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Friday, December 8, 2023

Mt Monadnock Hiking Then and Now...


 I saw this on book of face earlier today.

Someone had posted the first image as the "NOW" photo. 

Below that one is the "BEFORE" photo with a caption that it was 1904. 

119 years ago.

No Northface

No Timberland

No Keen

No Spandex

No Recycled "Green" Rubber Souls

No Gore-Tex

No Wicking Materials

No Freeze dried lunch

No Energy Bars

No helicopter rescue

No cell phone selfies... 


No porta-potties in paved parking lot.

The list goes on......

And they all survived, I would assume.


Just men and women smartly dressed and out for a hike to the top of the mountain.


Note the similar overhanging rock, upper left of image. 

It appears the lead man in the second photo was standing where the new white arrow is painted.  (upper center of first picture)

Mt Monadnock White Arrow Trail.



Imagine the trip just to get there. Most likely horse and buggy which would have been a journey in

and of itself. Return home to the outhouse and no running water or electricity.


  1. A weird perspective, I'm sure. "Imagine the trip just to get there. Most likely horse and buggy which would have been a journey in and of itself. Return home to the outhouse and no running water or electricity."

    The difficulty of everyday life would have made the hike less extreme for them. The people with all the modern niceties like the high tech gear, freeze dried lunches and energy bars couldn't handle what those people in 1904 lived with routinely.

    And strangely for a Florida guy, I hiked or at least walked on Mt. Monadnock. That is, I don't remember anything about that trail. It was 1992.

  2. Has been a few decades but tis a nice hike.

    The last time I went had a Molle full of beer and was while smoking a smoke moving past folks all decked out in hiking gear as I wanted to get to the top quick and get the views while having a few beers with me friends.

    I took time on the way down to catch the different views in a lamer fashion,gonna have to get back over that way and try again though may be a bit slower going uphill this time due to well.....,getting older!

  3. In ADK, guides used to carry watermelons to the top of peaks for the "sports".

  4. Shoot, in the late '20s and early 30's my dad and his buddy "Truck" used to climb Mt. Hood with minimal gear.
    Yeah, they were tougher then...

  5. I last hiked Monadnock, for about the 20th time, six years ago. For those who don't know, the lower part of the white arrow trail is a carriage road that led to an inn about 1/2 way to the top. The inn burned down in 1954.

    The top is bald because early settlers in the area set fire to the spruce stands on the mountain to clear the land for pasture. The fires killed all of the trees of course and damaged the thin soil badly enough that almost nothing would grow and eventually the soil above the tree line was lost to erosion.

    The name, Monadnock, is reportedly derived from the Abenaki name for the mountain. I've read several different interpretations of the word. Tallest thing around and it stands alone are the ones I remember.

    A friend and I attempted to climb it one Thanksgiving morning about forty years ago. It rained the night before where we lived down near the state line. Meanwhile, above the tree line on the mountain, the rain froze on the rock. We were attempting to complete the climb over the ice when someone was coming down wearing crampons. He advised us to turn back as the top was really dangerous without crampons. We took his advice, as both of us were slipping and sliding with almost every step.

    On my last climb, as I was coming down, around 1PM on the carriage road, there were people coming up, including adults with young children, who had no water with them. Fools.

    I've only ever climbed the mountain on the White Arrow trail. The views along the trail above tree line are good and from the top spectacular, especially when the leaves are turning. If you live in NH, MA or S. VT or actually anywhere in New England, put it on your bucket list.

    One word of warning, don't climb it on a warm day. The rotting discarded food left by unthinking people smells worse than some dumps I've been to. Don't be one of those people. If you bring it in, bring it out.


  6. Wonder what it would look like in 50 year photo


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