November 17, 2010
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The training continues. Week #2. I decided to add a high peak into my regimen, this week. I usually do a few more distance hikes (working up to 14-16 miles, for endurance), before stepping it up with a climb. Instead, while on my way north, I decided to stop by one of my favorite “quick climbs” of Giant. I’ve used this mountain in the past as a great way to get ready for other outings, since it’s close to the Northway, and only 3.5 miles, one way. I say only, but this climb goes vertical, right from the start, and almost never lets up! I took the Roaring Brook trail this time, just to mix it up a bit. The weather was lousy almost all day, but, since this is more of just a workout, it really didn’t matter much to me. I was surprised how much snow was on the upper sections of the mountain. Most of the trail was passable without traction aides, but I put on the MICROspikes a little ways after the junction with the main (red) trail, and kept them on the rest of the way. Even with the warm weather expected to continue, I wouldn’t take any more hikes, this year, without some kind of crampon, as you can expect conditions to change quick. I think the MICROspikes are the best traction, and ease of use, for conditions that don’t require full crampons. There was 6 to 8 inches of snow at the peak, with drifts over a foot. A few parts of the trail were totally iced over, for spans up to 100 ft. or so (you could still bare boot it, using the sides of the trail). I had some problems with my trekking poles this week. This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems with Leki poles, but I still stick with them over the years because they’ve served me well. The lock, which is plastic, that holds the adjuster in place (over a knurled area underneath) slipped down, and I can’t seem to fix it myself. I’ll have to get a hold of the company and see if they can get me a replacement part. The trip down was quick. Wouldn’t you know, as I neared the end of the hike, the skies began to clear, and I was able to get in a few decent pictures of the clouds, as they lifted over Round and Noonmark. I’ll be back to the distance work, next week. This time, though, I’ll try to pick a spot with no hunters wondering around (see last post). They’ll be done by the first Sunday in December.