5300 feet (not quite the summit)

On Sunday, I travelled down to Mount-Washington with a group from the Make-A-Wish foundation.  A hike to help in the training process as we prepare for Kilimanjaro, a chance to get to know some of the people I'll be experiencing this adventure with... on the highest mountain in the North Eastern United States (6288 feet).

The last time (and only time) I climbed Mt-Washington, I was 15 years old. I remember making it to the summit but taking the wrong way down (the long and windy road). When I went it was summer. Beautiful weather even though it was a little chilly at the summit.

As we approached the mountain... on a beautiful fall day... we could see clearly that the only clouds in the sky were around the summit... and that there was plenty of SNOW. Yes... SNOW. Kind of exciting, right?

Part of the point of this trip to was get used to the hiking "layering" system. The objective with all of the pricey breathable/quick dry/ water repellent/etc. clothing is to stay warm, but not sweat. Basically you want to be "almost cold" - but not.

So what was I wearing? Super leggings (by craft), amazing and waterproof hiking boots (by lowa), 2 pairs of sock (one nylon liner and one Merino wool), a poly/nylon tank, a polyester "jogging shirt" (by reebok), a soft-shell (by MEC and borrowed from Isabelle) and a great 2010 olympics polar hat (courtesy of my garage sale donations!).

And what's in my back pack? goretex jacket and pants (Thank you Isabelle!), hiking poles and gloves (thank you Nellie!), a couple pairs of pants, extra socks,  food (snacks anyways, I forgot my lunch) and of course my camelback full of water and great blister band aids - just in case (thank you Stephen!)

It's a really good hike... but unfortunately we only made it to 5300 feet. The wind and visibility issues beyond that just made it NOT SMART to continue.

Check this out....

The video just doesn't do it justice. The experience was... exhilarating... I LOVED IT. Though it is a little scary to imagine what might have happened if one of us had fallen in the wrong place. I have NEVER felt wind like that in my life.

Of course, we still managed to get out the Make-A-Wish banner and "mark" the moment. :-)

... and then we headed back down... and back home. A big trip for one day!


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