"We have climbed it in all kinds of weather; in snowstorms and summer heat, in zero weather, in thunderstorms, in fog, and in brilliant sunshine."
- Mildred Groot, On Climbing Monadnock, 1959
As you can find a day within the past seven where any of those conditions were present, Mildred may just as well have been talking solely about this past week at Monadnock State Park!
It has been a very bizarre, Jeckyl and Hyde type week on our beloved mountain. Monadnock Staff, volunteers, local fire crews, and New Hampshire Fish and Game Officers battled through fog, wind, and driving sleet and snow for a successful rescue and carry out of an injured hiker with a broken leg on the Dublin Trail on Saturday. The weather finally cleared out by Monday, although snowball fights near the summit were still taking place Memorial Day morning. An estimated 2,500 hikers climbed Mount Monadnock on Monday.
Thunderstorms moved into the Monadnock Region by midweek and the thermometer will be hitting near 90 degrees today and tomorrow.
Last weekend, we were concerned about hikers becoming hypothermic. This weekend, we will be concerned about hikers becoming dehydrated.
Monadnock's trails have quickly dried out from this week's rain. More storms, of the sudden pop up variety, could develop this weekend and into next week.
It is essential that hikers bring at least 2 liters of water per person, in addition to food and snacks. Additionally, any signs of thunderstorms should influence hikers to descend the mountain, wherever they are on the trails, slowly and carefully.
It will be a hot, muggy, buggy weekend on the trails, so be safe out there!
As you readers are aware, Monadnock State Park was featured in a recent piece from Fox CT and their "Day Trippers" program. For those who have yet to view it, the online link is now available here.
Thank you to Fox CT and Sarah Cody for featuring our mountain and allowing me on their airwaves.
This Month in Monadnock History
When this weekly report was in the form of an email newsletter, I brought this historical note to your attention. It may be a fun re-read for our long time readers. But, for the benefit of our newer readers at least, we will recount the first time in recorded history that Mount Monadnock was mentioned by name over 300 years ago.
It was June of 1704 when Mount Monadnock is mentioned as “Manadnuck Hill” in a letter to Colonial Governor John Winthrop of Connecticut (son of the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony of the same name) from Major William Whiting, describing the route taken by a crew on an Indian hunt that had just returned to Northampton, MA. Whiting noted that the "enemy Indians" had built a fort and planted corn at a place called Cowassuck (what a name!), which is now known as the far less amusing, Barnet, Vermont.
Welcome to Mount Wahmodmaulk!
Monadnock Author Allen Chamberlain, in his research, came across 22 different spellings of our mountain's name. You may have seen this list in the Monadnock State Park Visitor Center:
"Monadnock" is thought to come from an Algonquin word, loosely translated to “mountain that stands alone” or "place of the unexcelled mountain."
The Native Americans were right on, as I find Mount Monadnock to be unexcelled in many different ways.
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.