winter hking

Franconia Ridge, in Franconia Notch, includes several New Hampshire 4,000-footers. Views in the winter can be spectacular, but safely reaching the summits requires preparation.

Clear cold days, rime ice, outstanding views, ice crystals hanging from spruce bows, solitude on a snow-covered trail, and no bugs, are some of the many reasons why I and many others take to the mountains during the winter season. A winter tramp in the woods and mountains of Vermont and beyond can be an experience that some would say is addicting.

Others I know cannot fathom the idea of trekking up a mountainside in three feet of snow, with the wind howling and temperatures hovering near zero. But with careful planning, appropriate skills, and knowledge it can be a wonderful, exhilarating experience with incredible intrinsic and physical rewards.