Hut-2-3-4: Route Profile

The total distance disagrees with the Map Adventures mileage (I used my DeLorme map software - which always disagrees with other maps), but this is what the route profile looks like - roughly speaking. No big surprises.

Note that the baseline is the ending elevation on rte 16 across from Pinkham Notch.

I may have gotten Zealand tagged wrong, and I know Boott Spur is higher than Monroe so I think I got that right, but clearly there's room for error.

(Click on the map to zoom.)

[Update A] Ha! I just noticed the caption that reads "Boott Sput"!

[Update B] Total elevation gain is approx 20,000ft.

[Update C on 8/29] Bailout Points: The bad news is that once we go into the Pemi (let's say Mt. Lafayette) our best bet if things are sticky is to retreat to Greenleaf Hut or advance to Galehead or Zealand huts and head out for a car as soon as possible. Where are the cars?

  • - At the start at Lafayette Campground
  • - AMC Lodge in Crawford Notch (at about mile 28!)
  • - At the finish at Nineteen Mile Brook Trailhead on rte 16
From the looks of things, bailing out to a road and expecting to find a car we spotted is a poor option (except for what I listed above). It's Crawford Notch or Bust! To tMail's point, we will end spending an hour or two spotting cars so it would be best to take care of that friday night.

Have any of you had a chance to estimate time? The trip starts with Cannon and Lafayette, which is a HUGE undertaking all on its own. My initial estimates of average time including water, toilet, rest, etc. were:

- 2.0mph to Garfield because we'll be fresh and enthusiastic. (~6hrs)
- 1.75mph to Crawford Notch because we'll be starting to tire (~9hrs)
- 1.25mph to Rte 16 at the bottom of the Glen Boulder trail (~9hrs)
- 1.25 mph to Rte 16 over Wildcat Ridge (~8hrs) oh god please don't let me die on wildcat
total = 32 hours

Then I decided to add 4 hours for additional margin, and came up with:
7hrs (to Garfield)
11hrs (to Crawford Notch)
10hrs (to Rte 16)
8hrs (to Rte 16)
total = 36 hours

What do you think?


Shaving More Hair Off Franconia: 2:46

Okay, it's not the full Brazilian (2:45), nor an honorary Brazilian since it was technically 2:46:48, but there are only a few stubborn little hairs left and this shaved 3 minutes of my previous PR (2:49).

On the one hand I'd like to blame my lingering tonsilitis, some bad chicken salad (I belched chicken & mayo on the ascent) or the stabbing pain that shot up my inside right lower leg - I think it's my flexor digitorom longus (on my right leg, it runs up along the left edge of my shin and seems to cause pain when I roll off of my big toe). But to be honest, I think that's all I had in me.

Like last time, I knew I was making good time when it seemed like I was moving through molasses. If I could descend like MadDog, I'd have this baby wrapped up in 2:30.

Click on the graph to see details in lovingly rendered splendor. The 'slow' run was actually two runs ago (my first sub-3) because I didn't have the data from the last run (I had to change the battery on my watch). Note that Franconia Ridge didn't drop 25ft in elevation between July 12 and Today. It's just a calibration problem w/ a barometric altimeter when atmospheric pressure changes during a run.

Gear details: lumbar pack, 28oz water, 1 Hammergel pack (Espresso), 3 eCaps.


Hut-2-3-4: First Draft

I spent some time looking at the map, and if we're really serious about the Hut-2-3-4 we're in for some damaging mileage, backbreaking ascents and brain-frying sleep deprivation. Here's a first draft at a main route with some variations.

The route is from East to West, essentially from Carter Notch Hut to Lonesome Lake Hut. Cars will be spotted at:

  • Crawford Notch AMC Lodge (middle of trip bailout).
  • Lafayette Campground Parking Lot (end of trip).

The tentative starting point is the Nineteen Mile Brook trailhead on the east side of Rte 16.

Miles.......Hut Stage
3.8.......Ascend Nineteen Mile Brook tr from Rte 16 to Carter Notch Hut.
10.2.......Ascend and traverse then descend Wildcat Ridge back to Rte 16. Cross rte 16. Ascend Glen Boulder. Davis Path to Camel Trail to Lake of the Clouds Hut.
5.7.......Crawford Path to Mizpah Springs Hut.
8.1.......Crawford Path to Crawford Notch, cross 302. Ascend Avalon Trail to A-Z trail to Zealand Falls Hut.
------- [Optionally add side trip for tMail to tag Mt. Tom. Add 1.2 miles.]
7.0.......Twinway to Galehead Hut.
------- [Optionally add side trip for tMail to tag North Twin. Add 2.6 miles.]
------- [Optionally add side trip for tMail to tag Galehead. Add 1.0 miles.]
7.5.......Garfield Ridge to Greenleaf Hut
6.7.......Greenleaf to rte 93 (note that with this route we do NOT take the Bridal Path trail to the Lafayette Campground. See map.). Ascend Cannon via Kinsman Ridge to Lonesome Lake Hut.
1.8.......Descend back down to Lafayette Campground.

This horrific hike is 55.6 miles long with side trips mentioned (Mt. Tom, North Twin & Galehead). In it's long form it would take a minimum of 30 hours and hit the following 14 4kers:
Carter Ridge: Wildcat, Wildcat D
Southern Presis: Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce
Willey Range: Tom
Twinway: Zealand, Guyot, South Twin, North Twin
Garfield Ridge/Franconia Notch: Galehead, Garfield, Lafayette, Cannon

A shorter version excludes the three side trips (to Tom, Galehead & North Twin) and instead of Kinsman Ridge to Cannon, just crosses Franconia Notch and ascends the Lonesome Lake trail to the hut where we can either crash or drop back down to the cars from some reason. This trip, including the drop back down to the car is 48.6 miles (46.8 if we crash at the Lonesome Lake Hut).

Trip Options w/ mileage:
  • Shortest Option (crash at Lonesome Lake, no side trips, no Cannon): 46.8
  • Add descent to end at cars (+ 1.8 = 48.6 miles)
  • Tom (+1.2)
  • Galehead (+1.0)
  • North Twin (+2.6)
  • Cannon (+ 2.2 + 2,100 ft steep ascent)
Because this trek will take more than 24 hours, we will have at least a full night of hiking. On Sept. 8th, we'll have no moon (a thin crescent only 8% illuminated in the early morning) and a full 10 hours of actual dark night (from evening twilight to morning twilight). Because sunset-to-sunrise is about 12 hours and we'll be in some deep valley's at times, we may have to count on 12 hours of headlamp hiking. Start time is tough to guess. We'll have to do some thinking on that (I'd rather not be on Monroe in the dark ... Lafayette isn't much better).

Oh yeh, and we'll have big packs to accomodate food and clothing. We could have freezing rain on Lafayette - but I'm not doing this in shitty weather.


Psychic Hangover

tMail and I have exchanged a few emails about this, but in spite of some high-energy sporadic activity (his Adirondack immersion experience and my Franconia 'shaving', for example), we seem to be experiencing what I feel is a psychic hangover from Jay. I won't put words in his mouth so this is really just my take on it, but in contrast to the two-month physical recovery typical of my road marathon experiences, Jay seems to have taken a psychic, rather than physical toll that is not to be underestimated.

It's hard to tease apart from other things going on (flying out to Minnesota, taking on new clients, things getting busy, etc.) but I do feel like it's a hangover from Jay - mostly because it started at Jay. What is "it"? As tMail sort of phrased it, we have energy, no identifiable pains or aches ... kind of a weariness of spirit - like a motivational deficit. But I will say it's dimming as the days pass. I'm convinced it's related to the fact that the Jay race was a pinnacle of achievement for me, so going for a 6 mile run around the block seems kind of lame.

On the other hand, I'm totally pumped to shave 4 more minutes off Franconia to hit the 2:45 target. Maybe that'll put some hair back on my chest.


Shaving The Hair Off Franconia Ridge: 2:49

Okay lads, I set a new PR this afternoon, 7min faster than last time. I dropped Jill off at the barn, had my stuff in the car and made a beeline for Falling Water. I started my watch at 2:15 and was back at the car at 5:04. That's 2:49 for the 8.6 mile loop including around 4000ft of elevation gain. The bar has been raised. Some details:

  • I did the loop with only 28oz of water (in my Alterra lumbar pack) and a single Hammergel packet ("Espresso").
  • No iPod, no poles, no gear, no spare clothes, no first-aid kit, no food (other than single Hammer Gel packet). I didn't even wear sock liners - just smartwool socks.
  • I haven't done a minute-by-minute analysis yet (courtesy of Suunto), but I made it to the summit of Little Haystack in 1:07 - a full 8 minutes faster than last time. Actually, the 8 minutes shaved was on the way up to where the trail to Shining Rock splits off. It took me 1:03 last time, and only 0:55 today.
  • I guess I didn't make up any additional time elsewhere, but I felt like I really humped it. It only took me about 20 minutes to make it from Little Haystack to Lafayette summit. I'll get the exact timings later.
  • Injuries: I have a swollen egg and broken blood-vessels just above my left knee where I ran into a cutoff branch at full speed on the way up. On the way down, I hyperextended my left foot twice in an ankle-cranking wrench-fest. I have to fly to Minneapolis tomorrow and that sucker will probably swell.
  • The official time was from the parking lot, round-trip, right where that little paved path starts up the hill (on the 'sidewalk') by the big sign - not car-to-car - which probably saved me 30sec.
  • I carried on the tMail tradition of going for the big soak. I went back to the car, changed into sandals, rehydrated, and hiked back to the brook. Complete immersion. Ahhhhhh.


August 11: Another Quiet Night on the Town

Sue and I are heading out to Minnesota on business for the weekend. It's been raining hard up here, with maybe only a brief break in the clouds in the forecast for Thursday. The "Hut-2-3-4" is still a month away, which leaves plenty of time for adventure ... but not this coming weekend for mutha.

The Bushwack

Our mud-caked legs cast no shadows.
The rain-soaked forest and tangled marsh,
Fermented under hazy skies & thunder.

Wasps seemed born from the mud and heat
And from each hurried pull
That always nearly left us breathless, shoeless.

And after our passing, no doubt,
The marsh and wasps settled down,
And the beavers continued to ignore their long-abandoned dam


First Week In August: Do Your Own Thing!

Unbelievable weather.

My college buddy Ted and I danced around on Franconia Ridge while Mr. & Mrs. PM hit Mansfield and the Green River Reservoir. tMail felt lingering sentimental attachment to mud from Jay and apparently waded through it in the 'Dacks for about 19 miles, including tapping Mt. Marcy. Hopefully he'll upload his pics to a photo-sharing site and/or prepare a trip report we can post here.

Links can be found on the left margin.

Update 8/6 2:30pm: tMail Trip Report (Pics Are Here):

Okay so this is how it all goes down. My friend David Westcott's father is a 46er in the Adirondacks and thought he would torture his son's soul and see what kind of stamina this Tmail character has. So Mr. Westcott drives me and David to the Adirondacks Loj and says see you by 4PM on the other side of the Notch/Mountain don't be late wink wink. Okay so 19 miles two summits it is 8:00am we head off. The two main trails we are on are the Van Hoevenberg Trail to summit and Lake Elk Trail to Elk Lake for pickup. The trails are wider gradual the rock is more stable and holds up better than in NH. The summits of these peaks that I was on Mount Marcy and Skylight are smooth (pics coming) no rock hoping and everything is runable and I mean all out runable. We pushed fairly hard during the entire day. Now the best part about the hike was not the two summits but being in Panther Gorge which as Mr. Westcott states one of the most remote parts of the Adirondacks. Dead people yeah it has plently of them winter people that went into Gorge never to be found or people that got lost and never came out. The trail through Panther Gorge was easy to spot if you pay close attention we were very conscious to keep our eyes out for blue markers. We never saw a person for over 5 1/2 hours or trace of people through the Gorge were there is alot of mud knee deep smelly ass shit that stains the skin. Dry river wilderness stuff but I think more remote, Blair Witch project shit. We also saw the start of the Hudson at Lake Tear of the Clouds or something like that. The start of the Hudson is Beaver Fever ally stale brown shit water. We pushed hard and ran at times we got out of the Gorge and back to the car where Mr. Westcott was waiting a little after 4:00PM

I highly highly recommend we all get to the Adirondacks it is a play ground we can conquer and destroy.