Trip Report: White Mountains

Trip Summary: A day hike through New Hampshire's White Mountains in the heart of winter; made a campfire for tea on a day with cold high winds
Date: 2-15-2015
People Included: Cody, Amber, Tyler, Mikaline

Over the weekend we decided to head to the White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire.  Being from upstate New York it is common to hear of people talk about the Adirondack Mountains, or Vermont's Green Mountains.  But I'm surprised to rarely hear talk of the White Mountains in NH.  The White Mountains boast the tallest peaks in Northeast USA, some of the clearest rivers and streams, are incredibly wildlife abundant, and feature some intense weather.  In fact, the fastest wind speed ever recorded in the Northern hemisphere was recorded in the White Mountains (231 mph).

We used a swinging bridge to cross this frozen river

This day the weather where we were was approximately -2F with over 30 mph gusts.  Cold, but later that night in a nearby location it was recorded to drop as low as -35 with over 125 mph gusts.  Not great weather for a day at the beach, but I find it extremely fitting for this glorious evergreen winter forest.

Grabbing tinder as we go


After an hour of hiking we went off trail for a bit before finding a descent spot for a fire.  We used our bucksaws and knives to process the firewood and feathersticks, but went a bit too quick to take many pictures.  The warmth of a campfire was definitely in demand.

Tyler's girlfriend Mikaline using the bucksaw for cutting up some firewood.  She's very good with a bucksaw.  Her mismatching gloves were done on purpose, of course

Amber using Tyler's Explorer and firesteel to prepare and strike the tinder.  It was a bit rough in this wind

We built the fire in a shallow spot the dug in, piling up the snow around it.  This helped a bit, but the wind was still ripping through.  Smoke choke sandwich

Using my Wayfarer for some more featherstick practice while the water heated up

We had some green tea, then put the fire out before taking our time back

One of the White Mountains' crystal clear rivers

A great hike, though I was a bit excited to get back to the Jeep; admittedly I forgot gloves and a hat.  I was quite jealous of Mikaline's mismatching gloves.  But we'll be back for an overnight in the spring.  Roughly every other time we return we see either a bear or a moose, maybe next time we'll be so lucky.

Thanks for looking.

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I once worked with an older man that wore a heavy leather mitten on his left hand and a glove on his right. When I finally asked him why, he said “I need a glove for my right hand because I use it more often and it is hard to use tools with a mitten on. My left hand does not hold tools near as much as my right so the mitten keeps my left hand warm.”
Made perfect sense.


YBF: Not this time. To get down to the water was a pretty steep slope, but I have tried it before during other times of the year. Bottled “spring water” doesn’t have anything on these rivers. :)

Cody Durivage

Great trip Cody, Hope you enjoy it very much.
Best wishes my friend!


Great trip report and nice pics. Love the US wilderness, must get over there one day and take a look.


that water looked so good, did you try some?


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