Henderson Ridge


Doug and Tim approaching the climb

I recently stumbled across a quote from Michael Kennedy that really resonated with me. He said that he was never a great writer, which was exemplified by him never writing unless he had just done something interesting. He was insinuating the thing that separated him from real writers was that they were able to produce work even when their lives had been relatively quiet; that is to say the real writing occurred in between the adventure.

Doug on the first pitch of the Henderson Ridge.

Doug on the first pitch of the Henderson Ridge

Kennedy’s quote represents the bulk of my summer. For the most part, I have not written because I have not done much of interest. Even after taking some exciting trips such as a late-May trip to Colorado which involved skiing, climbing, and a wedding, the inspiration never appeared. Perhaps I am just a better writer in the winter, when the cold weather and abundant ski trips I feel the need to document push me toward the computer; in the summer, I prefer to sit in the sun and read.  

Mickey Spades on the diving board.

Mickey Spades on the diving board

Although this summer has been lacking on earth-shattering trips, I cannot say that it has been boring. I have made a bunch of trips to Lincoln Woods to boulder, and have really enjoyed exploring around my new home on my bicycle. In fact, I think I have found the Shangri-La of cycling; my house is surrounded by well-maintained and nearly empty roads with diverse topography, an idyllic country setting, and, most importantly, a cycling-sensitive community. 

That being said, over the last few weeks I think I’ve begun to find my mojo again. Two weekends ago, Ashley and I completed back to back charity bike rides: one hundred miles on Saturday and fifty miles on Sunday.  


Looking out at Wildcat ski area

The following Wednesday, we met some friends at Rumney for a day of sport climbing. It was the first time I had been to New Hampshire since a late-April trip to Rumney, and probably the longest time I have spent away from the Granite State in over a decade. It also re-sparked my desire for climbing, and more specifically climbing in New Hampshire. With a couple days off this past week, I convinced (it didn’t take much convincing) Doug to take Wednesday off with the intent to climb in New Hampshire. I had suggested another Rumney trip, but Doug hates Rumney and had something grander in mind: the Henderson Ridge on Mount Washington. I was game.          

Heading towards the Lions Head.

Heading towards the Lions Head

Mickey Spades joined us, and our streak of good luck on Mount Washington continued. We were blessed with sun, warm temperatures, and little wind. While I packed hat, gloves, and a puffy coat, none of them ever came out of my pack. The trip took a little longer than expected, and while the guidebook says the route only contains four roped pitches, we found ourselves staying roped up for eight pitches (granted some of them were mostly fourth class climbing with a few fifth class moves, but we preferred to be cautious). Despite the great weather, we chose to forgo the summit due to our slow climbing pace earlier in the day, the setting sun, and the impending long drive home.    

Doug and Spades descending.

Doug and Spades descending

 The climbing fire has been stoked and I am ready to maximize what’s left of Sendtember and Rocktober. 

So close to the summit but with the sun setting we chose to forego it.

So close to the summit, but with the sun setting we chose to forego it