Mt. Monadnock, Pumpelly Trail

Posted By on October 18, 2014

Mt. Monadnock, Pumpelly Trail

4 miles; jaffrey, nh

the hubs and i decided to take a little mini-vacation to celebrate a) his birthday, b) our wedding anniversary, and c) the end of my temp job. we went to keene, new hampshire, to do a hike on mount monadnock and visit the famous keene pumpkin festival. if you’ve been following the news at all, you know how part of that turned out. but honestly, aside from getting a little whiff of tear gas, you would never have known that there was rioting going on a few blocks from where we were. we had a lovely time. and hey, now i can cross “get teargassed” off my bucket list.

as for our hike, i had climbed the main white-dot trail up to the summit of monadnock back when i was a teenager, at least twice, if not more times. but it’s been a long time since i was a teenager, and i probably picked the worst trail out of the 35 different ways to get to the summit to climb this time, the pumpelly trail.

it went along smoothly enough at first… climbing gradually and gently through spectacular foliage and glimpses of distant hills. i was congratulating myself on my excellent choice when suddenly [duhn, duhn, DUHN] the trail turned vertical, or almost, with massive rocks and roots and to make it extra-special, a rivulet of water running down, making everything nice and slippery. i sighed, hitched up my pants, and started to climb. and climb. and climb.

i made it almost to the top of this treacherous stretch, when i met the hubs coming down. (this is how we hike “together”—he takes off and is lost to sight almost immediately). i decided then and there that i was done with this trail, and turned around and followed him back down. it was just too tricksy, and i knew that once i got up there i’d have to come back down, and coming down is scarier than going up.

still, i’m glad we got out and it was a gorgeous day for a hike.

auntie on the mountain

auntie on the mountain

you can find trail info on mount monadnock (the third most-climbed mountain in the world) at the new hampshire state parks website. scroll down to the bottom of the page for the trail maps.


2 Responses to “Mt. Monadnock, Pumpelly Trail”

  1. Dan says:

    Believe it or not, pumpelly is considered to be one of the easiest routes to the summit but that is one heck of a slippery surface when it is wet. Not worth the risk.

    • auntie says:

      d’oh! i should have asked you which trail to take before we went. next time. and yeah, aside from the length, that’s what i understood too.

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