The Jingle Bell Hike – Climbing Mt. Cube with the Arthritis Foundation

The Jingle Bell Hike – Climbing Mt. Cube with the Arthritis Foundation


Views to the NE form the summit of Mt. Cube in December of 2011

The Jingle Bell Hike

Climbing Mt. Cube with the Arthritis Foundation

December 8th, 2012

2,909 ft. 4 miles

The Arthritis Foundation Staying in Motion

October 31, 2012

Wes Chapman


The Arthritis Walk® is the signature fundraising event for the Arthritis Foundation. The Foundation says of the walk,” it’s not just an event, it’s a celebration of year-round movement to help prevent and treat arthritis”. After a successful Upper Valley Arthritis Walk in October, let’s keep the momentum going. Come join us for a Jingle Bell Hike up New Hampshire Mt. Cube and celebrate people in motion in the Holiday Season.


Every year the folks from the Arthritis Foundation sponsor events to get people together to celebrate movement and make a positive impact on the lives of people living with arthritis. These events raise funds for arthritis research, education and life improvement programs in communities across the country. Arthritis has been an unfortunate way of life in my family, and increasingly an unwelcome visitor in my own. I spend a lot of time in the mountains of New Hampshire and as an arthritis sufferer, fully appreciate the simple joy of being able to climb in these beautiful Hills.

The rallying cry of these walks nationwide is Let’s Move Together® encouraging people to get up and get moving. I’ve been a very lucky sufferer of arthritis – able to move a lot. Come join us on December 8th climbing Mt. Cube. It costs just $20 to participate – $10 more if you want a long sleeve Jingle Bell Run t-shirt too. As more fully described below, we’ll meet at the trail head parking lot on Baker Rd. at 10:00. This is a relatively short hike and only moderately difficult – I’ve done it with children as young as 6 years, and with people as old as 80 – it is a good family hike.

Wes Chapman on the summit with a canine fan club, October 2012

My preferred route up Mt. Cube is from Baker Rd. off Route 25A in Orford, NH up the Cross Rivendell Trail. This starts out on Baker Road on the track of the old Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail was re-routed to the south and east several years ago, and the local folks built a foot-trail across the Rivendell School District (in both Vermont and New Hampshire), utilizing part of the old Appalachian Trail through Orford.


Rivendell was originally the fictional refuge of elves in J. R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Rivendell, is derived from the words meaning split valley, and applies to the school district which lies in both New Hampshire and Vermont. This is particularly appropriate moniker for states split by the Connecticut River and geological origin – Vermont is part of the North American Plate and New Hampshire part of the European Plate.


Large scale map showing access to Mt. Cube

Fine detail showing Baker Rd. and the summit

This will be a winter hike, and all participants should bring a day pack, appropriate clothing, water and snacks, hiking boots, hiking poles and Micro-spikes or similar traction aids. The trail is very well marked in blue blazes, and is not too steep. There are some good views out to the west on the way to the summit, and the summit is bald and offers terrific views of the Connecticut River Valley to the west and south. There is good parking on Baker Rd. just before the trail head.

The summit of Mt. Cube December 2010

Views from the quartzite ledge about .75 miles from the summit, December 2010

December is a difficult month to plan for hiking – it can be absolutely frozen or balmy. Please adjust your dress appropriately to the weather conditions, and remember – it’s a lot better to bring a little extra clothing than not have enough if the weather turns bad. While no winter hiking experience is necessary to do this hike, please remember that this is not a training hike, and we hope that participants will be experienced hikers and have some familiarity with outdoor winter activity. We would hope that the total time round-trip to the automobiles would be no more than 4 hours – which should leave plenty of time for a snack and some photos at the summit.



The Green Mts of Vermont across the Ct. River

Once I get an idea of the number of people planning to attend, we’ll plan to specify meeting areas at 9:00 am, so that we can do a gear check and “count noses” before we get to the trail head parking areas. I’ll meet those people coming from the west on 25A at the Fire Station in Orford (on Rt. 10, just south of the turn to 25A). As the time for the hike approaches, we’ll make arrangements for a meeting place for folks coming up I93.


If you are interested in coming on the Jingle Bell Hike, please drop me a note at, or give me a call at 603 252 7340.This hike is a companion to the Annual Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run/Walk, so if you cannot make the hike, please check out the Run/Walk – it’s for the same great cause: Arthritis Foundation Run/Walk.


Adios, from Mt. Cube

Wes Chapman
Written by Wes Chapman

No comments yet.

No one have left a comment for this post yet!