Two for One

Doug on the Firecracker Arete

On Sunday morning I met Doug under the power lines at the entrance to Pawtuckaway State Park.  We met early, as Doug had to hustle back to Massachusetts to attend to some family obligations.  I was happy to break away from Massachusetts, leaving two days of family obligations behind me.  The plan was to meet early but I arrived a little late, as I was surprised by the amount of time it took me to get to P-Way.

After meeting at the power lines we continued toward the parking area for Round Pond and Boulder Natural.  We headed down the road with concern for some potential flooding along the way but confident we could cross any obstacle that was set before us.  We were incorrect as we came across a locked gate (neither of us suspected that a gate we be our biggest obstacle) before we could even assess any of the anticipated challenges.  Facing a two mile hike to the bouldering and being on a tight schedule time wise, we turned the cars around and headed to Blair Woods.

Doug on Firecracker

We found the climbing at Blair Woods excellent; the bugs have yet to swarm and the sun was shining on the boulders we climbed on.  Both of us showed up in long sleeves, but we quickly found ourselves in short sleeves basking in the early morning sun.  We visited the Welcome Boulders and the Valley Boulders and while neither of us sent anything of consequence, it was nice to jump on some old projects and revisit some of our favorite problems.

Sadly, we ran out of time before we ran out of psych.  As Doug was headed back to Massachusetts and his family, I found myself leaving with a taste for climbing and my craving not satiated.  Luckily, I had my ski stuff packed away in my car and with a quick pit stop to grab some food (a Quarter Pounder with cheese, large fry, and four piece nugget…I was hoping to burn it off), I pointed my car to Mount Wachusett.

Doug on a slopery arete at the Welcome Boulders
I discovered empty trails and spring conditions at Mount Wachusett.  The temperatures were warm enough and the sun constant enough that I found myself hiking in short sleeves, a welcome change of pace from the numerous layers I am normally in.  While I occasionally skinned past hikers who were following the road to the summit, I did not encounter another skier the entire afternoon.  My initial plan was to skin two laps to the summit and call it a day but the conditions pushed me to double my original goal.  In total, I skinned four laps to the summit and hopefully burned off my trip to the golden arches.