Back in January, when the year was FRESH and everyone was talking about resolutions and goals, I mentioned that I wanted to rediscover some of the outdoor activities that I have gotten away from since moving back to the city. One of these is hiking. So in true "Jasmine go big or go home" form, I decided to start the year's hiking off with the best hike in the state...and likely one of the most difficult, Old Rag Mountain.
It was the beginning of March and they were calling for the temperature to be 30 degrees at the top of the mountain. This is a good day for this type of climb. Not too cold and icy but cold enough to keep the crowds away. Nothing like standing in line for half an hour to scramble up the next rock out cropping. A group of about 18 of us set off from the lower parking lot. I have never been much for hiking in large groups but if it was going to get me out there, maybe it wouldn't be too bad.
The hike starts out with gentle switch backs. The trail wasn't too muddy and had frost heaves along the trail which is much desirable to sheets of ice. Soon the trail tuns to rock scrambles and false summits as you go up and down over the rocks usually with three points of contact. It is fun and it is difficult. Let me show you. (click to make image bigger)
We ate just below the summit and then stopped at the top only long enough for photos (the wind was blowing up there and it was cold). We took an easier trail down that ends with 2 and a half miles of fire road and another mile or so back to the cars. I have to say these 10 or so miles left me more tired than the New Orlean's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon that I had done the weekend before. I can't wait to get back out there.