This was my second time hiking Mt. Garfield the first time being in late November of 2012. It was either my fourth or fifth 4,000 footer at the time and I remembered thinking how hard it was. I'm not sure why I thought this, the Garfield Trail is very moderate the entire way to Garfield Ridge Trail. It's just the last 0.2 of a mile up to the summit that is a steep scramble. Maybe I thought this because of the length? It's funny how I used to think a 10 mile hike was a long (very long) hike and now I consider a 10 mile hike to be about normal (though sometimes too short). Because Gale River Loop Road is closed to vehicular traffic in winter, we had to walk the road to the trail head which added 1.2 miles each way.
A few inches of fresh powder was just enough to cover up the relentless ice that the trails in Whites have seen the past couple of weeks. This combined with low wind and mild temperatures (around the 20 degree mark) made for a quick trip up and down the mountain. It was a mostly cloudy day from the start, with the exception of a 15 second window where the sun beamed through the clouds and briefly lit up the snow laden trees around us. On a clear day, the summit of Garfield has some of the best views in the White Mountains. From the broad summit ledges one can sit and stare deep down into the Pemigewasset Wilderness and over to Franconia Ridge. We wouldn't be getting these glorious views on this day however, instead we got the less than impressive view of the inside of a cloud. It really doesn't matter though as the gently falling snow and the snow draped trees made for a beautiful site as we hiked through the woods. Great company is always a plus too!
So I guess you are all wondering about the title of this post. There is some sort of milestone? Yes, yes there is. I did not fall a single time during this hike! Not once! Not even a slip! No falls mean no bruises!
Seriously folks, this is huge for me. Hopefully I can make this a trend...
Thanks Tim, Chris, and Chris for a great day out!