One of our favorite hikes is called the Eyebrow Trail, in Grafton Notch. We have done this short, 3.8 mile hike a number of times, both in the summer and in the dead of winter. It's a short hike but it is pretty rugged, with some good extended sections of hand and foot scrambling up rock and root climbs and there is even a short ice flow that you have to traverse.
The last time we did this hike was a couple years ago for my birthday at the end of January. Our good friends PK and Wayne and Jean joined us for the adventure and what an adventure it was. Snowshoeing up into and through about 3' of fresh snow made for some slow and arduous going. Cathy detailed that adventure over here.
This adventure was much less extreme. Temps were just at freezing at the base though the wind was whipping and we have steady flurries. It did snow a little bit over night so there was a light coating of fresh snow on the ground. The one aspect that made for a challenge beyond the terrain itself was that there was some ice and just enough snow to cover it up, making foot holds questionable.
The trip up was tough but uneventful. I reflected on the way as to how incredibly difficult it must have been the last time, in a few feet of powder. I do recall a large amount of wallowing to make forward progress.
As always we did the loop counter-clockwise, which means that we started by climbing up the steep section opting to descend the longer and less steep route. The thought is that if the ascent is too tough, we turn around and go back down, which is better than making it up the easy way only to have to turn around as you start the tough descent. Today however, that easier trip down was actually tougher than expected with far more ice to deal with. No worries though, all was fine it simply made going a little slower.
I'm thinking that we need to another birthday adventure this winter. In hindsight, that weekend was about as much fun as one could have. I wonder if my friends look as fondly back at the trip as I do? I sure hope so and I hope that they are in for another adventure.