A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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Eager for a Hale Storm
20 Jul
By 2020
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by Randy Pierce

Photo from: http://www.newenglandtrailreview.com/

What is the “hardest” hike for me? The answer, for now, is both the last mountain I climbed and the next mountain I will climb. I take so much from each hike experience that it’s hard to let each go. I have put the Washington hike fully behind me and I am very eager for our next summit attempt: storming Mt. Hale this coming weekend.

Each mountain holds challenges that I must attempt to overcome, and I often try to get help from folks that previously hiked the trail. It is essential that I discover and manage these challenges. Time and speed are frequent challenges for me.

Mt. Hale though, at 4054 feet, is on the shorter side, and at only 2.2 miles of trail, this mountain gives us good reason to feel confident. These advantages are ones we didn’t have on the Washington hike, and we’re all feeling optimistic. Of course, underestimating any of the 4K mountains is foolish, but perhaps that is a part of the challenge.

Personally, I don’t think I’ll fail to appreciate how “hard” any mountain is, no matter what the challenges or advantages of a particular trek. Many times each step requires a high amount of focus, and on a mountain trail of two miles, it can mean 10,000 steps for me.  That takes some serious concentration and attention. The upcoming Mt. Hale hike has no easy way down, and we are committed to the full trip, which means doubling that number of steps. At this point, there is a promise of glorious weather for our hike, but (the title of this post aside) you can never quite trust the weather in the Whites, and someday soon we will test that statement – hopefully not this round. Until then, though, I’ll simply salute all the 4,000s, and give a simple answer: they’re all hard! I’d be disappointed if they weren’t.

2 responses to “Eager for a Hale Storm”

  1. John Swenson says:

    Hey Guys,
    The Swenson clan did the Mt Hale trek a little over 2 years ago – July 16, ’08, to be exact. We had very warm humid 90+ degree weather. We ascended via Hale Brook and took the long but rewarding Lend-A-Hand Trail to Zealand Trail, stopped to relax at Zealand Falls Hut and then out to the Zealand parking area. It was approximately an 8.7 mile trip. We just had a family discussion to jog our memories – Hale Brook was a steady climb. About half way, there are a number of switchbacks which reduce the grade a bit. The summit is mostly wooded now with a large rock pile marking the summit. Your weather forecast right now looks great for the weekend. Consult with me before tackling Adams and Madison. Just did them and can offer some feedback. My son and I are off to Mt Washington this coming week with a stay at Lakes. Best wishes and we’ll be watching your posts.

  2. Randy says:

    Love hearing the trail recollections. Particularly interested in the challenging footing regions which really make me work for each foot placement. Steep isn’t awful for me though stream crossings are likely challenging as well. We hope to create a quality means for folks to share trail reports and particularly when they might evaluate the details most challenging for us. This was an awesome start, thanks John!

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