Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mnt Tecumseh

A feature of working for a start-up is that there is more than the usual freedom around work allocation.  A couple of my colleagues and I use this to combine our two favorite activities:  pontificating and hiking.  Often when there is a hard problem to solve in our software product we head for the hills for a morning (or sometimes a day) and hike.

The walk usually starts with a certain amount of grumbling about the problem at hand - followed by a gradual breakdown of the problem.  Of course our level of fitness and the level of complexity of the problem are variables that might result in less talking and more thinking or visa versa.  At the end of it though there is usually an array of ideas on what to do and sometimes even a fairly detailed plan of attack.

Our current topic of conversation revolves around modeling things in the virtual computer world and there have been numbers of hours spent both in the office and on the trail going over various aspects of this.

Today's design summit involved one of the easiest of the 4000 foot mountains (Tecumseh) which is a hair over the minimum height at 4003 ft.

The hike starts in the parking lot at the Waterville Valley ski resort and has a remarkably constant gradient for about 80% of the way.

There are not many views on the way up - the hike barrels through the trees until really close to the top where there are some gaps in the trees that offer views of the White Mountains.

The round trip "book time" is 3 hrs 30min and we were well within that at the summit after 90min of walking.  The steady gradient does give a feeling of never-ending walking after about 60% up the trail and given that this was the first hike of the year for me (my conditioning could be better - another feature of a start-up!) which did make the hike fairly strenuous for me - though nothing like some of the other hikes from last year!

So this is the first 4000ft of the year - with only four more to go to complete all of the 48 4000foot mountains in New Hampshire (two of which will be done in one trip)!

Total hiking time was 2hrs 45min.