Monte Rosa and Tippin Rock

Already, I am changing things around. Luckily, though it is overcast and cool, it is not raining so the agenda is Tippin Rock with Ryan Owens in the morning and lunch back at Pilgrim Pines. Then, we ‘d head over to Toll Road Trailhead and go up to Monte Rosa using the Toll Road to the Monte Rosa Trail. We’d return via the Fairy Spring Trail. I chose this amended route, as the route I scouted would be wet with slippery ledges – not as good an option.

Ryan came at breakfast: he was great, a naturalist and conservationist. He came along to Tippin Rock, a short hike very near Pilgrim Pines in lovely woods on private land that had a conservation easement. It wended through mixed north eastern type forest where we observed many varieties of fern, pines and spruces, birch and beech trees, as well as other local flora, including wild cucumber. The Rock at Tippin Rock actually sits on a “fulcrum” and rocks when you push it with a bit of heft!

We went back to camp for lunch and then off we went to go up to Monte Rosa. The Toll Road is an easy grade but is a pleasant walk in the trees. Ed, Sarah, Nat, and Barbara were excited to have their pictures taken by the private home that we passed on the way up to the Half Way House site, a former hotel that burned down in the 1950s. Their family used to own the private house and they had spent happy days there exploring Monadnock.

From the Half Way House area, we joined the Monte Rosa Trail, which was a narrower trail through woods. It got rockier and a bit ledge-y as we climbed. The weather was a bit rawer at the mountain, kind of misty, windy, and damp, but it did not rain. After some scrambling we arrived atop Monte Rosa with its signature weather vane!

We didn’t linger long as it was blowing and damp. On the way down, we split off at the Fairy Springs Trail, which passed by the spring gushing out of a rock ledge. A very pretty hike and a bit more of a challenge compared to the morning. Everyone did great!

Win did not come with us in the afternoon. She is an intrepid hiker/mountaineer and adventurer, who had a serious accident while hiking in Yosemite resulting in one of her legs being amputated below the knee. That did not stop her, however, and she’s had many hiking adventures since. More recently, though, she’s had some set-backs with other health issues. What an inspiration she is though for all of us.

After another fabulous dinner at Pilgrim Pines, the hikers’ group enjoyed a wonderful presentation by Steve Hooper of a film trailer about Mt. Monadnock. What a story he told about how the creators of the film worked to raised funds and produce this interesting documentary. I hope that Public Television broadcasts it. We all enjoyed the film and talk. Next, Ed showed us some pictures of Monadnock and his earlier days hiking the mountain. A great end to a successful day.

Tuesday’s weather was not looking favorable, though Wednesday and Thursday would be dry and sunny. I shifted the itinerary yet again. On Tuesday, we’d keep it easy and do just Gap Mountain and possibly check out the Jaffrey cemetery where Willa Cather was buried. We’d do the Cliff Walk on Wednesday and leave the summit for Thursday to allow the rock ledges to dry out thoroughly. This would make for much safer hiking and more fun!