Ross McLeod 
 Winter '02-'03 

 

DatePeak / Peaks  #
December 23 Bond, West Bond, Bondcliff, Zealand 1-4
January 6 Cannon, North Kinsman, South Kinsman 5-7
January 10 Osceloa, East Peak 8-9
January 13 Hancock, South Hancock 10-11
January 17 Flume, Lafayette, Liberty, Lincoln 12-15
January 24 Tom, Field, Willey 16-18
January 26 Wildcat A, Wildcat D 19-20
January 30 Moosilauke 21
February 5 Tecumseh 22
February 11 Carter Dome, Middle Carter, South Carter 23-25
February 14 Waumbek 26
February 21 Isolation 27
March 2 Owl's Head 28
March 4 Galehead, Garfield, South Twin 29-31
March 7 Eisenhower, Jackson, Monroe, Pierce, Washington 32-36
March 9 Passaconaway, Middle Tripyramid, North Tripyramid, Whiteface 37-40
March 12 Moriah 41
March 14 Cabot 42
March 16 Carrigain 43
March 17 Hale, North Twin 44-45
March 18 Adams, Jefferson, Madison 46-48

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Photo caption:
Alan Carpenter, Wayne Morris and myself atop Mt. Carrigain, celebrating my first completion of all 48 peaks as winter hikes over the years. Champagne, shrimp, sausage, cheese, crackers – a great hike with my best hiking friends.

 

 

  

I owe the genesis of my love for winter hiking to Muffet Gracey of the Tufts University Mountain Club. I became a member as a friend of a student’s brother. Really. While staying at their Loj in Woodstock, NH one winter, there wasn’t much snow and the downhill skiing was terrible. Four of us, bored downhill skiiers, were looking for something to do. Muffet gave me her Franconia trail map and sent us off to climb Indian Head. We were extremely skeptical. What, no chairlift? Well, we enjoyed the hike and had a beautiful lunch on the exposed rock ledge at the top. I was hooked. The next day I hiked Mount Liberty solo and the winter 4000-footer bug officially bit me.

Why have I restricted my hiking to virtually just winter? It is what drew me to NH in the first place and I have always loved snow. Besides, there are no bugs, mud, or crowds and stream crossings are generally frozen over. Meanwhile, I love to ride and race my bicycle during the warmer months.

In the winter of 2002-03, I initially had no thoughts of hiking all the peaks in one winter. Things just fell into place. Serendipity, I suppose. Heck, I was barely over half way through the list with only one month left (26 down, 22 to go), and I had yet to hike any of the Presidentials. Doing all the peaks in one winter wasn’t even a passing thought until I hiked 12 peaks in 6 days (a lot for me). Cath Goodwin spotted me the day I broke trail from Garfield to South Twin (ugh!!). It was a massive solo grind, but it was so amazingly exhilirating. Unfortunately, since I came up short in getting to North Twin, I later had to do Hale and North Twin in a rare double by bushwhacking up Hale from the northwest and then cutting over to North Twin. I have never been so exhausted as I was that hot, sunny day (wet postholing – ugh). A few days later, I met Ed Hawkins, Sue “Stinkyfeet” Johnson, and one other hiker on the way up to Mount Clay. It was such a beautiful day that I went all the way down to Jackson. I then did the Tripyramids, Passaconaway and Whiteface with Sue Johnson and after that long slog (we broke trail all across the Sleepers), combined with her enthusiasm, I was at #40 and firmly on track for all 48. Jefferson was #48. So many memories, so many great times!