A Zoo on Top of Monadnock

Submitted by Nancy

OK - before you read this report - please take this Quiz

What did we see on Monadnock on August 25, 2007?

Circle all correct answers.

  • Dance being choreographed on the summit
  • Boys playing guitars on the top
  • A canoe on the summit
  • Badminton set on its way up the mountain
  • Radio blaring on the top
  • Very little view
  • Bright blue skies
Read the report for the answers!

Mountain: Mt. Monadnock (3,165)
Date: August 25, 2007
Time: 4 hours and 45 minutes
Weather: Hot (93 degrees), sunny on top, very hazy
Miles: 4
Elevation Gain: 2,800 feet
Steps: We did not have our pedometers
Trails: Old Toll Road to Parker Trail to Cliff Walk to Amphitheatre to Smith Connector to summit and down White Arrow to Sidefoot to Old Toll Road.
Holy Shit Factor: Unbelievably high

Picture Gallery

Pat and I have climbed Monadnock many times, in all seasons, and have never written trip reports. Monadnock is our home turf and our training ground for the 4,000 footers. But since we added the "52 With A View" list to our website, we want to write a hike report so we can count it! I love it when our hikes count! No matter how many times I remind myself that it is about the journey and not about bagging the summit, I love checking off a mountain on our list!

We start off around 10 a.m. and climb up the Old Toll Road to Parker Trail to Cliff Walk, stopping at our favorite vista of the Cliff Trail looking out at Route 124. Sitting in the sun, we realize it is going to be a very hot day. We continue on the Amphitheatre Trail to Smith Connector then on to the summit.

We arrive at the top around 12:30, joining about 75 others. It is a madhouse up there. There is a group be-bopping around a blaring radio. Two younger boys are playing their guitars, seated comfortably on perfect guitar-playing rocks. There is a small group of women choreographing a dance, playing music, clapping and posing for pictures. And, yes, of course, two people join us carrying a canoe. Yes, a real canoe, their heads inside the canoe, hands supporting each side, hiking up onto the summit. Someone must have lost a bet.

We shake our heads, dumfounded, and find a perfect rock to stretch out on, take off our boots and socks and bask in the sun, the breeze and the craziness of the mountaintop. The sky is bright blue but haze below us obscures the view. That's okay, there's plenty to entertain us on top! Monadnock, being the second most-climbed mountain in the world, certainly attracts its share of different folks. We've seen women in dresses, people in sandals, lots of cotton and sneakers, and some hikers with no water - but never a canoe! That being said, Monadnock is one of the prettiest mountains we have climbed. We are blessed to have such a beautiful mountain in our own backyard.

We stay on top for almost an hour before reluctantly leaving our comfortable in-the-sun-and-breeze people-watching spot.

Part way down we run into an older gentleman and have a delightful conversation about Monadnock trails and how they compare to trails in Germany. He talks about the beauty of nature and of finding God in the mountains. He had a wonderful spirit about him.

At the halfway house I see three young men carrying badminton rackets, a fold-up table of sorts and a net. Nothing surprises me today!

We hike down the White Arrow Trail to Sidefoot to the Old Toll Road and arrive back at Pat's at 2:45. Wowsers. On our climb down we talk about the hikes we need in order to finish the 67 4,000 footers in New England, trying to figure out how many trips to Maine will be needed and, oh-by-the-way, how much bushwhacking will be required. And then, drum roll, we talk about the possibility of climbing Kilimanjaro!!!!!!!

5 out of 52 with a View