I knew that with a free afternoon, I could knock off Tecumseh with minimal headlamp time. Reaching the ski area parking lot at Waterville Valley at about 3:20PM, I was surprised to see just how busy they were, as the lots were pretty full for a working weekday. That's a good sign for them though. That said, people were coming off the slopes, and I was able to park about 3 spaces from the end of the row across from the trailhead. Nice!
3:30 I was off on the trail, snowshoes and microspikes on the feet until I needed one or the other. The trail was very hard-packed despite the warm temps (45F at the car), except for the top 1" which was a little softer. Translation: I bare-booted all the way to the summit (and with no trail damage mind you)! First time I've ever done that...microspikes in a couple of the steep spots would have been nice, but I managed just fine without them.
I saw one person about 10 minutes in who was heading down, and that was IT. Otherwise I had the mountain to myself. I sped along well on the lower half of the trail, which is fairly moderate, taking a couple breaks as needed but overall just trying to keep moving as I knew the sun would be setting soon enough.
|Woodpeckers had a field day with this tree|
|Ski slopes seen through the trees along the trail|
|Tripyramids across Waterville Valley as the sun sets|
|Looking down the ski slope (which was closed off for some reason just above the view point)|
Once on the ridge, I noticed the Sosman Trail towards the lifts was well-broken out (not shockingly), but I was here for the main summit. The sun had just set, but there were lingering rays of red/orange sun striking the trees in here, it was actually quite pretty (pictures didn't capture it well).
|Final rays of light bouncing off the snow-covered trees|
|Tripyramids from Tecumseh|
|Osceolas from Tecumseh|
And with that I was on my way to a shower and dinner, with Winter 4000-Footer #41 under my belt, and Garfield on tap for the morning.
Peaks: Mount Tecumseh (4003', NH4K)
Trails: Mount Tecumseh Trail, Sosman Trail
Mileage: 5.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 2300 feet
Book Time: 3hr 35min (actual 2hr 45min)