May 23rd found us hiking over Mount Starr King to reach Mount Waumbek – one of New Hampshire’s 4000 footers. Waumbek would put us one peak closer to our goal of joining the AMC’s 4000 footers club. It would also be our first 4000 footer of 2015.
We drove to Jefferson, NH for the hike, which was part of the Pliny Range of the White Mountains. While there were rumored to be outlooks near each peak, neither was known for its views. Perhaps to compensate for this, the lower trail was lined with a beautiful array of wildflowers. The trip was easy, but as we hiked along the crest that would lead us to the first summit, it got incredibly cold. It was hard to believe that the previous week I was worried about heat stroke as we rummaged through our packs to add clothing layers and, since we didn’t bring gloves with us, to find anything to wrap our hands in so that the feeling would return – it was honestly that cold.
Luckily, we quickly reached Mount Starr King, named after the Unitarian minister Thomas Starr King. It was surprisingly, but wonderfully, warmer at the top and after a few minutes in the sun our hands were able to defrost. A short mile later and we had conquered the 4006 foot summit of Mount Waumbek, too.
After a quick break, we began our descent, finishing the hike in only four hours – a full hour less than the suggested hike time. Which meant that after running full speed after a giant both up and down a mountain, I was home in time to cook dinner. Joy