February 10, 2006.
8.7 mi | 2750’ ele. gain | 6.5 hr.
Sandwich Mtn Tr > Noon Peak > Jennings Peak > Sandwich Dome and back
After much confusion about where the trail was and how to cross the icy river, we walked up the road from the trail head parking area. After crossing the bridge we followed a set of tracks through the woods that led back to the trail. There was probably an inch of snow on the ground in some spots and totally bare in others.
It was plenty icy though, and each step had to be made carefully. My hiking partner didn’t bring Yaktrax or crampons so I didn’t put mine on. It was slow going all the way to the top.
After what felt like forever, we reached Noon Peak and admired the views. The clouds were still pretty low but we could see a bit of what was out there.
Next we pressed on to Jennings Peak. The walk up was beautiful, through varying types of terrain. We took the short spur to Jennings, dropped our packs and scoured the area with cameras-in-hand. We eyeballed the North Slide on Tripyramid, Sachem Peak and Sandwich Dome.
After we could stand no more cold, we geared up and pressed on to the final peak of the day. All footprints ended at the summit, where we stopped for more photos. It was a great view and we saw a ton of interesting slides to climb. My eyes were drawn in particular to Osceola Slide. The wind was blowing hard so we quickly retreated.
Towards the end of the hike, where crusty snow gave way to slippery ice, I put on my crampons and my partner put on his snowshoes. I charged up ahead. I’m getting so used to speed demons that it’s hard to slow down and take everything in. Sad.
As soon as I took off my crampons, I fell flat on my ass. I was so used to having that extra traction!
We completed the hike sometime in the early afternoon. It was a lovely half-day hike. There were lots of rabbit tracks on the ledges. We also flushed out some kind of large bird, and perhaps I heard a woodpecker. Or, maybe it was just a creaky tree.