New England is pretty flat, scraped bare by glaciers, but there are places where the granite was a little bit harder and managed to stand up to weathering This post was automatically imported from my old sandfly.net.nz blog. It may look a little weird since it was not originally written for this format.. Mount Monadnock is one such place, lying 60 miles north west of Boston and just inside New Hampshire.
Mount Monadnock from about halfway up the slopes
It is a very cool place. Many trails of varying degrees of difficulty converge on the peak, but they are all pretty steep. The top of the mountain was deforested hundreds of years ago and never recovered, so for much of the time you are scrambling up bare granite, which can get pretty slippery if it gets wet. At least that is what I am blaming the embarrassing fall I took on the way down on.
Because Monadnock is a lonely mountain the views from the top are like a cover of a fantasy novel, with bright green forests cut by serpentine rivers stretching as far as you can see. It also affords a excellent opportunity to see rock-wetting rain drifting closer (on the right of this picture).
Mount Monadnock, the view from the summit
It is a pretty busy place, but the summit is flat and large enough for all the groups climbing to sit and eat before heading back down. Our group was pretty slow but it took us just over 2 hours to get up and maybe 3 to reach the car park again. Well worth the $5 park fees.