In theory, I was selecting peaks the night before in order to get the best guess at the forecast for the following day. The next day didn’t look good and was calling for rain showers. I decided after pushing my body the previous day, I would “take it easy” and climb up Mount Hale.

I selected to summit via the Hale book Trail, which was a 4 mile round trip and consisted of 2,253 feet of elevation gain. I thought 4 miles would be easy….

Zealand Road was still closed and that would add 1.5 miles each way to the trip, so 3 miles total. It would be a 7 mile out and back. Totally doable. What I hadn’t yet learned was that shorter miles in the Whites only means steeper trails….

It was a nice gradual climb upon entering the woods until it wasn’t. You begin to gain some elevation via switchbacks which is an unexpected surprise for the Whites. Most of the elevation gain seems to be nearing the summit. You begin to smell the alpine pine and know you are getting close.

I heard distant rumbles of thunder and knew I was close. I pushed forward even as it began to lightly rain. I stumbled out the woods to a open like field to a giant rock pile or cairn marking the summit. I grabbed my photo and headed back down the trail to escape the rain and nearing thunder.

The storm quickly passed and the thunder soon became distant. A few water crossings and I was already headed out back on the road.

Given that I got back pretty early, I still was jumping at the bit to go for another hike. Not another 48 but something shorter. I settled on Bridal Veil Falls. A 4.8 out and back with around 1,000 feet of elevation gain. It was a very enjoyable hike. Near the falls there is a shelter and I bet in warmer weather makes a great place to swim.