Dayyam, I hit this one just right! You just could not ask for better winter hiking conditions. In fact, it was SO nice, that I almost feel like it’s cheating to call this a winter hike. But, Spring Solstice isn’t ’till the 21st, so technically it’s still winter. Although, you’d never know it by conditions: pure blue skies, temps in the upper 20’s with a very mild breeze, plenty of snow pack, not rotten yet, still with good bouyancy. It was one of those rare winter days where you could comfortably linger on the summit as long as you wanted. Usually, the summit visits on winter hikes are very brief due to the raging winds and extreme wind chills combined with a rapid loss of body heat as soon as you stop moving. Ahh, but today was soooWEET!
The Welch and Dickey loop is one of those cheater hikes in the White Mountains. That’s where you get incredible views for comparatively little effort. “Comparatively” is the key word– compared to hiking the 4000-footers, this is a cake walk; but it’s still a 4½ mile hike in the White Mountains, in the winter, with a full winter pack, so I think a bead or two of sweat did form on my fair brow.
Anyway, the pictures below tell the story. Click ’em for a larger view.