mellow. It was well packed only requiring us to use micro spikes the whole way, so our snowshoes got a nice free ride on our packs for the day. The weather was a balmy 36 degrees and sunny, not a cloud in sight. I hiked in my midlayer fleece the whole way, something that I haven't been able to do since the Tripyramids in early October!
The trail climbed very gradually for the first mile or so but then it started getting steeper. The sun was beaming down, making the snow granular and hard to get traction in. Luckily the trail was pretty wide so we could use the less tracked out portions to get up the steep parts. We were keeping a pretty leisurely pace so we took our time getting up to the ladders. It was so peaceful with nothing but the sounds of snow crunching under our feet and trees creaking in the wind.
When we reached the ladders up to Mt. Morgan we stopped to take a look and see if we could maybe go up that way. After a quick assessment, there was too much ice and the caves were too tight for us to get through with our packs. It will have to wait for summer! The ladder route up Morgan is on the Terrifying 25 hiking list so I'm looking forward to coming back and doing it when there's less ice.
We continued on the winter route to the right up to the summit of Mt. Morgan yielding a gorgeous view over the lakes region. We sat in the sun for a while and ate some snacks overlooking Squam and Winnipesauke. This brought back childhood memories of going to the Squam Lake Science Center and visiting the rescued animals there.
After our nice break we headed over to the summit of Mt. Percival. There were a few ups and downs but nothing major and it only took a short time to get there. The views here was equally as beautiful here as they were earlier so we didn't stop for long. From here we were intending on following the loop back down, but the trail proved a bit hard for us to find. We ended up going back the way we came.
Overall it was a beautiful day for a nice short hike relatively close to home. Hiking is often something I do to take my mind off things that are bothering me or to help with my stress. It's not often that I get to do a quiet weekday hike, so it was really nice to be able to get out there this week. I've only really done 4,000 footers in my hiking career so far, so this was a nice break from that with great views. I wish that I had brought Lucy with me because I feel like this is a hike that she would have enjoyed. Maybe next time!
Mt. Morgan (2,220 ft) and Mt. Percival (2,212 ft) via Mt. Morgan Tr and Crawford-Ridgepole Tr [6.0mi, 1575 ft, 4:26]
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