Mt. Tecumseh: A Quick Hike for Peak #2
Yesterday's hike marked the second 4,000 footer for Lucy and me. Mount Tecumseh is the lowest 4,000 footer standing at 4,003 feet. It is a pretty popular mountain to climb especially for groups and families so it was busy, but we got an early start to avoid the crowds. #2 under our belts!
The day started off early in Concord, NH. My dad joined us for the hike, so I stayed at my parent’s house Friday night. We were up at 5:30 and on the road to Waterville Valley an hour later. On our way, I realized that in my thirteen years of living in NH, I've never taken a picture with the famed "Welcome to the White Mountains" sign, so here it is!
When we got to the trailhead around 7:45 it was about 60 degrees and cloudy outside. The forecast predicted rain in the mid-afternoon so we wanted to get an early start to beat it and the usual weekend crowds. We got on the trail almost exactly at 8:00 to start the climb.
The first half hour of the climb was pretty flat with some slight inclines here and there. I just got some new trekking poles, so it was a perfect stretch to get used to them before we started to really climb. There were lots of squirrels out and about for Lucy to chase, but she didn’t succumb to the temptation. Good girl! We crossed a small brook, and after that the trail got a little bit steeper. About 45 minutes into the hike, we reached lookout point on one of the ski trails. We stopped for a moment to take in the sights but kept pushing on.
The trail got a little bit steeper and more rocky for the next 45 minutes or so until we reached the Sosman trail fork. We knew we were getting close to the summit because the trees were getting shorter and the presence of birches ceased. About a quarter mile later we reached another fork with a sign that indicated that the summit could be reached from both trails. A man came from behind moving quickly and passed us, the first person we had seen so far along the way. We kept on going straight and reached the summit a few minutes later at 10:04.
Although the summit was mostly wooded, there was a beautiful view of the Osecolas and the Tripyramids. We were pleasantly surprised that we could see anything with all the clouds! We took a break to have some snacks at the summit where more and more people started to join us. Lucy made friends with a cute black lab puppy before we decided to descend after the twenty minute break. My dad also made some new buddies, chatting away with the other hikers.
The trip down felt quick, but the trail was busy so we kept having to move to the side to let people go. I get worried doing shorter hikes like this one with Lucy on the weekend because of the crowds, but everyone was great! When I’m hiking with Lucy I try to be really aware of how other people feel about overly friendly dogs, and I always have a leash within quick arms reach ready to put on her if people are uncomfortable. I usually yell down that she’s friendly and every single person yesterday said something like, “Great we love dogs! Can we pet her?” Lucy was also really good, staying behind me the whole time and getting to the side of the trail for people coming up. There were a few groups with other dogs that she met briefly, and she got lots of pets from hikers on their way to the summit. She loved it! All the attention also kept her energy up which was helpful so she wasn’t exhausted like last time.
As we got back to the parking lot at 12:23 it started to rain slowly but surely. We were glad to have just missed it. Perfect timing! Lucy seemed to have a little gas in the tank at the end, but as soon as we got in the car she passed out as per usual. I was happy to take my pack off and rest in the car for the ride home. Overall, it was a pretty easy and rewarding hike with the beautiful views at the top. It was made slightly more difficult with the 15 lb pack on my back, but that was my own doing.
Why such a big pack for such a short hike you might ask? Well, I’m planning to hike the Pemi Loop in mid-July so I’m trying to prepare myself. This is around a 34 mile hike with over 10,000 feet of total elevation gain. We’ll plan to do it counter-clockwise and in three days, camping at two different sites along the way. It will check 9 or 10 peaks off of my 4,000 footer list (depending if we want to add in North Twin or not), and it will be 12 or 13 summits in total. All with gear on our backs! In other words, I’m definitely not prepared at the moment so I want to do everything I can to get ready for the trip! This means hiking every mountain in the coming month with a weighed down pack, breaking in my new hiking boots, and accumulating all of the necessary equipment for the trip. It’ll be a lot of hard work, but I can’t wait!
#2: Mt. Tecumseh [5.2 mi, 4003 ft, 4:19] via. Mt. Tecumseh Trail
See our photo album for the day here.