The Wedding Crashers of the White Mountains: A Drunken Tale of Redemption on Sandwich Dome

Last week, I ventured up to Sandwich Dome for a redemption hike after bailing on this mountain in 2019. It’s not often I bail on a hike – and while it would probably sound cooler to say I gave up due to bad weather, or a broken ankle – the truth was, I was hungover. Now hold on, before you go picking up the phone to dial Betty Ford, let me explain myself:

The night before, I had attended a wedding at Waterville Valley – it was a hot July day, the gin was flowing freely – and before long, I was feeling ELECTRIC – as in The Electric Slide (boogie oogie oogie oogie).

“We should totally go for a hike after this wedding, what a great idea!”

But then came the inevitable morning after – the fuzzy memories (did I really dance like that with the bride’s cousin?), and the crushing realization that I had committed to going on a morning after hike with my two friends, Stef and Heidi. Fortunately for me, Stef and Heidi had also attended said wedding and were nursing similar pangs. But unfortunately for us, we all seem to share the same neurotic affliction to GO FULL OUT in all things in life – whether that be hiking mountains, or Macarena-mania on the dance floor.

The morning after(math)

So, through a foolhardy combination of pride mixed with stupidity, we ventured our way to Sandwich Mountain trail and began our relentless ascent – and this was not just the booze talking, the ascent up Sandwich Mountain trail was RELENTLESS. Finally, after 2+ miles of slogging – and sweating out an odd combination of gin and Gatorade – we called Uncle! shortly after arriving at Jennings Peak, and turned back, leaving Sandwich Dome for another day.

Heidi may be smiling, but she’s really dying on the inside.

Two years later, I would return to the scene of the crime – sober, but sadly solo for this go around Sandwich Dome. The ascent up Sandwich Mountain trail was just as brutal as I had remembered, steep and unyielding, but – and this I did not remember – big in terms of payoff once you reach the stretch of trail from Noon Peak, over to Jennings Peak, and to the final ascent up Sandwich Dome.

2021 – beautiful ridge leading from Noon Peak over to Jennings Peak, Sandwich Dome looms ahead.

The summit of Sandwich Dome was admittedly not all that exciting – I would compare it to a slightly better Tecumseh in terms of view. But both Noon and Jennings Peaks were the stars of the show, and Drakes Brook trail made for a quick and easy descent back down.

(note to hikers: keep an eye out for the water levels, as there is a difficult water crossing .5 miles before the trailhead)

Sandwich Dome summit – redemption hike complete!

Now that I have redeemed myself and hiked Sandwich Dome, I do think that my friends and I would have been able to make it there on that fateful day us wedding crashers attempted to crash through the White Mountains together. And while I missed their company dearly on this hike, I was thankful for the excuse to revisit this beautiful, and challenging trail.


  1. Heidi
    June 28, 2021

    I like how you referenced us dancing to cringe yet tactful macarena and electric slide instead of revealing the full extent of what happened on that dance floor

    1. The Sassy Hiker
      June 28, 2021

      I honestly don’t remember what happened on that dance floor, so I chose the most stereotypical weddings songs I could think of! ?


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