Next Saturday, 4/5: The Massing Hordes

Rumor has it that if all wannabes show up for hiking fun it could be the largest group assembled legally in the state of NH in over 200 years. It may just boil down to one or two in the final analysis, but the current tentative list is: me, the PM, tMail, g-$$$, MD, treadmill, bobW, nateG, nateG's mom, my uncle Walter, the Concord (NH) Men's Chorus and all of Stephensville, Newfoundland.

Remaining on tMail's list (I think I have this right):

  • The Bonds (one trip, but not this spring)
  • Cabot & Waumbek (two trips this time of year - one if done as a warmup to Jay in June/early July)
  • Isolation (the only one on this list I'd be interested in for saturday - but not via the Rocky Branch which could be hugely challenging with high water)
Other possibilities, all weather dependent of course:
  • Chocorua
  • Hillman's
  • Other
Right now things are melting rapidly at lower elevations (in spite of the bitter cold that overran us last night). I think we should anticipate spring conditions at brook crossings. Bob and I saw snowbanks three or four feet thick on Falling Waters (with some snow bridges between two and three feet thick) - but it was clear this was going to be rapidly changing and we actually made it a point not to step on what seemed to be the weakest spots, in spite of the thick ice.

Lastly, do NOT consider going out Sunday to Hillman's or Huntington or whatever without sharpening your crampons. Bob and I hit some really, really hard ice on the 'Bone and with the heavy rain and bitter winds we just got, things are going to be icy everywhere (crusty in the woods).


  1. i'm out.

    rearranging some linens.


  2. Curses. Keep me posted about availability. I'm off the entire week of the 14th (spring break).

  3. Saturday weather looks raw. Is the poke into the wild pushed out to Sunday?

  4. I'm still hoping for Saturday as not sure Sunday will work out. Forecast, if you can trust it, is slight chance of rain until noon. What are everyone's time commitments? What do we want to climb? I can be out for the entire day so a late start is not a problem.

    I wouldn't mind going after Cabot to help out tmail's list. Chocorua is an option too as is Isolation if wanted a long day out.

  5. Saturday does look kind of sucky, but I can be kind of a pussy about it if I have the choice between cold rain and snow mixed or bright sunshine and warm weather on Sunday.

    The MWO is suggesting mixed precip possibly changing to rain tonight and tomorrow. Valley's in the mid-40's, the bad boy in the high 20's. Mmmmm, cold rain to start, colder rain in the middle, cold at the end.

    I vote for Sunday.

  6. I am looking good on Sunday...and if I do join you guys I have some tremendous corporate America Stories...

  7. Can't wait to hear. Gotta run to yet another mtg. Will be posting plans this evening.

  8. Well weather.com revised to a better forecast for tomorrow to 10% rain by 8AM. But I think I'm fighting the tide here so if the decision is Sunday, post details of where and when and I'll do my best to work it into the schedule. If not maybe I'll just pack my spray bottle and head out to Chocorua tomorrow.

  9. I too would prefer Sunday weatherwise... however, I can't swing Sunday due to dog duty and other commitments down this way!

    G$, if you want to knock off Chocura, let me know. I'll bring my spray bottle so we can be sure to get all our bits and pieces wet on the way.

  10. the revolution is on.....saturday it is. pm is meeting me in portsmouth at 8am. trailhead by 930ish. he has all but guaranteed me a chocorua summit...otherwise three strikes and you're out!

    my guess we'll tackle the liberty trail or the piper trail but always open to options if others are to join.


    Just ask the MPM.

    F' Chocorua....if I never have to step another foot on that POS mountain again I will have lived no less of a complete life.

  12. Pics posted at - http://picasaweb.google.com/puppetmaster64/040508ChocoruaBushwhack

    Holy good God. What should have been a 4-5hr, 8.6mi day turned into a 7hr, 10 mile doozy - complete with raining trees, spruce traps galore, missing trails, incestuous Sisters, and the need for all the gear, food, and water to be used.

    The top 10 lessons learned:
    1) Never trust the "feel." The NorthSouth finder never lies.
    2) The relatively early map pull by G$ was key to our bushwhacking for only 2hrs, instead of 4hrs+!
    3) Bring extra layers, you never know what you're going to get into!
    4) Always respect the bumps - big and small.
    5) When you feel like saying "f it", give it another 30mins!
    6) Making your own trail is sometimes fun but sometimes not!
    7) Spring weather is deceptive - HOT in the valley yet wet and winter-like in the high country.
    8) Ahi tuna jerky is tasty.
    9) Gaiters need a snow skirt - like a ski jacket.
    10) Going up on your Sister is okay - the first time. Going down on her is no fun.

    Taking her from the front is okay, from the back is dicey.

  13. I have added to my climbing cirriculum vitae with the tough earned of Chocorua yesterday...

    More lessons learned...
    - When the guy at the store says park in front of the dumpster...he means it
    - When there is nobody else parked at or attempting the oft used Piper Trail, ask yourself why
    - Snowshoes are going to be mandatory for a few more months with all of the snowpack up there, unless you like postholing
    - Postholing sucks
    - Postholing into spruce traps suck even more
    - Don't let blazes and snowshoe prints lull you into thinking you're where you ought to be
    - I'm a reaffirmed believer in the value of a GPS...but in the absence of a seasoned user or the manual....default to the map and the N-S finder
    - When you can't see sh*t, heading up always get you somewhere but not necessarily anywhere you want to go
    - When you're tired, spruce traps suck
    - Empty out the insides of your gaiters after you dig out of a spruce trap or you'll end up with 7 pound boots when you put 'em on the scale at home.
    - When you know you're off trail Spruce Traps suck doubly
    - Tylenol works wonders until it wears off
    - Chocorua has major contempt for me
    - My next watch purchase may be a Garmin Forerunner before Gannett.
    - Wild Willy's Chili is the perfect post-climbing antidote; their fries and onion rings a nice added bonus
    - Honda CRVs are much nicer than Nissan Muranos
    - MPM you did guarantee the summit, and delivered, but you neglected to tell me how much work it was going to be.
    - And the most important lesson learned...don't go hiking with the PM if he's had a Enchillada Dinner the night before.

  14. Great photos! The bushwack sounds invigorating. I have to say, the "Big Red" photo was a little disconcerting. I couldn't see the matching handbag, but the scene did remind me of a scene from the beginning of the movie "Legally Blonde"