Thanksgiving Weekend Hike (Osceolas)
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
Nicole and I were staying at my grand-parrent's house in Keene NH so we decided that it was silly to drive all the way to NH and not hike. We've done Monadnock 4 times so Nicole said that was out of the question. I wanted to bag two peaks to make the drive worthwhile so we settled on the Osceolas. We left the house at 5am and were at the trailhead around 7 after stopping at the Dunkin Dounts off the Waterville Valley exit. The trailhead was empty when we arrived the parking area was empty but just as we were beginning our hike a van pulled in with some hikers who had the same plans for the day as us. We took off wearing stabilicers for the first section of the hike. We took our time at the stream crossing and made quick work of the section of Greely Ponds trail to the Osceola trail. We leap frogged with the other group throughout the day and enjoyed their company greatly.|
The climb up East Osceola from this direction starts off gradually but gets steep quickly after you pass below the band of cliffs. We wore stabilicers all the way to the summit of East but crampons would have been a much better choice. After a few dicey sections we eventually gained the ridge (be sure to check out the view point after the last steep section). At the summit Nicole and I enjoyed some food and drink, layered up, and put on crampons (should have earlier) for the hike over to Osceola.
The initial descent is somewhat steep but then becomes more gradual. When we got to the col and the infamous chimney I actually started laughing because of the prospect of having to climb that. Luckily the bypass was not nearly as dangerous and we passed that section without too much difficulty. We wore crampons up the bare rock which made it a little more tricky, but we didn't feel like changing them off and on again. The rest of the climb to the summit was uneventful.
At the summit we enjoyed the spectacular views from the with the guys we had been seeing all day. I took some pictures and then they offered us some of their pepperoni (which I happily ate) and luckily we had a block of cheese with us so we all enjoyed a nice round of appetizers around lunch time. Nicole and I began to get cold and had to get moving again so we began to descend. The climb through the col wasn't as bad as expected at the end of the day and having the traction of crampons was definitely helpful. After a while we were at the summit of East Osceola again and beginning our final climb down.
The sections that were a terror in stabilicers on the way up were a breeze in crampons and we descended with ease. After a while we were happy to be at the base of the steep stuff with a more gradual descent back to the trail junction. At the trail junction we changed back to stabilicers and hiked out to the trailhead. We felt that crampons were appropriate for the climb of East and everywhere on the ridge, we did see people using only stabilicers and a group of two who were barebooting (and making amazing time, so I guess I can't criticize). Eventually we were back at the car and were on our way. This was one of the best hikes I've had, the trails were fun, the views were spectacular, and we enjoyed the day with some new people.
Pictures are here:
If you guys are reading this and want any of the pictures in high resolution, feel free to send me an email
The Good and The Bad
The views were amazing
Almost sliding down the trail when my stabilicers wouldn't bite
|Uneventful from Keene to the Kanc. Stopped at a very nice Dunkin Donuts at the Waterville Valley exit off 93|