"Another Almost Perfect hike up Major" (hike pictures) (Alton Bay pictures)
Temperatures in the upper 20's, bright sunlight in a hazy blue sky, it was almost perfect! And in the hiking community, almost perfect is just as good as perfect! My brother, his girlfriend and his son joined me. We planned it out the day before. The trail was bare-bootable along the packed out section of trail as was expected. I was rather shocked that at 11:30 am the parking lot was nearly empty! The downtown Alton Bay area was bustling with snow mobiles and sea planes along with visitor's so perhaps everyone was off doing other things like the latter, skiing, or up in the Whites.
We made good time hiking up the trail. The snow depth is pretty impressive, like nothing I don't believe I've ever seen in the 20+ years I have hiked this beloved mountain. I was even surprised to find the ledges full of snow rather than the usual ice. The only bare rock was at the summit. Here snow mobiles had gathered and the riders were out admiring the view. Lenticular clouds were forming on either side of the Ossippee Range. The Sandwich Range barely visible through the haze as was Chocorua. No sighting of Mt. Washington today.
Bob houses dotted the shorelines and small dots that were the people manning their ice fish holes could barely be made out. Seaplanes were all around the lake, darting up and down over the lake and then across the Belknap range. A helicopter passed by the far side of the lake and across Wolfeboro Bay. It seemed everyone was out enjoying the many things to do at Lake Winnipesaukee!