My White Mountain Adventure

I had a little adventure this weekend at the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  As Mr. SFF was on a different trip down in Austin I was travelling solo.  Unlike trips in the past, I was very conscious of how much I was spending because every dollar saved was potentially a dollar that could go towards my financial independence.  After work on Thursday I drove to NH to spend the first night in a hostel in Conway, NH.  I was meeting an old high school friend who had chosen the hostel for us and a couple of her other friends.  It has been probably more than a decade since I last stayed in a hostel but I was glad she chose this place as I only paid a total of $26.16 for lodging.  It was not the best night sleep ever (plastic mattress) but I was prepared with a eye mask to block the light and earplugs so it was doable, especially for the price.  I brought leftovers with me for dinner so I saved the expenses of meeting everyone else out at the restaurant.

The next day after grabbing a quick bite to eat we headed out for our grand adventure on Mount Washington.  Our plan was to hike up to Tuckerman Ravine and ski the bowl on the southeast face of the mountain.  The bowl will hold snow until July so you can usually get some great spring skiing in during this time of year.  This was our second year in a row taking this trip but after reading weather reports I knew this year would not be a good as our perfect day last year.  We had a great hike in but as we reached Hojo’s (the lodge about 1/2 mile out from the bowl) we realized that we would not be able to actually ski the bowl.  The avalanche danger was “Increasing Considerable”, the visibility was horrible, and the wind was blowing hard.

Summit weather report. Eeek!

As my expectations were low going in I was only slightly disappointed that we would not be able to ski the bowl.  I decided I would rather live another day then to take any unnecessary risks.  We were still able to ski about ¾ of the way down the Sherburne Ski Trail (which is parallel to the hiking trail) so we did not have a long hike out and did at least have some time on skis/boards.  Plus, it was a great workout and great training for my upcoming Spartan Races.  Overall a fun day but not as epic as our trip last year.

The five of us headed to dinner together before I was off on my own.  I decided to spend the second night in Crawford Notch at an AMC bunk house as it was significantly closer to my grandmother.  This bunk house was nicer than the hostel the night before but it was a large room with 12 bunks.  Thankfully there were only a few other people in the room with me so the noise level was pretty low.  These bunks did have nice flannel sheets and L.L.Bean fleece blankets which were nice and cozy.

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Shapleigh Bunk House

Saturday morning I woke up early, ate breakfast, and grabbed my back-country snowboarding gear.  I drove 5 minutes over to the Bretton Woods ski area which had closed the week before but still had a ton of snow.  I took 2 runs on my splitboard in 4-6 inches of fresh powder on an empty mountain.  It was beautiful with a great view of the Mt Washington Hotel in the distance and so quiet!

After a quick shower back at the bunk house I headed up to the assisted living home where my grandmother lives 30 minutes away.  My mom had also driven over in the morning so the three of us headed out to lunch together.  As my grandmother is aging it was important that I spend some time with her before heading back home.

Overall, I had a great trip and was able to keep my costs fairly low.  Here is a summary of what I spent, not including the other food I purchased at the grocery store ahead of time.

$26.16 White Mountain Hostel
$5 Breakfast
$18.01 dinner out
$58.86 Shapleigh Lodge (included breakfast)
$20 lunch with Gram
$19.92 gas
$2 road snacks

$149.95 Total

This trip was a great reminder that you do not always have to have luxury accommodations to have a great time and sometimes just a bed to crash in is good enough.

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