Mount Tecumseh (4003')

2003 September 14

Named for the Shawnee (no relation) leader and the smallest (4003') of the 4000 footers, Mt. Tecumseh is better known for Waterville Valley Ski Area whose base lodge rests at the foot of one end of Mt. Tecumseh trail. This is where we started on Sunday afternoon. It had been raining hard for twenty minutes before we arrived. There was only one other car in the lot, and the two hikers standing next to it were just wrapping up their hike. We would be the only hikers on the 2.2 mile approach to the summit from the ski area and perhaps the only hikers on the mountain since the approach from Tripoli road is longer and it was already late in the day. We got out into the rain and started up the trail. Once again we agreed that starting late in the day has a substantial impact on energy levels. The trek up the mountain felt harder than it should have.

This hike was a lot like the trip up Mt. Hale. The mountain is barely over 4000 feet and the trail is barely over 2 miles. The trail meanders a bit, then dips down to a brook. After rising from the brook, we passed a junction with a trail to a viewing area. From here, the trail becomes a very straight and steady climb. Eventually, we passed a side trail to the top of the ski area and continued to the summit. There were a couple places where the views may have been decent, including the peak, but all we saw was a wall of white clouds. The rain had stopped some time ago, so we sat around for a while before heading down. Our trip reached the pinnacle of excitement after eating peanut butter crackers and fig newtons on the summit rocks. It then took us an hour and six minutes to get down, only twenty minutes faster than the climb up. We never saw any other hikers on the trail.