Jan 15, 2011

11th Essential
12th Essential

Micro Spikes  - the best for winter hiking

#1 Map
#2 Compass
#3 Warm Clothing
#4 Extra Food and Water
#5 Head
Lamps or Flash Light
#6 Matches/ Fire Starter
#7 First Aid Kit
#8 Whistles
#9 Rain/Wind Jacket & Pants
#10 Pocket Knife
 11th Essential:  The Power Strip 
To most people, who know me, my commitment to go on a  snowshoeing trip in Mt. Whites came as a shock.  Cold is not my friend.  Endurance is not my strength.  Hiking etiquette might as well be written by Emily Post.  Creature comforts are more my style.  

But... I am not a wimp.  What bolstered my confidence was going with 3 other women.

As we settled into our room, choose our bunk beds, S pulled a power strip out of her backpack, "I thought we needed this for all our toys."  And we did.
The view from Elephant Head, looking toward Highland Lodge

We were lucky.  On our second day, a blizzard settled over the Presidential Range.  With visibility zero, the four of us put our heads together.  
Down the road, stands the Mt. Washington Hotel, a grand old lady built in 1902. Composed of 2,000 doors, 1200 windows, 200,000 square feet of wood flooring, 11 miles of plumbing pipe and 2,000,000 square feet of lumber and... a SPA. The answer came to us.

Mt. Washington Hotel: a view of a  portion  of the lobby then and now.

Grey nails, blue nails and a massage are good preparation for breaking trail in 3 ft. high snow. I believe, it increased our chances of getting to the top of Mt. Willard.

It took the better part of a day to do the round trip.  As S said, "The beauty rewards you." 
Would I do it again?  Only if I have the 12th Essential: 
3 fascinating, supportive, funny, tolerant, and compassionate women by my side.  

* The 10 Essentials are posted by the AMC (American Mountaineering Club ) in places like the back of bathroom doors, bulletin boards throughout the Lodge and on the dinner table.


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