The Ski Train

Doug and Mark ascending next to the railroad

“I am not excited about this.” Those were the first words out of my mouth as I met Doug and his friend Mark at the park and ride.  Despite the promise of relatively warm winter temperatures, the thermometer in the car was hovering around seven degrees.  As I exited my car to meet Doug and Mark, the biting cold in the air mixed with the early arrival time left my psych level lower than the outside temperature.

Doug heading up the final snowfield en route to the summit
As we motored north, my gaze was fixed about the thermometer on the dashboard.  Each time the temperature dropped I announced the change to the car, and decried my lack of motivation.  Despite the temperature’s consistent dive toward zero, and my attempts to dissuade Doug and Mark, we kept heading toward Mount Washington’s Cog Railway to skin to the summit and descend the mountain on skis.  
It may not have felt like winter on Mount Washington’s summit, but it looked like it
The parking lot for the Cog Railway was surprisingly busy and when we stepped out of the car we discovered why.  The weather was perfect!  Although it was a little chilly as we pulled our ski gear together, the temperature was incredibly mild (mid-twenties), with no wind.  It was so nice out that I skinned the majority of the day in a lightweight, long sleeve Smartwool tee shirt, only pulling on a wind shirt as we passed Jacob’s Ladder at around 4,700 feet, and a puffy coat when we arrived on the summit.   
The Presidentials
It seemed that the higher we climbed on the mountain, the higher my psych got.  The combination of pleasant weather, good company, and growing psych landed us on the summit in what felt like very quick time.  After a few pleasantries at the top with some friends we happened to run into, and a quick repair to a loosened binding on my ski (thank you, Mark) we began our descent.  Icy and windblown conditions at the summit quickly gave way to some extremely enjoyable skiing with some pleasant powder stashes along the way, the coverage only becoming a little thin at the very bottom of the trail.  
The Cog with Bretton Woods in the background  
We capped off a great day by stopping at the Lucky Dog Tavern and Grill in Plymouth, New Hampshire.  The Lucky Dog is usually a post-Rumney haunt, but we were looking for some place to get some food and catch the end of the Patriot’s game; listening to the game on the radio was not an option, as Doug is a self-proclaimed jinx (his listening to the game on the radio almost always ensures a loss) and we couldn’t take the chance.  As per the norm, the Lucky Dog was fantastic and a Patriots win was the exclamation point to an all around great day.  
The Cog Railway winding its way to Mount Washington’s summit