Thursday, December 29, 2022
Start/End: Chapel Pond TH
Elevation gain/loss: 4688’/4688′
Peaks: Giant, RPR
I was up by 4:30am to head to the trailhead and fit in a hike before work. I parked at the trailhead and was the first person there, with one car arriving as I was walking into the woods. I put on my snowshoes and enjoyed using my heel lifts on the endless uphill terrain. It was warmer than I had anticipated and I quickly ended up rolling up my sleeves on the climb. I started seeing morning light when I was within 0.5mi of the first summit; I took some amazing pictures as the sun slowly lightened the sky and then peaked over the horizon to hit the mountain tops. I then headed over to Rocky Peak Ridge; the one steep icy section was relatively soft and covered in snow so it was fairly easy to navigate. I made good time over to the summit, and then headed back. Once I passed back onto the Giant trail, I switched into microspikes because my snowshoes were starting to accumulate wet and melting snow and balling up under my feet. The microspikes gave me enough purchase on the melting snow to navigate and I didn’t posthole. I enjoyed the quick descent and was back at my car with plenty of time to spare.