Ready for Winter Update

West Coast Skiing at its finest

Ice tools have been sharpened and skis tuned, I’ve played in the snow a little, and my chili recipe is on point—it must be winter! While I would love to brag about the intense training I’ve done in preparation for my favorite season, the truth is there’s been a lot of coffee drinking and baked goods eating in front of the computer over the past month. On a positive note, goEast has continued to regularly publish articles co-written by me and my climbing, ski, and now writing partner, Doug.

For someone who loves to be outdoors, I actually kind of hate sleeping outside. It’s most likely the result of having easy access to free hotel rooms during my formative years—that’s right, I’m complaining about free hotel rooms (#timpeckproblems). Anyway, who better to write about being comfortable when backpacking than someone who hates sleeping outside? If you don’t feel like reading the article, my quick advice is to get snuggly (my other advice is to make sure you go backpacking with someone cuter than Doug).

I have been blessed with incredible weather for the majority of the hiking I’ve done in Acadia. With the exception of a few windy summits, I’ve mostly been treated to sunshine and huge views. Obviously, on the day I planned to hike Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain to grab some photos and refresh my memory for this goEast Alpha Guide, I was treated to winds strong enough to knock you over and a driving rain. At least I talked Ashley into joining me so I had someone to join me in the misery…I mean fun.

While hordes of people flock to the Kancamagus Highway for fall foliage, I prefer to keep my distance. However, once the leaves are down, the crowds dissipated, and motorcycles put away for the year, the Kanc delivers some of the region’s best hikes. While all of the hikes in this goEast article are great, my recommendation is to head to the Hancocks—the gray jays are especially hungry this time of year.

So far this year, I’ve written three packing articles for goEast…which is ironic because this year I have also shown up for a morning of mountain biking without bike shoes, a day of ice climbing without ice axes, and one day I even somehow forgot my backpack in spite of remembering to bring all its contents. While you read this goEast article, I’ll start working on a series of checklists for next year.

Exposed ridgeline, epic views, convenient access—what isn’t there to love about Franconia Ridge? Crowds! Not surprisingly, one of the best hikes in New Hampshire is also one of the busiest. An easy way to beat the crowds? Go in the winter. Doug and I collected everything you need to know about hiking this uber-classic trail in winter for this goEast article. If hiking in the winter sounds too cold, or too hard, or the fireplace at the Common Man in Lincoln is too appealing…simply read this article and tell everyone you did it.

Thanks to everyone for reading (and if you drew my name for Secret Santa, I love fancy IPAs, books about climbing and skiing, and vintage Lange girl posters).