11/15/2008 – 11/16/2008
Mt. Monadnock in Jaffrey NH is the 2nd most climbed mountain in the world (next to Mt. Fuji in Japan). Mt. Monadnock is 3,165 feet above sea level, and is 1,000 feet higher than any other peak within 30 miles. The mountain is also known as “Grand Monadnock”. The word monadnock is used by geologists in referring to an isolated mountain formed by exposure. On a day like Saturday November 15, the isolated nature of Mt. Monadnock and the weather combined to provide a memorable hike with treacherous wind gusts at the summit.
Sixteen scouts and adults left Cohasset, arriving at the National Forest camp site at 11 AM. There were two other scout groups in the area and other hikers planning to climb Monadnock that day. The word passing around was that it was blowing 95 MPH at the summit! Our group — leader Tucker Oddleifson, Alec Hurd, Hayes Keniley, Adam Benson, Julien Geyer, Jack Thomae, Brodie Jackisch, Jack O’Brien, Christian Quebec, Graham Sinclair, and Morgan McCarthy and myself along with adults Mr. Oddleifson, Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Thomae, Mr. Quebec, and Mr. Jackisch was ready to be put to the test. We first set up our tents at the campsite and secured our gear. Then we began our ascent, battling fierce winds and rain all the way. Partway to the top, four of our group turned back. It seems that Hayes could not find his rain gear and it had really started to pour. Because of the Boy Scout guidelines of “two deep leadership”, Hayes needed to be accompanied down the mountain by two adults — Mr. O and Mr. T. Julien offered to descend with Hayes.
When 9 of 12 remaining hikers finally reached the summit, the rainwater flowing down the mountain was getting blown up in the air by the wind gusts! Graham and Christian were almost blown off of their feet as they approached the peak! The hike was a wet one with rain pouring on us almost the whole way but at least it was a relatively warm 52 degrees. We stopped to eat lunch about halfway down. When we arrived back at the campsite, we received a warm welcome from Mr. O, Julien, Mr. Thomae, and Hayes.
The rest of the afternoon went fairly quickly and by the time it was dark, we hadn’t even had dinner. Tucker quickly got the two chefs, Adam and Hayes, cooking and soon we were eating the best food I have ever eaten on a trip — spaghetti with meat sauce. We received a call around 6PM from a concerned parent (thanks, Mom!) saying that tornados and lightening were headed our way but it seems that weather never made it to our area. Everyone was in their tent and asleep before 9:00 PM. Tucker got everyone up at around 7 AM on Sunday and after breakfast, we were in the cars at 8:30 AM ready to return to Cohasset. We arrived at the locker around 1:00 PM and everyone was at their home with lots of wet and dirty clothing for the laundry by 1:30 PM.
Derek A. Benson, Troop 28 Historian