Participants: Omkar, PawanP, Prajita, Sabina, PawanS, Mausami, Bijay, Surendra, Purush, Aashish, Dipesh, Rudra
Difficulty rating: 3 (http://www.qcc.mass.edu/brink/Trav-rec/mt_monad/general/distance.html#difficult)
Ascending: White Dot Trail
Descending: White Cross Trail
Average Grade: 17% Steepest 660 yards: 31% (White Dot), 30% (White Cross)
Time: 3.5 …hours
Distance: 4.0 miles (Approx)
Date: Saturday, June 02, 2007
Report: Purush, Bijay, Surendra, Rudra
Photos: Omkar, Pawan S, Pawan P, Bijay
Captions: Pawan S
Creative Support: Pawan S
Report by Purush
At mid of every week our eyes stuck at www.evenerestuncensored.org to see hiking photos from at D2HawkeyeServices, Nepal. Some of us who are now in USA really miss these places. We remember our village, home, forest, farm, up and down, terrace, people etc. Nepal is a country with over 95% people having their own farmlands (at least at small scale). The seasonal vegetables, fruits and flowers, spread on tenders and flourishes at bushes really recall our childhood. Similarly, the folks who never reached Nepal/ Asia or few who already been there have same type of interest on watching hiking pictures. In summary, this is a wonderful program and encouraged us too.
Formally or informally we had several talks to start hiking at D2Hawkeye, Boston and it came into shape on May 30, 2007 after receiving a mail from Rudra about hiking Mt MONADNOCK, NH on June 2, 2007. I was really excited to coordinate the team as Rudra wanted me to do so. Although it was a short notice, ten people confirmed on taking part and later Pawan P added Sabina to the list. Thus a team of 12 members were formed to take part in the hiking.
It was cloudy on Saturday, June 2, 2007 morning and thunder storm was forecasted with possibility of rain after 1 PM. Therefore, we made plan to complete hiking before 1 PM and all gathered at Monadnock State Park Headquarters, visitor centre before 9:15AM. We started hiking then and took almost 1 hour 40 minutes to reach the peak. Walking up was just tough enough for everyone to sweat and get tired. Nice and cold breeze gave us pleasant experience at the top. After spending some time while taking pictures, chatting and enjoying with light snacks, we started a nice descend.
Mt. Monadnock is 3,165 ft high and located at New Hampshire. The name “Monadnock”, originally come from Abnacki Indian language, means “mountain that stands alone.” The summit is treeless and top half of the mountain characterized with big slabs and boulders of the rock. It’s fun to climb over. Mt. Monadnock is the central piece of 5000 acre Monadnock State Park and there are 40 miles of different hiking trails. The surrounding states Vermont, Massachusetts, Boston, and white mountains can be seen on clear day. We could not see that far in this hiking because of hazy weather. Hopefully, we can go back again on a clear day, sometime in the fall.
Although this was my fourth time in Mt. Monadnock, this was very unique and very memorable hiking trip. I hike this mountain every year, usually in fall. People believe that we can see all five states of New England (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine) from the peak. It is difficult to figure out the states from the peak but the 360 degree view of the breathtaking greenery in summer and mesmerizing colors in fall with patches of small lakes and towns is remarkable. This motivates to hike this mountain over and over again.
Hiking starts from the park base in dense forest with easy trail. The trail becomes tougher and rocky as we ascend. Jungle bugs started disturbing as soon as we tried to take rest and catch up the breath. When you see big mosquitoes trying to quench their thirst, you just keep on walking with the fear of West Nile virus, just kidding… After about an hour of hiking in dense jungle, rocky part starts with breathtaking scenery and mild air which helps to dry out the sweat. Hiking from this point is very interesting because the view is not obstructed by jungle; all you can see is beautiful view of jungle, small towns and lakes. It is difficult to describe the enjoyment from the beauty of nature
Mt. Monadnock is said to be second most hiked mountain after Mt. Fuji. There are several trails lead to bare rock summit through unique alpine vegetation. White dot and white cross trails were recommended by park staff for climb up and down respectively. There were several other recommendations which we did not follow, eg first aid kit, bug repellent, sunscreen lotion, good hiking boot, flash light with extra batteries, whistle and many more.
I was in great dilemma whether to go for hiking or to go to downtown of beautiful Boston City or somewhere else in beach sides. Some suggested going to Omni Theater, some suggested visiting zoo or museum. Being fond of it, I naturally inclined to hiking instead of going elsewhere and think this as a good opportunity. Rudra’s email to start a regular hiking in D2Hawkeye made me excited and I was eager to join at least one or two events.
On the day of Omkar gave ride to us who are living in the apartment. After driving around one and half hours we reached the park where the mountain Monadnock was situated. We started hiking in time despite the threat of thunderstorm and downpour that was informed by the park attendant. He served a map and a poly bag telling us that they don’t want any of our trash in order to keep the park clean.
The well defined route, wide trail to travel and directions provided in the park are the exciting and attracting all varieties of hikers. I wondered to see the hikers of different ages from six to sixty. Some were carrying the baby in their back throughout the trail. The contour maps distributed to us had a defined route and terrain profile. First half of the terrain was tougher where as the latter part was easier. We breadth fresh air and have some munching stuffs at the top of the hill but we missed Kakro and Gajar (Cucmber and Carrot) that we normally had during hiking in Nepal. The climate was favorable and pleasant, neither hot nor cold, and the hiking route was moderate in length. Long stretches of bare and rocky terrain was one of the newest experiences for me that I ever had. We were lucky enough to get back facing neither any storm nor the heavy shower.
The company of female members in the team was really exciting and they made it easily. Finally I remembered Vishnu’s courtesy when we finish hiking in Nepal as delicious lunch with local chicken soup was really missing on site.
Finally I would rate this as memorable hiking route in USA. I would have really missed it if I had chosen other way of having fun on the Saturday. If I had not taken part I could not have that opportunity to gain hiking knowledge of this great country and could not have been able to share with my Nepali fellows.
I am often asked, by friends in and out of D2, why we have chosen hiking as the company’s event. I do not have a definite answer to that, but, it all started after a casual discussion, with my D2 colleagues, in the front yard of building #2, D2 Nepal office. The first hiking trip was with Anjana S, Shankar U, Anil K and some others, to the Shivapuri Peak on the outskirt of Kathmandu valley. This trip really showed me how much I had changed since my childhood days. I was a village boy who used to walk miles uphill and miles downhill everyday. My strength had deteriorated from then and the experience was like a wake-up call for me. More importantly, the hiking trip was almost like an extended working session. I spent a majority of the time discussing work-related issues with collegues. I got a chance to get to know my colleagues more than I could have ever known them from regular office hours. I felt a connection to all of them during and after our hike. The trouble of the hike was definitely worth the great experience.
The first D2 USA hiking trip to Mt. Monadnock was short and sweet, a perfect hike. The short hike (I mean short compared to what I have seen in Nepal) had every flavor and taste. Any hike should make one say “That was a tough trek!” once one reaches the peak. I personally enjoy a hike that makes me work and sweat. The hiking trip to Mt. Monadnock gave me the whole shebang in less than two hours of ascending time. This is why it is second most hiked peak in the world. Overall, this trip was an amazing success!
Thank you Purush for coordinating this and I hope to continue this monthly hiking event.