Monday, December 9, 2013

Nights 341 and 342 - 23 nights to go!

Hi and welcome back!

Saturday night: 24 degrees
Sunday morning: 27 degrees
Sunday night: 26 degrees
Monday morning: 31 degrees

Sunday afternoon I went to see if the pond was frozen, and I took my dad's ice axe.  Even though it had been below freezing for quite a while, it didn't even have a thin crust on it.

Leaving the pond, I went into the woods above the pond where there's a stream with some steep dirt banks on either side.  Since I had the axe, I decided to practice kicking steps in the dirt.  For those of you who aren't familiar with mountaineering, in steep or unstable snow where you can't frontpoint (use the front points of your crampons), you take the adze of your axe and chop steps, or kick your boots into the snow.

Maisy Licks my Wound
I did that for awhile, and then I started going up toward the top of the hollow to go home.  I lost my footing, though, and I started sliding down toward the stream.  I was trying to "self arrest" with the axe, but it wasn't biting in the rocky soil.  I wasn't able to stop until I could hook it on a tree.  It just so happened that there was a little rocky dropoff, and I slammed my left knee on it.

I had a hard time getting up to the edge of the hollow after that. I had to lean on the axe a bit to climb out, but I finally made it.

As I was walking home, it started to flurry, and within an hour it was really snowing.  When I got home and checked out my knee, Maisy started licking the blood from it, and before my mom could get a washcloth to wash it, Maisy had it all clean!

Just in case my tent collapsed under the weight, my dad and I set up the L.L. Bean tent as a backup.  I was planning on starting out in my tent and then moving over if I had to, which I didn't.

Today we had off from school because we got about an inch of snow, and there was some ice on top of it.  Since there was snow on the ground, I took my downhill skis out.  I put a GoPro mount on the end of one ski, and I got some video of it.  Unfortunately, in a lot of the videos I got snow on the lens, and it wasn't very clear.

This evening my dad and I hiked, but on parts of the trail it was really slippery.  We figured that once it freezes even more tonight, the ice is going to be thick enough that we will probably need crampons.  Because of that, we're going to hike in the morning with crampons and see what it's like.

Mount Washington Sunset - Sunday Night

Also, here's a picture of the sunset from the top of Mount Washington last night!

Thanks for reading!

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