Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mack and Klem

On Sunday, I completed one of my goals for this year. Early in the year I decided that I would climb half of the Belknap range before the year is out. The Belknap range is a series of small mountains lying to the south of Lake Winnipesaukee in NH. There are 12 peaks in all, and the land they sit on is traced by several very nice trails and an assortment of old logging roads. A friend of mine, Don Watson, has actually sponsored a patch for those who want to hike all 12. I figure next year, I can get my patch.

As mountains in NH go, these are modest peaks, but they make delightful hiking and they are right in my backyard. None of the trails are more than 1/2 hour drive from my house. Because of their ease of access, and moderate level of difficulty they make for an excellent introduction to hiking for almost anyone. They may not have the high drama of the Presidential Range, but they do offer some amazing views of Lake Winnipesaukee, and the surrounding area. Much of the joy of these hikes lies in the fact that they offer simply wonderful walks in the woods without exceptionally hard going.

On Sunday, I clicked off Mt Mack and Mt Klem, walking with Don and another friend our ours and a few of our kids and dogs. As yet, I don't have photos, but when they come up, I will edit this post to add them.

Of course, walking with Don, the one who conceieved of, and manages the patch program, talk inevitably comes around to superlatives. The fastest person claims to have accomplished all 12 peaks in just over 4 hours. The youngest person to have done it completed them by age 10. Of course, once you get your patch, then you will want to find other ways to execute it. One man claims to have touched every peak (on different hikes) before 7:00 in the morning. We discussed hiking them in the winter, or even barefoot. The possibilities are almost endless.

My oldest daughter came with, and she now has 4 of the 12. I would like to see if by the end of the year, she can get at least 6 as well.

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