Got in the car at 7:45 AM for the drive up to the White Mountains. My car said is was 5F. That dropped as I drove north. It hit around 2F before I stopped looking. Forecast for the hike was eventually to get up to the 20s, but with some wind, so “feels like” -2F degrees. Luckily it was sunny and we were protected by the trees, so it was a really great winter day for a hike.
Mt. Potash, 4.4 miles, and 1450 feet of elevation gain.
This is actually a water crossing! Underneath all of that snow is Downes Brook. In summer, I’m told you can “rock hop” across. In high water, there is a logging road that can bypass this crossing, since it can be high and dangerous. Lucky for us, it’s been cold enough for a “snow bridge” across (not in the photo). You can hear the water rushing underneath you. It’s quite … invigorating when you accidentally step off the packed down path and feel the snow start to give way under your foot. I highly recommend staying on the packed trail.
It’s a lovely hike and you come out on this ledge with views of Mt. Chocorua (which I’ve hiked before!) and others. It’s always nice to be on a mountain and see another mountain you’ve hiked.
This is the trail. I’m guessing in summer this might make me more nervous than I was since I think it’s a granite ledge under all that snow. The packed down trail makes it oddly feel more secure than bare granite.
Here’s Rainbow on the trail. I’m thankful to snowshoers in the days before us who packed down the trail. We were able to do the whole hike in just microspikes.
Summit view! The view from the summit included a lot of peaks I’ve previously hiked: Osceola, Flume, Liberty, Field, Jackson, and Eisenhower. (Not all captured in this photo). Washington was visible from the summit as well, but I couldn’t get a good pic of it.
Dorky but obligatory summit selfie.
The three of us. This pic cracks me up because I need to push up my glasses and my hat, but mostly because I’m hiding a bag of chips behind my back for the photo.
1450 feet elevation gain
Total time: 3:40
Moving time: 2:56 (!!! That’s one minute over “book time”)