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Sign at the summit of Mount Tecumseh

I was speaking with friends on Saturday night and they were trying to convince me to hike New Hampshire’s Mount Tecumseh and ski down it the following day.  I was skeptical that the conditions would afford a ski descent, but was allured by the thought of early season turns.  Despite my skepticism, we headed north with the intention of playing in the snow.

Doug after dropping his pack to ‘bag’ the summit
As the skills of the group were different (Doug skiing, Mickey hiking, me snowboarding) we would hike together to the summit where Doug and I would separate from Mickey.  Mickey would hike down the trail we ascended while Doug and I would make a small traverse across a ridge toward skiable terrain.  The hike up proved to be very icy and I was sure that no matter what the ski conditions were, they would be preferable to descending the icy trail.

One of the scenic views hidden by heavy clouds

The hike was fun and we proved to be very quick that day.  On reaching the summit we stopped, snapped a few photos, had a quick bite to eat and some water, then parted ways –  Mickey on his foot descent to the car, Doug and I on our skis and snowboard.  We found the hike to skiing in good shape and found ourselves dressing to ski quicker than normal.

Me at the summit

The ski descent was in good shape with some pockets of powder mixed in with typical New England packed powder (ice).  We made quick time on the descent, despite taking our time and savoring the early season turns.  Having made such quick time down it was certain that we would be waiting some time for Mickey.  We took our time changing into dry layers and loading our gear into the car for our return home but still found ourselves waiting for Mickey.  What to do?

Doug and Mickey leaving the summit

The answer to that question was obviously to move the car to a different lot, a lot where Doug and I could watch Mickey search for the car.  I know it is not a nice thing to do but Mickey Spades is ten years younger than most of our core group and benefits from his youth in many of the activities we do; he does not, however, have the benefit of experience and skill (and his lack of prowess on skis or snowboard was working against him today).  We had been teasing Mickey Spades over the course of the drive north and the hike calling him ‘Rookie’ as a testament to him being younger than us, and having a little less experience in many of the activities we participate in.  So it seemed only natural to give Mickey a little rookie hazing.

Doug getting ready for his first run of the season

We watched Mickey search for the car for a few minutes while having a quick laugh and signaled him to the car.  The great thing about Mickey is that he is a good sport and he jumped in the car with a smile, not letting a little prank affect what was a great day with great friends and, for two of us, some pretty good early season skiing.

Doug back at the car after a great day (and before we moved it)