Date: Monday, February 19, 2001
Four guys (Paul, Garry, Roger and I), met at McDonalds on Route 112 in Lincoln, New Hampshire at 7:30 and discussed where we would go. The high peaks were in the clouds on the drive up. We decided on Garfield, a summer hike of 10 miles round trip, but due to the USFS road being closed in winter, this would be a 12.5 mile reintroduction to my Plastic boots since last winter and my first wake up at 3:30 AM in Connecticut hike since September.
We left the winter trailhead lot at 8:30 and in about 35 minutes we reached the summer parking lot. The trail was well packed on Monday from the several groups that must have been there on Saturday. We carried snowshoes but never needed them. If you left the narrow packed down path, you were in thigh deep and not touching the bottom. We reached the Mount Garfield and Garfield Ridge junction around 12:30 and all of us put our crampons on before tackling the steepest part of the day, the 0.2 miles to the summit. Summit temp was about 10 degrees with a wind that was 10-15 MPH with some higher gusts; not bad for mid-February.
We had some lunch and took some photos before leaving (I forgot my camera though). As we were getting ready to leave, a squall came in and by the time we were back to the trail junction, it was snowing. We were back to the cars about three hours after leaving the summit. All day we just saw 4 other hikers and several snowmobilers as the USFS road in winter is home to the junction with two snowmobile corridors. One of them, Corridor 11, runs down to Concord.
Overall we had a great day. However, I did manage to lose a Nalgene water bottle on the way down.
Submitted by Mike Paggioli
Thu, 23 Feb 2001