Sunday, March 25, 2018

Hiking in the rain isn't as bad as it seems.

Many people see rain in the forecast and decide to cancel their wilderness plans for the weekend, most of my family included. But they fail to see the benefits that adverse weather can bring to a day of hiking. Working on a farm during the summer the few days I get off are usually caused by rain, so I end up hiking on rainy days often. I've actually come to enjoy these days, and usually so does Nina. Hiking in the rain does actually have its benefits.

Less Crowds

Since most people will not hike during rainstorms or decide to turn back early you tend to get the trail to yourself. This is great for us because I can let Nina loose and she can run freely up and down the trail without me worrying too much about encountering other hikers. While hiking Mt. Cabot the only person I saw was the caretaker of the hut who was out for a jog along the trail. Having a summit to yourself is an awesome, peaceful feeling that every hiker needs to experience.
A very cold, and windy rainy day at the summit of Mt. Lafayette.
Forecast called for 50 degrees and sunny..... not quite


Shitty weather is a great motivator! At the end of a rainy hike I'll get back to my car, look at the time and realize I hiked way faster than usual. The confidence boost of hiking over 10 miles up a 4,000 ft peak in cold, pouring rain makes you feel invincible, like you're on top of the world (or a mountain). 

The Views

Wait... what views? Well yeah, most of the time the rain blocks any vista you were hoping to see. The day of the picture above the weather was forecasted for 50 degrees and clear skies. I was so confident I didn't even bring my raincoat to save weight, and it ended up being so cold when I brushed the water from my hair it turned to snow! There were only a few glimpses of the fall foliage below when the clouds occasionally broke. 

But...... On the days that the weather decides to clear just for you when you reach the summit, the views are absolutely breathtaking. Mountaintops look like jagged islands in a sea of clouds and mist. You feel completely disconnected from the world below. This to me is what makes hiking in the rain worth it, the chance of getting other worldly views that almost make time stand still.
The skies cleared like a scene from a movie once we reached
the summit of Mt. Eisenhower 
I don't take too many pictures of these views because a photo doesn't capture the true beauty or emotions of these moments. I do however have a couple photos from rainy day views. I highly encourage you to go out and push through the weather it can be extremely rewarding, just go prepared.
View from the Bulge (possibly the horn?) below Mt. Cabot

Cool fall view from when the rain finally cleared on the way down from
 summiting Lincoln and Lafayette.

About myself and my dog Nina

About two years ago my family decided to adopt a rescue dog. A cute little black and white spotted puppy being shipped up from Tennessee. We're still not sure what breed she is, but who cares? She's cute.

We were able to find out a little background information on where the came from and why she was put up for adoption from the shelter where she stayed for a month or two. Her previous owner apparently didn't want her (or her two siblings) so he was going to shoot them! Thankfully, a neighbor took the puppies and kept them in a garage until they could be put in a shelter. Seriously, how could you harm such a cute face. She has a lot of trust issues with strangers, but she's getting better ever so slowly.

I myself am a full time college student, I transferred schools so I'm on the six year plan...  I've always wanted to do more hiking but never had anyone available to hike with, and have worked on a farm during the summer so I get next to zero days off. But, after I did a couple short practice hikes with Nina I decided screw it, I'm just going to hike by myself, and the dog of coarse.

I had hiked Mt. Washington with my family and several others the year before, so I decided to hike the rest of the 4,000 footers. I thought that it would be cool to say that my dog has hiked all of them. Having hiked the tallest one, we set out one morning to scale the shortest 4,000 foot peak, Mt. Tecumseh.

I didn't realize how easily we would catch the hiking bug! My original thoughts were that we would do about 5 peaks a year, and to finish before Nina got too old to hike all day. Well, two years and 27 peaks later we are excited to start our season as early as possible and to conquer the remaining 21 summits this season.
Mt. Monroe looking at Mt. Washington.
One of the very few pictures  I have of myself at a summit, they're usually just Nina