Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Progress Report Live by Mike Farley - An Interview with Outdoor Steve

Mike Farley, Manchester Community Television (MCTV) producer and weekly co-host of The Progress Report Live, asked Steve to join him on his weekly one hour TV show and discuss Steve's New Hampshire outdoor experiences.

Steve shared his mission to motivate and encourage families and individuals to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.  Steve outlined his approach in “Making the outdoors a lifestyle for the long haul.” 

Below is a 50-minute video of The Progress Report Live, November 16, 2016.  Steve and Mike chatted on:
  •  “Everyone should believe in something … I believe I will go OUTDOORS!”
  •  Never say, “I wish I had …”.
  •  Up is optional – Down is Mandatory.
  •  Down is Option – Up is Mandatory.
  •  How to get started in becoming an outdoor enthusiast.
  •  Steve’s latest New Hampshire outdoor activity.
  •  One of Steve’s favorite New Hampshire outdoor trips – the Great North Woods of NH.
  •  Steve’s outdoor books offer references and galore for New Hampshire outdoors fun.
  • Steve’s e-book versions have videos of Steve with his family and friends in their many New Hampshire outdoor adventures.
  • Steve’s hard cover and e-books can be found at


"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"
Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available (2016).  

Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email send Steve an email  and we can work out the logistics.

Order books at:

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Bagging Two New Hampshire Four-Thousand Footers in Two Days: Mt Tecumseh and Mt Osceola

My long term adventurer friend John called and asked if I wanted to hike two days in early November in the White Mountains of New Hampshire   He had picked Mt Tecumseh and Mt Osceola, both in the Waterville Valley area, and both described as moderate 4,000-foot mountain hikes.  

Two-days and Two Four-Thousand Footers
 Mt Tecumseh and Mt Osceola
Timothy, my son and fellow long-term adventurer, and his friend Rob would be joining us for the Tecumseh hike.

Day 1 - Mt Tecumseh

A Selfie at Mt Tecumseh Trailhead
Mt Tecumseh is 4,003 feet, and the shortest of the 48 New Hampshire 4,000 foot mountains.

The Mount Tecumseh trail ascends Mt Tecumseh, starting at the Waterville Valley Ski area with the trailhead at the top right edge of the parking area.  It climbs the east slope of Tecumseh.

Starting at the trailhead sign we used exposed boulders and rocks to cross a small brook and follow the south side of Tecumseh Brook for 0.3mi., then crossed the brook again to a section along a small ridge.  At 1.1 mi., the rock bound trail drops down and recrosses the brook, then climbs to intersect an old logging road.  A view sign points to the edge of the ski slope for good views of the North and Middle Tripyramid Mountains.

Continuing upward on the rocky trail, we began to get sights of snow and ice. We carried crampons/micro spikes, but we did not put them on.  Not wearing our spikes was a a bit foolish because it would have made our hike a bit more sure-footed.

Boulders, snow, and ice beginning at 1 mile
The main trail turns right and follows the rock-strewn road, angling upward along the south side of the Tecumseh Brook valley, then climbs steadily to the main ridge crest south of Tecumseh, where it turns right in a flat area.  Here at 2.2 mi. the Sosman Trail enters from the left. 

We were not sure whether to follow the Sosman Trail to the summit, or the Mount Tecumseh Trail, as both arrive at the summit.  We referenced our notes from the AMC White Mountain book, and decided on the Mt Tecumseh Trail.

At this fork we took the Mt Tecumseh Trail as it swings right, descends slightly to circle the base of the steep cone, and finally climbs steeply to reach the summit from the north at 2. 5 miles from the trailhead.

The summit offers a majestic view of 6,288 foot snow-capped Mt Washington, the only mountain covered with a snow.  We also saw neighboring Mt Osceola, which we will hike the next day,

Snow-covered Mt Washington viewed from Mt Tecumseh

The White Mountain guide says our trip should average 2 hr. 20 min.  We took 3 hr., with me continually pulling up the rear of our four pack.

Mt. Tecumseh - Sosman Trail
We decided to return to our parking area from the summit by the Sosman Trail, which connects the summit of Tecumseh with the top of the Waterville Valley ski slopes. The Sosman trail sign is clear with an arrow, and leaves the summit along the ridge to the south, then turns to the west and switches down the slope with rough snow-ice footing around the rocky nose of the ridge.  It merges to the right onto the Mt Tecumseh Trail at .2 mi., then after 120 yd., the Sosman diverges right and follows the ridge south. At .4 mi, it climbs a rocky hump with an interesting view of the Tecumseh summit cone, of which we just came.  And just beyond was another excellent view from a rustic wooden bench of snow-covered Mt Washington.  The trail runs south nearly along the ridge, bearing right at .8 mi, and emerging beneath a Waterville Valley Ski transmission towner, and the trail comes out to the top of a chairlift.  We are about 1.8 mi., from our parking area. 

The White Mountain Guide books says the Sosman Trail to the ski slopes to the parking area averages 1hr 45 min.  We took 2 hr.  Our quads down the ski slopes were unforgiving with cramps and pain.  We all agreed, next time no exit via for ski slope hike.

We found the New England Hiking site to be an excellent reference in preparing our hike.

Day 2 Mt Osceola
Mount Osceola is a 4,315-foot mountain located in Lincoln, New Hampshire within a few miles and view of Mt Tecumseh.  Mount Osceola is named after a Native American Tribe leader, Osceola.

The Osceola Trail begins at a parking area on Tripoli Rd.  Unfortunately, the only two signs we saw were the Parking area sign and the Trail head sign - both in the same area.  After the hike started, including our reaching the summit, we saw no trail signs.

The trail leaves Tripoli Rd. and climbs moderately with rocky footing.  At 1.3 mi. It begins to climb by switchbacks toward the ridge top.

At 2.1 mi, a ledge on the left was noted in our notes for a view of Sandwich Mountain, but we did not see any going up or coming back. 

At 2.3 mi. we crossed a small brook. The trail resumed in switchbacks, gains the summit ridge and turns right, and soon reaches the summit ledge at 3.2 mi, with excellent views, BUT today the summit was fogged in. 

There used to be a fire lookout tower at the summit, but was removed in the 1970s. The only remaining signs are three one-foot cement footings. The summit is a large rock slab which is perfect to grab lunch or hang out!

Summit Mt Osceola

We learned our lesson from the Mt Tecumseh hike, and we wore our spikes going down the same trail we came up.

A fogged in Osceola Summit

On our trip we met heavy fog at the summit, and missed the views of Osceola, Mount Washington, and other surrounding 4,000 plus footers.

Day 1 Mt Tecumseh
  • Elevation: 4,003 feet (1,220 meters)
  • Waterville Valley, NH (Grafton County, NH)
  • Sandwich Range of White Mountains
  • Coordinates: 43°57.99' North     71°33.40' West
  • Features: Cascades, Waterville Valley Ski Area, Limited Summit Views, Loop Hike
  • Distance of highlighted hike: 5.2 miles
  • Shortest mountain on the AMC's official 4,000 footers list.
  • The mountain is named after the Native American Tribe, Shawnee.

Day 2 – Mt Osceola
       Elevation: 4,315 feet (1,315 meters)
       Lincoln, NH (Grafton County, New Hampshire)
       Range: Sandwich Range
       Coordinates: 44°0'5.81" North     71°32'8.21" West
       Brooks, Cascades, Limited Summit View,
       The mountain is named after a Native American Tribe chief.


  1.     Osceola
  2.       New England Hiking
  3.        New England Hiking
  6.        White Mountain Guide 28th Edition Compiled and edited by Gene Daniel and Steven D. Smith.  Appalachian Mountain Club Books, Boston, Massachusetts, 2007


    "Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

    My fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, can be ordered by clicking  OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will be great to motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Amazon has a special where you can order the paperbook and the e-book comes free! Hmm, use the paperbook for bathroom reading – and the ebook as a reference book with links for on-line references, places to go, and videos for bucket list musts! or

Monday, August 29, 2016

Rowing Lessons with Lake Sunapee Rowing Club

A proud father and grandfather shares videos of his two sons and grandson taking July 2016 and July 2015 rowing lessons from the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club  (LSRC

The 2016 day's class was for the doubles scull and the singles scull. The LSRC provides the boats (also known as shells). 

Lake Sunapee Eight plus Coxswain on Lake Sunapee with Mt Sunapee in background
Our coach, Brenda, is just an amazing instructor with knowledge, skills, and a lot of patience.  Brenda makes the classes fun with personal instruction for each student, and a wealth of education on learning the language and techniques of rowing. 

Tim and Carson did the doubles scull, while Shaun did the singles scull. Coach Brenda motored between the two sculls given each one immediate feedback.  In addition, while Brenda counseled Shaun and Tim at the end of the evening, she had Carson get into a single scull, and with a brief tutorial, Carson was sent on his way into Lake Sunapee to adjust to the single scull.  After Brenda's session with Shaun and Tim, she rowed in a single scull beside Carson to instruct him in his first single scull lesson.

See a nine-minute video of this 2-hour lesson by Coach Brenda.

In 2015 Tim and Carson, and their friend Nicholas, took lessons in the Eight plus coxswain boat with LSRC. Below is a 5-minute video of the 2-hour lesson.

Now, Shaun, Tim, Carson and Nicholas have experienced lessons offered by the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club.

So where is OutdoorSteve in his rowing this year?
  • I had the privilege of participating in the 2016 Prouty Rowing doubles rowing event on the Connecticut River starting at the Dartmouth College boat house. As representatives of the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club, my teammate Dave and I, under the excellent tutelage of LSRC coaches, trained for the month of June and early July for two hours every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.
  • Along with the Prouty training, a friend asked if I wanted his unused single scull. His offer was readily accepted, and from June till the middle of September, I managed to do a one-hour every other day row in my single scull. The very positive results of this committed training will be discussed in a future blog.


Single Scull



Eight Plus

What is Rowing/Crew?

Here is the definition by River City Crew: The term "crew" is often used when talking about rowing. This term is commonly misused, so this may clarify the truths of the names of the sport. "Crew", as a noun, can refer to either the people in a specific high school or collegiate rowing boat or the entire sport of rowing in high school or college. The term "crew team" is redundant and is not properly used. After college, the term "crew" is no longer used to describe the sport or people in a boat, and "rowing team" or "rowing club" is proper. In the sport of rowing, "crew" is never, ever properly used as a verb, i.e., one does not "go crewing", rather one would "go rowing". When in doubt, the noun "rowing team" or verb "rowing" will always be correct when describing the sport.
Rowing is truly a sport which can be done throughout one's lifetime.
Other Rowing Blog Posts by OutdoorSteve

Steve's 5th book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available (2016).  Order by clicking

Outdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email send Steve an email  and we can work out the logistics. Order at

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A quest to see Tuckerman Ravine skiers

Welcome to the world of Outdoorsteve and friends. In early May my son Tim, and our friend Mike hiked the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire.  Our quest was to see downhill skiers ski the Tuckerman Ravine headwall.

Tuckerman Ravine is one of New Hampshire’s unique natural resources.  Tuckerman Ravine is a vast open bowl perched on the southeast slope of Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the Northeast at 6,288 feet. In the spring snow depths in the Ravine can reach 100 feet .  

Needless to say, Tuckerman Ravine is a very dangerous area subject to avalanches and falling massive blocks of ice the size of automobiles. It also is very exciting and challenging for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. The open porch of the Hermit Hut shelter is a great place to watch the skiers.

How do I get to ski Tuckerman Ravine?
Tuckerman Ravine can only be reached by hiking uphill for two plus hours - there is no ski lift, road, or method of access - other  than to hike.  

We start our hike (if we were skiing the Ravine we would be carrying our ski equipment) at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Pinkham Notch Hut on Route 16. The uphill 2.5 mile hike starts with a boulder laden path that turns into a snow and ice packed trail to Hermit Hut at the base of Tuckerman Ravine.

Once reaching the Hermit Hut Shelter, extreme alpine, snowboard, and telemark skiers continue to climb another hour or so up to the headwall of the Ravine’s various self-made ski lanes.

Skiing the Ravine is definitely not for the novice or intermediate skier.  Taking the wrong trail down, or falling on the ski, can lead to disaster – read this as serious injury or death.

To see a graphic of Tuckerman Ravine ski routes go to Time for Tuckerman.  These ski routes from the top of the ravine can reach 40 - 55 degrees at their steeper sections.

Seeing these talented skiers on Tuckerman Ravine is a bucket list item.  Hermit Hut is a place to talk to these local “skier celebrities” and hear their personal conquests is worth the 4 to 5 hour round trip hike. 

Pinkham Notch (el 2,032 ft) on Route 16, via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail ascends to Hermit Lake (el 3,875 ft). Approximate hiking time is 2 ½ hours in most books, however this hiking time depends on the physical condition of the slowest hiker to handle jumping boulder to boulder, weather, and time of year (read snow and ice in winter, and running streams down the Trail in spring).

Our hike was in early May with snow melt of small streams frequently crossing the Trail for the first half of the trip (1 ½ hours), and then ice and snow for the second half (1 1/4 hours. All in all this trip took nearly 3 hours for us to reach Hermit Hut Shelter.

Our hike back to Pinkham Notch Hut via the same trail was about 2 hours.

Enjoy the below video of our hike.

Microspikes or Crampons?
My video says we used "crampons" on the trail. In fact we used "microspikes".  To learn the difference go to Microspikes or Crampons?  For most hikers today in the Whites microspikes have replaced crampons - but some of the older hikers still refer to crampons when they indeed wear microspikes.
Ski runs in Tuckerman Ravine are steeper than routes at nearby developed ski areas. Adding to the challenge, as noted, Tuckerman Ravine skiers must work for their runs by hiking uphill for 2-1/2 miles or so to reach the ravine. There is no ski lift, no snow grooming, and no indoor shelter at Tuckerman Ravine. But “Skiing Tuckerman” does boast some of the most challenging terrain in the eastern U.S., making it a magnet for accomplished skiers and snowboarders, and legions of spectators who also make the climb to take in the scene.

Weather and trail conditions at Tuckerman and the Tuckerman Ravine Trail can also be found by clicking on the "Conditions" tab at"

Additional Trips to Tuckerman Ravine
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    "Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve's fifth book, Outdoor Play Fun 4 4 Seasons Volume II, is now available (2016). Order here by clicking OutdoorSteve.comOutdoor Play Volume II has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send me an email and we can work out the logistics. Order at