Sunday, November 30, 2014

Monadnock Fall Run Attempt 2014

A few friends and I decided to try for a late fall mountain run at Mt. Monadnock in Jaffrey, NH. The planned route was similar to one that Ryan Welts had done in May, at around 20 miles, 4 summits and 7,000' elevation gain. We were planning on running this in around 5-6 hours and it was to be a good last training run for myself, Eric, and Tony who all had a race coming up on December 6th. Tony, Jerimy, Eric and I started from the Old Halfway House trailhead and the plan was to summit from that angle right around sunrise, down White Cross and up White Dot Tr. to the summit, go down Pumpelly Trail and back up to the summit, down either Dublin or Marlboro trail and back up, then return to the cars.

The main reason that this ambitious plan didn't pan out on this trip was because it had rained and snowed two days prior to our adventure beginning. The start of the trip was fine until we arrived at treeline and were greeted with intermittent ice under a small amount of snow. This made for some slow moving miles up above the trees and by the time we arrived at the summit as the sun rose, we had decided to maybe rethink out plans. Deciding to head down Pumpelly Trail rather than White Cross, we were met with 15-20° temps and 20mph winds. With the long exposure along the ridgeline, we only made it to the Red Spot Trail and decided to head back down and make our way across some of the lower trails.

Instead of calling it a day when we arrived at the cars, we decided to make the best of the trip up there and run some hill repeats as a workout on the Old Toll Road. This is a 1.2 mile, 500' climb on a dirt road. Calling it after three laps, we ended up heading over to a diner for some breakfast before heading home. It was still a fun trip even though we didn't meet our goals of four summits. I think I'll be back attempting the route in the spring or once there is a better snow cover up top.

Trip info:

Monadnock Summit Run: 7.3 miles, 2172' climb, 2:44 time, Strava link (my watch was paused for a bit)
Old Toll Rd. Repeats: 7 miles, 1,644' climb, 1:03 time, Strava link

Arrived at the summit just as the sun was rising

Heading down the Pumpelly Ridge



My favorite photo from the trip. A snow flurry added to the interesting sunlight.

Looking back at the summit

Heading into the light

Tony heading down Red Spot Trail


  1. Hit me up whe you head out there in the Spring. Love running the 'nock!