Getting Ready for the VT100

The Three Day ramp up to VT100 Training:

  1. Groton State Forest Romp
  2. White Mountain Insanity
  3. Bushwacking Through Space & Time
tMail's Trip Report (pics here):
Groton State Forest Run
  • Mutha, Spanky, Jake and myself rocked for about 1.5 hours through Groton State Forrest and up Devil’s Hill.  We ran and ran it pretty hard in the snow both with mspikes on it was great.
  • Ground cover was slick and probably about 5-6 inches of soft fluffy snow.
  • I made the decision to run in trail runners, Brooks Cascadia
  • A decision I did NOT regret, wool socks and a constant forward motion kept everything warm, yes feet did get wet but nothing new.
  • Brooks are truly an amazing trail running shoe.
  • Mutha and his network of trails, beaver crossings, bogs and hills is amazing in GSF.  It will definitely be a training ground for Vt 100
TFW – Webster
  • Temperature is very interesting we hiked in 0-5 degrees all day and at times could have been in short sleeve
  • The window to stop and stay warm is about 0-5 minutes
  • I hike in my shortly sleeve smartwool with IBEX long sleeve and Arc’teryx shell for a majority of the day
  • We did an awesome job of moisture management
  • I stayed warm all day even hands and feet
  • Webster Cliff Trail is rocking
  • Coming off TFW towards 302 is rocking as well, the Stairway to Heaven section is cool.  I don’t remember this because two winter’s ago I actually boot skied over these ladders there was so much snow!
  • Jackson sucks, but we will conquer it another time.
  • PB&J (6 of them), cookies made from Hardwick was the food of choice.
  • Gel flask of Montana Huckleberry stayed non frozen if kept in interior pocket of pants.
What a rocking day!

Hooker and Mack Mountain
  • We arrived at the Militia Compound to be greeted by DogMan, MadDog, Trudy and Peaches
  • Our destination was Hooker Mountain via bushwhack then Mack Mountain
  • The Militia Compound is awesome, we carried some RPGs in case we got ambushed .
  • The day was awesome, tough little mountains and the push assault up Mack Mountain was heart pounding fun as we just pushed through the snow covered trees
Conversation was some of the best trail convo ever!
  1. Wall Street – MadDog hates it but is heavily invested in Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and Monsanto
  2. Big Business – MadDog hates it
  3. Profit earning companies – MadDog hates them
  4. Bill Gates – MadDog hates him
  5. Warren Buffet – MadDog hates him, but said the guy has been the same for 50+ years.
  6. Andrew Carnegie – MadDog hates him
  7. JD Rockefeller – MadDog hates him
  8. JP Morgan – MadDog hates him
  9. All Kennedy’s – MadDog hates them
  10. John Lennon – MadDog and DogMan both share/agree he was in the right place at the right time, imagine!
  11. Weird Al – MadDog hates him, Mutha said he is a ruthless entrepreneur.
  12. The guy that stood in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square – MadDog loves him, he is my hero.
  13. Gandhi – MadDog loves him
  14. Dali Llama – MadDog loves him
  15. Oprah – Everyone hates her including Trudy and Spanky
  16. Mother Theresa – we were divided here, MadDog likes her Mutha said she is a cheater.
  17. We talked about JC Carpentry Company – that’s right we talked about Jesus Christ and his carpentry business and decided he did not pay enough attention to the business aspect but too much time to Philanthropy and got nailed for it.  We also think he didn’t pay taxes and wrote off the business as loss each year, thieves pay for their actions.
  18. Lance Mackey – gained much respect from the crowd
  19. Lance Armstrong – many said he was a fraud
  20. Bono – fraud
  21. Founding fathers of the United States of America – scum suckers
  22. A hero can not be defined
  • We need to go on another hike to see if what Oprah does is a form of art.
  • I threw it out there based on Tolstoy the Government is a form of art.
  • I need a tin foil hat now that Mutha has a jacket.
What a great day!!!!
MadDogs Trip Report:
10pm the night before. the phone rings: It's the offices of Dewey Screwum and Howe. Hmmm...at 10pm?

MD: "Hello"
DSH: "Maddog, we're going for a WALK tomorrow."
MD: "Great, a pleasant stroll in nature. Where?"
DSH: "Meet us at the militia compound, 10am."
MD: "My knee is not good - I can't do much."
DSH: "Don't worry, just bring a bottle of water and a cracker pack, we'll be out for 2 hrs max."
MD: "Ok, see you then."

...10am the next day...

I arrive at the compound greeted by a friendly centurion and some intimidating K-9s. DSH hasn't arrived yet. So we chat and get prepped for our light, waltz in the woods. Minutes later, two studs arrive at the door decked out and ready for a pitched assault on Hooker. Protective eyewear, armour, axes, knives in their teeth and teeth on their feet. WTF! My mittens and Dockers sneakers were looking kind of lame.
Mutha's Trip Report (pics here):
1.  Groton State Forest Romp
tMail dragged my a$$ all over Groton State Forest today. We did 1.5hrs in microspikes with Jake & Spanky. For those that know the area, we did Devil's Hill from the Peacham side, dropped down to the Jerry Lund road via VAST trails, looped around by Peacham Bog and lollipopped back via Forgotten Notch (between Devil's Hill and Jennison Mt.). All told, about 6 miles.

Jake's a bada$$.

Tomorrow's Beast: Willey Range, Webster & Jackson. He's trying to kill me.

2.  White Mountain Insanity
  • Within  20 minutes of starting out we had our first barrier:  a brook crossing that required ice, not rocks.  We tested up- and down-stream and eventually settled on what looked like good ice development.  It was.  Whew.
  • Snowshoes weren't needed, but this was probably the last weekend for that.  We decided that future hikes would require them - at least carried on the pack.
  • We did most of the hike in microspikes.  This was kind of dumb, but was the point of the challenge.  All over the Willey Range the mspikes were just fine.  But on the descent to the Ethan Pond trail when we hit the 'ladders' it was really time to put on the crampons.  We stayed in the mspikes.  This was a slow, painstaking descent.  We kicked in steps.  The water had flowed over many of the treads to make iced cascades.  We hugged trees.  The steps went on for many flights and it probably took 30 minutes just to descend this one section.  Then it was ice and water and snow for another hour.  You never knew when your foot was going to be on hard ice under snow, water under snow, water under ice, snow under water, rock under snow, scissors paper and stone under fire or WTF.  It was just slow.
  • We crossed 302 in them and half-way up the ascent to the Webster Cliffs, when we were hugging trees and climbing ice cascades, tMail said:  "I'm putting on crampons".  Game changing decision.
  • The Webster Cliffs trail has a lot of exposure and a lot of snow.  It was unbroken and to be honest it was difficult to tell where we were.  By the time we reached the signpost at the Webster Mtn junction where you can head north to Jackson or west to Saco Pond, we thought we might be on Jackson already.  Maddog and I had the same experience:  "Where the F are we?"  After studying the map and our compasses by headlamp light, and getting hit by stiff, 5° breezes, and me losing my fingers, we decided to make a beeline for the car.  Reminder:  1.3 miles of unbroken snowed in trail in the dark is a big number.  Don't do it if your even close to thinking:  "I don't have the heat reserves".  Also don't do it if your estimated time back at the car is 3 hours after your "call mountain rescue" time on your itinerary.
  • It was a great day to follow the Groton State Forest Run.

 3.  Bushwacking Through Space & Time
  • So then the THIRD day, we met up with Dogman and MadDog and Trudy and Spanky and the 6 of us did the great Hooker Mtn -> Mack Mountain bushwack.  This was inexplicably cool.  It was about 6.5 hours of wandering through the hills with trees covered so heavily with snow that the typical sight-line was about 20 feet.  Trail chatter ranged from Mother Theresa to Bill Gates and from profit motive to ruthless capitalist pig-ism. 
  • What a great day.  Spanky at 5 hot dogs.  She emptied her intestine in the yard that night.

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