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Saturday, July 16, 2011

#2 #3 Mt. Osceola Main Peak and East Peak (East Osceola) July 1, 2007

#2 #3 Mt. Osceola Main Peak (4,340') and East Peak (East Osceola - 4,156') via Mt. Osceola trail  July 1, 2007
Mileage:  8.4 miles RT

Elevation gain: 3,000'

Trailhead: Tripoli Road (2,280'). Closed November to April.  I-93 exit 31 (Tripoli Road). Head east on Tripoli Road, 7 miles on your left.  There is a fee to park if you don't have a pass. 

Lesson learned: Don't assume abilities or limitations.

Today I hiked with Rich, Charlotte, Norm, the Kathys and Bob. Rich and I were new to hiking - certainly not peakbaggers; the obsession wouldn't hit us for another year.  We enjoy Norm and Charlotte's company and figured a hike with them would be an opportunity to socialize and get some exercise.

The day was overcast (misty) and warm. We arrived at the trailhead mid-morning and headed up.



It starts off rocky but most of the trail to the summit of Mt. Osceola is a gradual climb with occasional flat areas (soft with pine needles).  As we ascended the path gave way to rock slabs (tricky in wet or icy conditions).  Rich was wearing his old Timberlands and slipped at one point (the mist had dampened the rocks).   


When we got to the main peak, we stopped to have lunch. We could see bits of view between clouds.




Lunch on the peak
The rocky summit - in the clouds.
Norm suggested we continue to East Peak, adding that we would have to climb down and then back up a steep chimney on this section of trail.  

He wasn't sure how happy Charlotte would be on the chimney and I wasn't sure how happy Rich would be - both are uncomfortable with heights.  We decided to suggest the trek to them but leave the chimney details out of the conversation (which we did and they agreed to head over).

When we got to the chimney there was an obvious bypass, which we took and soon were on the wooded summit of East Peak.  



The wooded East Peak.
On the way back, Charlotte bypassed the bypass and scrambled up the chimney with no problem!  We headed back to the summit of Mt. Osceola, then down to our cars and went for dinner.


***

Sometimes we make assumptions about the preferences of those close to us.  Charlotte and Rich clearly were up to the task, yet we opted not to tell them about the rugged terrain when we encouraged them to hike the second summit.  They could have easily opted not to go or not to continue if the chimney looked too daunting when they got there but it should have been their choice. 


This is true in the reverse; we mustn't assume our companions are up for or even interested in a challenge without first checking with them.  From this moment forward, we make a point of discussing what we know about the terrain and allowing those accompanying us to make informed decisions on whether or not to participate.

One last note about the Osceolas.  Summit Post states that these popular peaks are often the first NH 4000 footers to be hiked by peakbaggers, many (like us) before they decide to become peakbaggers and work on their NH 48 list. 

Perhaps this is why none of my friends possess photos of their Osceolas hikes (who thought to bring a camera?).  In fact, we've spent years asking our friends if they can remember the date they hiked them and with whom in hopes that we were on their hike and could add one of their Osceolas photo to our album. Charlotte found the above photos in one of her old hiking folders and sent them around a few weeks ago (over five years after we did this hike). Thanks, Charlotte!


Our friend Charlotte


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