The Bad Boy, 2007

We're still a few days away, but Friday is the ice climbing workshop and Saturday comes The Bad Boy!

Here's my guess for the weather: 2F, winds around 50mph, gusting to 65. In the clouds from 5000', blowing frozen fog w/ visibility about 100'.

I'm still on the lookout for the right conditions to skip the summit and go for something else, like up Hillman's and down Lion Head.

There is still a moderate level of instability in the snowback on steep terrain and the summer Lion Head route is still open so we may have limited options there.

[Update 2/4/07: Fried logic board is making my life hell. I'm working on getting the images posted from both the ice climbing and the bad boy treks. Updates will be posted here.]

[Update 2/6/07: Okay, got a spare computer, pics are posted HERE]


Hell Brook Again (Mt. Mansfield, VT)

Maddog and I did it again: the steep badass Hell Brook trail. 2,200' in 1.4 miles from rte 108 to The Adams Apple of Mt. Mansfield. As we ascended, the snow got deeper and our postholes got crotch deep, then the powder just got plain deep. The biting cold (maybe -15F at the start) wasn't so bad because there was no wind, but wading through the cold, soft, deep snow was punishing.

On the final push up The Adams Apple, we had short alpine fir trees covered in rime and snow, with some bent double under the powder making deep traps. At times, they were so close together we had to punch the ice off the trees to make enough room to push through.

Heard It On The Mountain:
"I keep asking myself, am I doing something wrong?" - Maddog, after spending quite a bit of energy without making much forward progress (see pic)

The pictures don't really do the setting justice. The trail starts rising steeply immediately and never stops. It's hard to follow and relentlessly challenging. Showshoes would've helped, but only mountaineering snowshoes. MSR's would've been hard to maneuver (I think) - not enough 'crampon'.


Franconia Ridge II: All Hell Breaks Loose

Rumor has it that tMail, the PM and some guy with a death wish are thinking about hitting the high notes tomorrow (sat, 1/20) during 100mph winds and zero visibility. More on this as things progress.

[Update 1/20/07: It looks like nobody risked life and limb. Good move. Anybody around on Sunday 1/21?]


Franconia Ridge

We gathered in the parking lot in cold rain, but by the time we were back at the spa, the sun was out and the jacuzzi was filled w/ champagne.

Or not.

Well, Spungie made it, so did g-$$$. (What?!?! g-$$$? wasn't he due in Florida this weekend? Uhhhh, apparently not.) Becca and Andrew made it, Mad Dog, tMail and me. Oh yeh, baby. But wait, where was the PM and his pink binkie? Where was treadmill, who destroyed Moosilauke and made the mountain feel like her little bitch? Where was Riree!?!?!? ... they were at home, in the bathtub, rinsing their ****** w/ a golden spray bottle. Even MadDog, who ate all my ibuprofen and had bad sinus problems showed up. He gets the opposite of the golden spray bottle.. he gets the - uh - iron sand blaster?.


more in a sec. the pork tenderloin is almost up to 140 deg.

okay, back - mmmm, just like I told you MadDog, a 3-olive martini stuffed w/ jalapenos. Pork tenderloin w/ pad thai, grilled brussel sprouts. Dinner is just about ready... anybody?

Today was the most beautiful day on the mountain. The frosty mist and blowing rime pubes were charming, lovely, stylish and delightful. More on this later ... along w/ the pics.

It was good to see Spungie again - haven't seen him since the Bad Boy '06. Oddly, he stored his banana peel in his hat (see pics at site).

Becca and Andrew are waiting for their trail names (Oh where, oh were is our Puppet Master of Ceremonies). Andrew is faster on his feet than he was willing to let on at first. He's a chatty son-of-a-bitch and wouldn't stop yapping about politics, neurolinguistic programming and tinfoil hats - then he left Becca in the dust and ran down the mountain like a billy-goat on fire. I was like "???" and he was like "!!!" and MadDog was like "??!?" and he was like "!". Holy crap. Somebody get that guy a lethargy pill.

tMail's goggles got all fogged/iced up. What the fuck, tMail - stop eating the Hammer Gel - it's causing you to overheat. Try tofu.

Our poles were covered in rime ice by the time we got down - but only the west side of them. Too bad I didn't get a shot of that.

Visibility dropped to about 100' but it was so beautiful up there.

[Update 1/13 7:33pm: Pics are posted here or click on title of this post - waiting for Becca's pics]


tMail's Choice #2: Franconia Ridge

Here we go again! So far, the forecast for the weekend is rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain and a plague of locusts. We'll find out from the pros on Mt. Washington for sure as the day approaches. I believe tMail's route of choice (correct if i'm wrong) is the classic Falling Water to Haystack, Franconia Ridge North to Lafayette and Greenleaf/Bridal Path back. Indeed, a classic, especially if we can't see more than 10 feet. In the summer I'd say to give it 4.5 hours. But with unstable weather moving through for the next week and wind gusts following the steep gradients in pressure we could be in for a hellish traverse. Let's see what the forecast for Saturday is by Friday.

Image of the day (to the right =>) from Lafayette on a good day, lenticular clouds over the Pemi (and southern Presi's w/ Mt. Washington lower left in the back).

As far as meeting time, I'll let the southern contingent decide. Meeting place is obvious: the trailhead parking lot on the east side of 93 opposite the Lafayette Campground, in the north lot.

[Update on 1/11/07: 8:30 at the traihead has been confirmed. No guess on the weather until tomorrow's higher summits forecast is issued]

[Update on 1/12/07: The mountain spirit has extended a warm hand and invited us to join the mountains in enjoying low temperatures, low winds, low snow-levels and low visibility, but otherwise not said a damn thing about dashing our brains out on the rocks or killing us by sapping our internal heat and strength. I believe we should accept the invitation. As of this writing, the trip is a "go". See you all at 8:30! (Click on image to see closeup of route)]


La Flume

Well, it didn't happen on 1/6/07 due to rain (see prev post). But it did happen on 1/7/07, although w/out the PM, treadmill and riree.... but we added Andrew, Rebecca & Luna (did I get your names right? Damn, that was way too much mescaline).

The route was up&down the Osseo, including that goddamn railbed. We had a cloud layer seemingly just over our heads (see pic at right of tMail, thinking about the contrast between the image of man and the idea of man compared with the meaning of the image of man).

So the final cast was g-$$$, tMail, andrew, rebecca, luna and myself (trailnames to come for the nuo duo).

And the weather? Heh, heh. What do you think boys and girls? Would calling it a mid-April hike give the right idea? Let's say yes.

And on a more personal note, I'd like to say that the shiny, unscratched, but motion-blurred back of tMail's new Koflachs are now all too familiar.

And the final word on Luna vs. Riree? Sorry, we won't go there.

And if you haven't figured it out, click on the title of this post (or HERE) to see the pics.


The UpAndComing: Floozie & Lafayette

Well, tMail is driving this one and it looks like a date with the Death Star: "Red Leader, I'm going in!!"

Okay ladies, what'll it be:

1/6/2007: Up the Flume via the Osseo Trail? Say, doesn't that require that we trek about 1.5 miles along that railroad bed? I swore after my solo Pemi I'd never do that again. Then after the Prance I swore I would never do it again. Then after Owl's Head I swore I'd never do that again. What, are you trying to make me out to be a liar?

1/13/2007: Lafayette. Let me guess: Falling Water to Haystack, north on the Ridge and down to Greenleaf. OUTTASIGHTASTIC!! Count me in.

[Update 1/7/07: See next post (above) for Flume trip report]


Okay, That's 48

Well, Tecumseh is now out of the way and all 48 are done for 2006. While I was looking forward to hiking Tecumseh w/ g-$$$ as a joint 48th exercise, that will not be the case, but g-$$$ is to blame for getting me involved in this whole 48-4ker business to begin with. The plan now is to do a ceremonial hike w/ him when he wants to.

While Tecumseh was kind of dull, it was a lovely setting. In fact I'm sure that with a few feet of snowpack, the trip down could be VERY fast.

Anyone reading this will have already seen the movie I made from footage and stills The Puppet Master and I shot on Jefferson/Adams, but in case you are feeling like it's something you have to see again and again and again, here are some links:

[Note: the pic to the right was taken from the car on 93 heading down to Tecumseh. The rising sun was casting shadows of the clouds into the mist above the hills.]