Hiking Plans Between Now and New Years' Eve

For any of you looking for high adventure, i'm planning on at least 5 major hikes between now and new years' eve. Consider them training for winter adventure - or just early winter adventure in and of themselves. Anyway, if anybody has any mid-week time available and is looking for some White Mountain fun, these next two weeks will be loaded with motivation.

Why such high energy and adventure? Well, blame it all on g-$$$. Yes, it's true. He got me counting my WMNF summits and yesterday on the drive to meet the Puppet Master for the Tripyramids I realized that as of today (Sunday, 12/17), even though my 48's list goes back to 2004, I've done/redone almost all 48 in 2006. Two more hikes (The Hancocks and Tecumseh) finish my 48's, but two further hikes (4 total) will hit all 48 this calendar year. I have a little leeway in that I have until February 4th (when we did the Osceolas) to claim 48 summits in 12 months but I'm going to take a crack at doing this by New Year's, hitting all 48 in 11 months in one calendar year.... weather permitting.

So what's left on the list? Here they are in no particular order:

  • Eisenhower/Pierce. This two-banger up-and-down of the southern presi range has some long exposure but not at the altitude of the high Presi's - and it has views, no deadly ascending and moderate distance. Probable route: Edmand's Path up, Crawford Path to Pierce - return same route if one car, if two cars, Crawford Path all the way down. (9.5mi., 3350').
  • Hancocks. I know, this hike is best done w/ heavy snow cover for the mile-long glissade - and I plan on doing them later in the winter - but I'm going to hit them in the next two weeks. I figure if I could manage the North Slide I can manage the Hancock Loop trail. (9.8 mi., 2650')
  • Tecumseh. I know, g-$$$, we have a plan to make this the big 48. But you're the one that got me counting so I'll gladly go back for the ceremony in the summer and raise a glass to you .. (if you want to come along on this one we can do the ceremonial hike in the summer again!).
  • TBO (The Big One) ... or Two...or Three: Madison/Adams/Jefferson. Because of the extreme conditions, it's not clear that it's likely to be able to hit all three in one hike at this time of year. And if there's a kink in the plans, it will happen on these summits. All of us have had to turn back at least once on an ascent of the high Presi's and I'm not about to die for this. The plan is to take a standard one-car route, like Valley Way, Hit Madison if possible, and then do a reality check. Hit Adams, if possible. Then hit Jefferson, which is the least likely to get tagged. If I can only hit one or two, the plan will be to go back again before Jan 1. (14mi, 5850').
So the bottom line is that I'm going to do these by the higher-summits forecast, starting next Tuesday (12/19). Crappy-ish weather and high winds means Hancocks or Tecumseh. Nice weather means the southern or northern Presi's. Decisions will be last-minute and any day is a possible day.

Oh yeh, and I'm also planning on doing the Bamforth Ridge soul-crusher on the 23rd. Even though g-$$$ is to blame for forcing me at crampon-point to count my peaks, it's not enough of an obsession to miss out on the #$%@#$$&forth!!


  1. Ok here is the scoop I don't know how many are advanced and read this blog but I may have to convert of to email to the message out. I can not make Bamforth because there is not way I am going to be able to drive home to RI after that hike and my mother is going to want me in RI on Christmas Eve. So with that said I am staying at Loon with my cousing Friday night and I want to do a hike in Franconia Notch or somewhere close to where I am staying. My cousin will ski all day Saturday and just wait for me until I finish. Is anyone interested in this or are you all doing Bamforth?

  2. Feel free to arrange the 12/23 outing alternative via email. The only way I'm not doing Bamforth is if everybody including MadDog bails out. Do you want to start a Bamforth (or 12/23) post?

  3. Muthaz I will start a 12/23 outing via email I think that I will reach out to more...how many do the blog?

  4. oh dear god...what have I done....
    first is the PM, sleeping in the Jeep and then taking him up Mt Washington on his newbie winter excursion. soon he had his sights for the 48. now, muthaZ, going for the calendar year feat. I'm just making simple trail talk and you guys take it to the extreme!

    well as much as I'd love to finish Tecumseh together, but I'm not counting on it giving what's on my plate. the calendar is chock full with a family visit, a likely father-in-law passing, and work.

    anyway...wouldn't it be easier if you just did a presi-traverse. hahaha. actually i noticed jefferson notch rd is still open so you might be able to hit jefferson soon and the weather cooperates. that one is notoriously difficult to bag as winter sets. getting those three in winter conditions would be a serious feat.

    anyway, good luck muthaZ and certainly if I had the time (and energy) I would join you with the trips but I'm pulling the gaynerd card.

    maybe I need to push you guys harder about the 50 state highpoints!

  5. g-$$$, you can compare yourself to gaynerd all you want, but who was there on Owl's head in the cold-cold rain? Who was on Cabot and Waumbek? Who banged Moosilauke? The list goes on! I've seen you on almost a dozen high summits this year alone and the most we got out of GayNerd was the promise to fold his boyfriends' 'Three Stooges' underpants. No, no. The golden spray-bottle is not yours, my friend.