|The bark was falling off the trail-very cool!|
I quickly donned my snowshoes and started my meander up to Garfield. The problem with this ascent is that instead of being a two mile grind it is nearly 5 miles of switchback after switchback after...ad infinitum(or at least ad nauseum). It is totally runnable in the summer or if it was nicely packed but for me it ended up being more of a run a couple steps, trip myself up, curse Eian Proehl for blowing me off morning of, walk, run a couple steps, repeat...
I finally made it to the Garfield Ridge Trail Junction and to my dismay, it was NOT packed at all. In fact, it looked like no one had been there all winter. I took the 1/4 mile turn to Garfield's summit with great views of clouds in every direction debating whether I should just turn around or attempt breaking trail.
|Cloudy Day on Garfield|
|Gale River Trail nicely packed|
|Garfield Ridge Trail(only my footprints)|
South Twin rockets over 1,000 feet in the air above the Galehead hut in less than 3/4 quarters of a mile so I was expecting to do some work. But compared to the trail breaking, it seemed like nothing. I summited fairly quickly and realized that, again to my dismay, the trail to North Twin was not broken.
|South Twin Summit|
|Crossing a brook|
As of 2/16/2013: 24/48 4,000 footers
The next day I awoke to blustery winds and the daunting task of having to drive back up to the Whites to do another hike. I was going back and forth between Carrigain and Isolation and didn't really want to do either. But I packed up all my things and headed up. To exit 16. Which is when I realized that I wasn't going to have fun wasting a good portion of my day driving only to be cold and miserable on a hike I totally wasn't into doing.
|Looking out the back side of Oak Hill|
|The desert options at the Tuscan Kitchen where I had lunch|
I probably will get re-motivated to drive up north for a hike this Wednesday but I realized that I am not going to let a contrived goal of hiking contrived trails on summits that are arbitrarily deemed high enough ruin my time outside. I will go when I'm up for it and do it on my on pace and volition. The goal was a good way to get me outdoors and I may still achieve it, but I will not let it own me. Nor should any of you with your own goals because remember, all of the are just as contrived and if they are ruining your lives, it certainly is not worth it. Go out and ENJOY!