On Friday, we hosted a Hike it Baby meet up at Pitcher Mountain. I have hiked this small mountain during the same week for the last 3 years and this was the first time it was covered in snow!
Seeing that spring has almost sprung here in Southern NH, I was expecting some muddy but snow-free trails up Pitcher which is less than an hour from our house. I made the rookie assumption of trail conditions and never thought to look up trail conditions on newenglandtrailconditions.com for recent reports. These small southern mountains rarely see hikers posting trip reports so I figured there wouldn’t be any for a mountain that is less than a mile round trip. However, as I was driving north, I started noticing more snow still along the road, and in yards. Arriving at the trailhead it was a snowy, slushy mess and a quick look up the trail showed it was completely covered in snow! UHOH! Now I am feeling guilty, its cooler than I thought and far more snow than I was expecting and I have a group of 4-10 moms showing up to hike with me. Everyone shows up as planned and everyone happily put on a few extra layers we all had in our cars and we decided to at least head up, and make a decision to turn around if it ends up being too cold and slick.
With a rather uneventful hike up, with one prolonged stop at a puddle to play in and throw stuff into it we made it to the old watchman’s cabin. The summit looked cold and windy so we decided to go up briefly, take in the view, say we made it to the top and head back down to the protected deck of the cabin for snacks and a break. During our break, another momma who had missed us at the trailhead arrived, so Aubrey and I decided to take the short hike back up to the tower so she too can say she made it to the top. The hike down was uneventful and sun greeted us as we entered the parking area.
As I was talking to another mom Aubrey was trying to get into my car, using the keypad on the door. I always lock my keys in the car and use the keypad for entry. I never have to worry about dropping my keys on the trail somewhere. Well, apparently Ford has a safety feature, that if the code is entered wrong so many times it locks out the keypad for a period of time. I had panicked. My keys were locked in the car! That never happens. Luckily after a frantic call to my husband, I tried the code one more time and was relieved when the locks popped up! Phew! I fired up the JetBoil for some post-hike hot chocolate and we headed home.
Upon arriving home, I decided that I should do my part and submit a trail condition report for Pitcher Mountain so others wouldn’t be shocked by the snow. Well, once I logged on to the website I shook my head. There were FOUR recent trip reports for Pitcher Mountain! All stated that snow was still present. I’ll never make that assumption again!