The short story is we were called in the 11th hour to guide a half day hike. Our response was, naturally, of course. The rest we’ll let Redline Guide Jeffrey Shutak tell. He is the one who led this hike, and he also offered this nice write-up (edited slightly from the original text) along with the photos which follow:
What started out to be a quiet day at home was interrupted by a text posted on the intra-Redline Guiding Messenger group. Mike was looking for a guide to lead a returning guest on a half-day hike in the White Mountains of NH beginning in the mid-afternoon. I quickly responded that I would be available but the hike would have to be somewhat close to home as I had an appointment the evening of the same day. Mike agreed and put me in touch. We quickly established a great rapport. I sent our guest info about two separate hikes that might be considered and within the hour received a response that they would like to hike Sugarloaf Mountain located off Zealand Road in the North Country. We agreed upon a time and meeting place to begin the hike.
After meeting we drove to the Sugarloaf trailhead. The weather was sunny and partly with little wind, a perfect day for a hike. We began our hike along the Zealand River for a quarter mile. We then turned southward to begin the moderate climb with a few steep points along. Passing some huge boulders we proceeded up… up… up until we reached the ladder that brought us to the summit.
I have hiked this many times but the view today was totally awesome. The summit of Mt Washington was completely covered with snow as were the other mountains along the Presidential Range, this was mixed with the changing colors of the leaves at a lower elevation. We stayed for over a half-hour to admire the views and speak to others. Our guest was total awestruck and could not get over the beauty of the leaves and the snow on Washington.
We then headed back for the journey to the trailhead. It was one of those perfect days.