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Valentine’s in the White Mountains

Still on a complete high after playing hookie this week for a Valentine’s hike of Mount Monroe in the White Mountain Presidential Range!

women hiking in the white mountains

Photographer pal Alexandra Roberts sent me a text on Sunday night: “free Tuesday by any chance and wanna hit up the Whites? Looks like there will be a break in the storm that day!”

How TRUE that was! This Tuesday, February 14th turned out to be THE day of the winter. Gorgeous sunshine, zero wind, and fresh powder up to our thighs/hips/shoulders!

patagonia hiking pack in new hampshire

women hike mount monroe in new hampshireammonoosuc ravine in nh white mountains

But that’s not all! As we were suiting up in the parking lot (after leaving Cape Cod at 4am to meet Alex in Somerville by 5am), three more gals pulled up to the trailhead. Each of us having left from entirely different destinations that morning, somehow we all met to hike Mount Monroe up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail at the exact same time on a Tuesday morning! Granted they had all planned to meet, but Alex and I hadn’t even decided on a mountain until an hour earlier in the drive. Fate is a crazy thing.

We basically latched arms immediately and fell in friendship love. We hiked the entire way up and down together – about six hours – taking turns breaking trail, falling on our bums, and filling the ravine with laughter.

womens group hiking in new hampshirehiking the white mountains

There was soooo much snow! We relied on our snowshoes all the way up to the AMC Lakes of the Clouds Hut before switching to crampons for the final steep crawl up Monroe. Mount Washington was gleaming in the sunshine next to us, and we could see backcountry skiers across the ravine near the Cog Railway route. When it came time to head back down below tree line, we sat, fell and slid down (three different methods, trust me) on our butts much of the way. No matter what turn the hike took over six hours, it just never felt like work. I had a permanent grin across my face all day!

winter in the white mountains

What was also kinda eerie and cool was that we were the ONLY five people to hike this somewhat popular route all day, and the next day’s snowstorm would completely wipe out our tracks. It’s like it never happened, yet…

I’m not sure five women have ever had a more perfect Valentine’s day together! Much love to Alex, Elizabeth, Whitney, Kimberly and trail dog Katahdin!

(disclaimer: my actual Valentine was very sick on the couch all day, poor guy)

 

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