My original plan was to make the long drive to Mt Washington Pinkham Notch for Lion’s Head, but I opted for the shorter drive and hike to Mt Passaconaway. My goal was to do Mt Whiteface as well, but the breaking trail took much more effort than I hoped. I wished that I had brought my snowshoe tails as well, as the fresh snow was soft.
Got up early for 2.75-hr drive and listened to Tina Fey read her Bossypants all the way. Left the trailhead at 7:05. (“Wow!” says Beef) Bare boots for about 1/2 mile along a skier’s track. Then switch to snowshoes. Snow depth increased throughout, and my pace slowed, requiring modifications of the expectations from two peaks (Passaconaway and Whiteface), to one peak (Passaconaway), to a required turnaround time of 5 hours. I finally said I’d turn around, even if I was below the summit, at noon. I was very close to the top, but I stuck to my plan, thinking I’d get back by 3pm. The descent was a breeze compared to the slog going up. The only person I met was another solo hiker coming up (enjoying my broken trail) about an hour from the peak as I was descending.
Summary: ~10 miles to Mt Passaconaway 3000′ elevation gain, 8 hrs. Snowshoes on unbroken trail; hazy bright. A fun hike. Started out slowly again, which helped endurance.