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Early Season “Winter” Hike

The weather offered up fresh snow, rime, and frost. Winter, it seemed, had descended upon the southern Presidential Range. Our guest, from the Netherlands, would surely be impressed. (Spoiler alert: she was.) The story of her adventure we are leaving in the capable hands of our guides, so without further ado…

Our guest came to us, as many guests often do, looking for a hike with some amazing views of the White Mountains. What made her request a little more unique was the second part, which was to soak up as much conversation and culture as possible during the hike being that she was visiting us from the Netherlands. And last but not least as a traveler far from home on an adventure she needed some gear. She came to the right place, as owner Mike Cherim often ends up saying, ‘Yeah, we can do that.’
We paired her with Redline Guide Jeffrey Shutak and invited our newest team member Redline Guide Mike Maciel along to shadow for the day and to provide support in the culture, conversation, and photo department. (Ed.: Mike also wrote most of this text.)
To handle our guest’s equipment needs we offered up our Ready Pack, a lightweight kit of high quality gear including everything she might need for the day from snacks to spikes. Jeffrey met her a day prior to the hike to ensure everything was a good fit and sent her off with a little homework: a classic North Conway shopping trip for some appropriate base layers.
The original plan for our guest’s adventure was to take her up Pierce and Eisenhower. As she was coming to us without much hiking experience, this hike provides a great mix of views, adventure, history, and mixed terrain. At one point in the week the opportunity to add an additional guest (extra conversation and culture!) came up and a plan adjustment was briefly considered to do Monroe and Washington instead. Ultimately our second guest decided it was best to save it for another day and we were back to the original plan.
On the morning of the hike Jeffrey and our guest met Mike at the Edmand’s Path Trailhead where they spotted his car and then together they rode back to the Mt Clinton Road parking lot to begin their adventure up Crawford Path. Jeffrey helped our guest don her gaiters and to adjust her pack so it fit just right.
Gear, food, and water? Check.
Our guest’s experience as a football (soccer) player did her well on the trail and the group kept a nice pace throughout the day. She experienced a lot of firsts as they navigated steps, ladders, bog bridges, and even microspikes made a brief appearance around the icy and snowy summit cone of Eisenhower. Clouds gave way to some of those famous views she was looking for.
Beautiful views/adventure? Check.
Conversation was abundant and involved everything from history to IPA and books to ranch dressing (apparently it’s just better here). We ran into multiple friends of Redline Guiding in the woods including a guest who is returning this winter for a presidential traverse.
Conversation/culture? Check.
Our guest said it was the best adventure of her life and she is now hooked on hiking and can’t wait to return. It was the highlight of her trip to the US. It’s one thing to check all the boxes but hearing that and being able to help her make it happen was a great reminder of why we do this.

That’s what we love to hear. Here are some photos of the trip, as supplied by Jeffrey and Mike M., as marked.

Jeffrey with our guest about to hike the Crawford Connector. Photo by Mike.

Making significant progress. Photo by Jeffrey.

Approaching treeline. Photo by Mike.

A sure sign. Photo by Mike.

Before long they find themselves on the summit of Mt Pierce (4312’/1314m). Near summit in this image. Photo by Mike.

Now to hike in the alpine toward their next objective. Photo by Mike.

Our guest taking in the views. (Awesome) photo by Mike.

Some pretty terrific albeit intermittent views. Photo by Jeffrey.

Pack number six. Photo by Mike.

Taking delight in the experience. Photo by Mike.

The final approach in very wintery conditions. Photo by Mike.

On the summit of Mt Eisenhower (4760’/1451m). Photo by Mike.

Photo of Mike on Ike by Jeffrey.

And visa-versa.

The team heads down. Photo by Mike.

Carefully. Photo by Mike.

And successfully. Gratulerer! Photo by Jeffrey.

Great job Jeffrey and Mike! And to our guest, well done! Thanks for choosing Redline Guiding!

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