The Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop is definitely a popular hiking choice for weekend hikers. We were surprised to see so many cars in the Hamburg water treatment plant parking area on this snowing Saturday morning. So if you are coming on a weekend day with nice weather, be sure to get there early to secure your park spot.
We had a lot of things to test out with this hike. I was wearing my new Arcteryx Beta AR Jacket and pants, plus Bora2 Mid GTX hiking boots. It would be useful to know how they handle the heavy snow and wind. Tammy had her Arcteryx Bora2 Mid GTX hiking boots to break in too, and she had her Osprey Aura AG50 to use for the first time. Besides what she needed to carry, I stuffed my sleeping bag, together with excessive amount of bottled water into the backpack, just to give it enough weight to feel like a real backpack.
The heavy snow quickly layered on everything except the flowing stream. I took out my tripod and shot my first pictures of the day.
The funny thing was that, we were so excited about the hike that we forgot to check the direction of the loop. We ended up hiking clockwise, the opposite direction that most people would do. Instead of having a tough start climbing up rocky surfaces, we had an easy uphill stroll, though the snow made it harder for me to take pictures(my cameras are not weather resistant).
Tammy tried so many times adjusting the straps on her backpack and we finally found a sweet spot ( or we should say a less suffering spot ).
As we merged onto the Appalachian Trail, the snow started to accumulate on the trail.
We had some fruits and energy bars while walking to the mountain peak. It didn’t feel as cold as we thought. Our jackets certainly helped to keep us from the wind and snow. The hiking boots were also crucial when walking on the rocky terrain. There were sharp stones everywhere so it was nice to have ankle support.
The way downhill ( for most people the way uphill) was very rocky. We didn’t even know if it was better to walk on the rocks or to step onto the soil ground among the rocks. For a while I was wondering if we were having a harder time than those who climbed up this way.
After this rock section here we came to the Pulpit Rock!
The snow was almost gone on our way back to the parking lot. The moss on the rock seemed to be enjoying the upcoming spring time.
Here is the GPS file of our hiking. Since my backpack ( Gregory Baltoro 75) arrived today, I look forward to our next hike so I have a chance to test it in the field.