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Monadnock Weekly Report 02.22.13

Posted on by Patrick Hummel, Volunteer Program Coordinator

02.22.13

The truth at the heart of nature
the light that is not of day
Why seek it afar forever
when it cannot be lifted away
– George Nelson Gerry memorial plaque, Mount Ascutney, Vermont

About 45 miles to the southeast, Mount Monadnock viewed from near the summit of Vermont's Mount Ascutney. Photo by Patrick Hummel

About 45 miles to the southeast, Mount Monadnock viewed from near the summit of Vermont’s Mount Ascutney. Photo by Patrick Hummel

The weekend is nearly here and once again, like many other places around New England, we are bracing for another Winter Storm.

Currently, many trails on Monadnock are packed down pretty well. A mix of bare rock, snow, and ice patches can be found above treeline. Light spiked traction is recommended for additional grip and in areas where ice is hiding beneath thin layers of snow.

 

A view from Monadnock's Summit with Crotched Mountain faintly seen in the distance. February 2013. Photo by Patrick Hummel

A view from Monadnock’s Summit with Crotched Mountain faintly seen in the distance. February 2013. Photo by Patrick Hummel

 

While we’re not expecting the historic snowfall of the Nor’easter experienced two weeks ago, we will likely see snow accumulations of up to 12″ in the Monadnock Region. The snow will be wet and heavy, which could bring concerns about downed trees and power outages.

Forecasters are still trying to accurately predict how this storm will shape out, but a Winter Storm Watch is already in effect for us from Saturday afternoon until Sunday afternoon and most models are currently calling for snowfall in the 6-12″ range for Monadnock.

Ice in Poole Brook on Monadnock's eastern slopes. February 2013. Photo by Patrick Hummel

Ice in Poole Brook on Monadnock’s eastern slopes. February 2013. Photo by Patrick Hummel

Hikers looking to squeeze a climb in this weekend will have the best opportunity to do so early on Saturday. Clouds will increase and the snow will start falling sometime in the afternoon. Initial accumulations will be light, but wind and visibility will become a concern, especially above treeline, as the day progresses.

The highest accumulations from the storm will likely fall overnight Saturday, into Sunday. Travel on Sunday may be dangerous and access to the Monadnock HQ area could be limited until the snow ends sometime Sunday afternoon or evening.

Looking west from the Cliff Walk and Smith Connecting Trail junction. February 2013. Photo by Patrick Hummel

Looking west from the Cliff Walk and Smith Connecting Trail junction. February 2013. Photo by Patrick Hummel

After this upcoming storm, I would say that light spiked traction would still be advisable and the use of snowshoes may be more of a personal preference than a requirement. The new, wet snow could also lead to some sloppy conditions in areas. Feel free to always call Monadnock State Park directly for the most up-to-date information on conditions and necessary gear: 603-532-8862. And, as usual, keep an eye on the forecasts before planning your trip.

Conditions look to remain favorable for those wishing to Nordic ski on the 8+ miles of ungroomed X-C ski trails at the base of Monadnock.

Morning sunlight breaking through the forest on Monadnock's southern slopes. February 2013. Photo by Patrick Hummel

Morning sunlight breaking through the forest on Monadnock’s south western slopes. February 2013. Photo by Patrick Hummel

The start of next week looks clear, but we could see another round of precipitation midweek.


The Heart Of Monadnock

Not only to look out from it, but to look deeply into it, gives us the inexhaustible lore that is hidden in the mountain’s mighty heart”- Elizabeth Weston Timlow, The Heart Of Monadnock.

The book, The Heart Of Monadnock, was first published in 1922 and not re-published again until 2008 by Surry Cottage Books. Monadnock author Craig Brandon wrote and included a short, but interesting biography on Timlow in the 2008 edition. 

With a background in education and authoring several children’s novels and magazine articles, The Heart of Monadnock was like no other work Timlow ever did during her lifetime.

Elizabeth Weston Timlow is buried with her two sisters in the town cemetery in Fitzwilliam, NH. Photo by Patrick Hummel

Elizabeth Weston Timlow is buried with her two sisters in the town cemetery in Fitzwilliam, NH. Photo by Patrick Hummel

Timlow’s passionately (and dramatically) penned work is more or less a near 150 page-long love letter to Mt. Monadnock and the inspiration she drew from the mountain. The story centers on Monadnock and an unnamed climber. Although the character in the book is male, it is fairly clear to me that the climber’s experiences, thoughts, and reflections must be hugley drawn from Timlow’s own experiences on the trails. Timlow visited Monadnock each summer for 30 years between 1900 and 1930.

The book features some great old photographs of Monadnock, its landmarks, and the inside cover even includes the George Parker and Scott A. Smith developed Monadnock Trail Map printed in 1910. Original copies are scarce and I am fortunate to have one.

Interestingly, Timlow wrote the spiritual reflection in one sitting while staying at the Half Way House hotel on Monadnock’s slopes.

Last week’s blog reflected on why we climb. Tied into those thoughts are what we get out of our time in nature.

Mount Monadnock gave Elizabeth Weston Timlow a burst of inspiration that resulted in a short novel being penned immediately in its entirety that is still being read and enjoyed nearly a century later.

"The Spur", off of the White Dot Trail on the south east face of Monadnock's summit, captured in sunrise light, March 2012. Photo by Patrick Hummel

“The Spur”, off of the White Dot Trail on the south east face of Monadnock’s summit, captured in sunrise light, March 2012. Photo by Patrick Hummel

In what ways has Monadnock inspired you?

 

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About Patrick Hummel, Volunteer Program Coordinator

My name is Patrick Hummel and I am the NH State Parks Volunteer Program Coordinator. I work statewide supporting invidivual volunteers, Friends groups, Trails groups, and community orgainizations in our State Parks. Previously, I was the 8th Park Manager in Monadnock State Park’s history. I grew up in Jaffrey, in the shadow of Mt. Monadnock, establishing a fascination with the mountain at the age of 6. I enjoy hiking, photography, and traveling. I also enjoy non-fiction reading (mostly), Civil War history, and have come to the acceptance that I will never be the starting first baseman for the New York Mets. I am also an avid music fan with a former career in radio and tour management. I now live at the doorstep to the White Mountains. View all posts by Patrick Hummel, Volunteer Program Coordinator →
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One Response to Monadnock Weekly Report 02.22.13

  1. avatar Matt Challis says:

    Please write about Pumpelly trail
    There are a number of die hard weekly Pumpelly hikers year round. The Pumpelly has a feeling and history all it’s own
    Thank you


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