Bataan Death March

The Bataan Memorial Death March is done and we're back.

Mutha's Report:

I can't decide whether or not to write lengthy anecdotes. On the one hand, much of what we experienced has been extensively discussed. On the other hand, it would be nice to record much of that, as with a diary, for future reference. Here are a few to get things moving:

Friday: arrive, get to hotel, do some shopping, register at the base, get back, find MadDog, go eat BBQ at the State Line. The waitress at State Line had the hots for tMail. We held her off with our raucous, juvenile banter. BBQ and beer later, crashed hard in bed.

Saturday: The PM & Taco climb on some crazy rock above the mines; tMail, MD and I drive through Hellhole, TX to get to
Guadalupe. Stopped for gas in East Dismal, TX. Only structure: one small convenience store/gas station that looked like it had been dropped in place in a storm along with its proprietor - a leathery, pale, old man on oxygen who chain-smoked cigarettes the entire time. MadDog nearly did him in with a spirited slap of the counter when he discovered that it wasn't yet cactus jelly season. The old man figured we really liked cactus jelly and feared that his low inventory might be the basis for a fight.

Guadalupe: beautiful trails and scenery. We spent as much time picking cactus needles out of tMail's ass as we did packing for the trip. There was some huffing and puffing as we humped up the trail, exacerbated by tMail's insistence that we do 100 pushups at each switchback. After the 20th
such switchback I had been given a 98 pushup starting bonus but even just two more was too much to handle. On the mountain, more than one patriotic American Texan expressed pride in the presence of American hikers on the mountain (as compared to what?).

Sunday: ran through hell.

flew back through more airports than i normally do in a year.

tMail's Report:

Friday: Arrive at Boston airport the security lifts trunk then shuts it and says your clear, Boston to Dallas Forth Worth...run into Mutha and Vietnam Vets that hug and embrace and say, "We didn't come home to that when we came home" they also said "Welcome home" to each other held each other some more. Dallas Forth Worth to El Paso, Texas...we land Tyler calls says he is in stall number 4 with pants down. Experience Wal-mart, White Sands for first time, eat all popcorn at Hilton, then visit Stateline and watch Tyler get felt up by waitress not sure what she was feeling.

Saturday: Breakfast, drop off PM and Cable Guy at airport...PM is led up the Shitadel by Cable Guy who has no idea where he is going. They take pictures with doggy or puppy. MD, Mutha and myself drive across Texas and listen to 18 hours of Grateful Dead Fire on the Mountain, we stop at DELL VALLEY OIL CODELL CITY TX for gas....my ATM card eventually shut down...MD takes a leak on a rattlesnake, Thanksgiving, Christmas, I step on his oxygen tank hose...his quote "my memory is as long as my dick"...we summit Guadalupe and see the toughest Texans on this side of the Rio Grande...dinner...bed

Sunday: I am still trying to figure it out...I swear I saw the Grim Reaper in the Desert...

Monday: Half paralayzed make it from El Paso, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts on a flight with limited air and a barking baby husky!

Puppet Master's Report:

Friday - WalMart, Mexicans, and BBQ. The first look at Juarez and the mighty Rio Grande!

Saturday - Taco and I actually attacked the East wall of the Shhhhh-itadel, not the NW as desired (should have brought my north/south finder!) Brewery food, beers, and a hard crash.

Sunday - Mutha and Taco MIA at mile 1, hot spot at mile 5, and the rest is a grueling blur, including the reaper in the desert. I was very moved by the patriotic energy, the Bataan survivors, and the recent wounded vets making the march.

Monday - El Paso horse balls. Sore behind the knee/upper calves and the soles of the feet! Gassed that afternoon when I met the Texas Tornado in Dallas.

Post-event depression sets in...

MadDog's Report: Ok the boys appear to have sufficiently documented the weekend, so let me share my view of the march.

Sunday, March Day:

T-2.5: At race central, I see Mutha scrambling to get pics, I yell "Mutha, where are you guys hanging?" He replies "Over by the cactus" I never saw any of the guys again until the finish.

T-1.5: I find myself, sitting on the cold ground, tweaking gear under the light of my Petzel, and decide to look up. To my surprise, in the time I was setting myself straight, I became surrounded by hundreds of military individuals and teams...did I get drafted?" Answer: No! I'm in the wrong starting corral. Doh!

T-1.0: Seeing the largest flag at the center stage, under the floodlights, draped from a crane and gently swaying in the pre-dawn winds.

T-.5: As part of the opening ceremony, hearing roll-call over the PA system for a small group of GIs, as each name was called, a solider responded or didn't. The silent gaps were deafening.

T-0: As the surviving Bataan POWs paraded around me to the starting line, my MP3 player is rocking in random play mode. And as the first car reaches me, Ledbetter from PJ comes on. I had chills all over me.

Mile 0: Guards over the POWs shout, please be gentle in your handshakes, and I shake one of the POW's hand, and his spouse, thank him. It was one of only half-dozen things I would say for the rest of the march.

Mile 1: Seeing little red carry the flag, and nearly every GI passing him, say "way to go sir"

Mile 2: Seeing a GI with a foot sticking out of the top of his ruck. Wondering what kind of a joke is that? Then noticing and realizing it's a spare part for his bud running next to him - a double amputee.

Mile 3: My only stop, to shed a top layer and get the pack back on me, before I got too comfortable.

Mile 4: Seeing little red again, and being told by one of his escorts, that I "got some nose action going". I had taken note of a rather strong flow of blood from nose but chose to somehow dry it to a close so I didn't have to stop. Little red seemed to like the non-stop approach as I passed him by.

Mile 5: loving the sand

Mile 6: popping stuff like mad, and forcing myself to down fluids.

Mile 7: the border patrol agent on an ATV nearly yanks someone off the course because the guy really was in bad, but would not admit it.

Mile 8: becoming aware of the climb.

Mile 9: liking my pace

Mile 10: hey, is that a hot-spot?
Mile 11: good grief pavement? and a mobile mist maker? This was my beaver pond - cramping already. Not a good sign.

Mile 12: hey there goes the lead runner, downhill through the mist maker. And OMG...the biggest and strongest set of GIs just passed me, hauling each other with tow ropes. These guys make PM and Taco look like midgets. It could have been the Giants defensive front-line incognito.

Mile 13: welcome to hamburger hill. at this point, i have been drinking 12oz every two miles, and I still behind the hydration curve. This is not good because it means dialing back on NASIDs if I cannot get the fluid level back up a quart or so.

Mile 14: another ex-POW greeting (mostly woman) runners in the middle of the desert.

Mile 15: I face planted into a bowl of bananas and oranges to grab as much as I could with my mouth because I was already double-fisting fruit to-go.

Mile 16: remember that hot spot, it's now an issue in both feet and in large areas. I turn my mind to other things and try to ignore it.

Mile 17: ignoring the issue from mile 16 was impossible. the feet are cooking bad.

Mile 18: I pass a GI with flag colors I don't recognize. Black, Red, Yellow. Hmm...

Mile 19: The same overall pack of people I have seen for the last few hours continue to leap frog one another. But hey, no one else is carrying a pack like me.

Mile 20: The ROTC team that's been with me since mile 12 has been impressive. One guy in the group has struggled since Mile 12, stopping and dropping out etc., The group hangs with him, helps him, waits, supports him, berates him, and supports him more, and the cycle continues.

Mile 22: I have been seeking out any bit of soft surface area, and can no longer plant my feet - there are in bad shape and blistering everywhere. The pain is awful. But between the dehydration, pack discomfort, and stomach cramping, I'm quite distracted.

Mile 23: Good grief....not there yet.

Mile 24: I catch a guy racing in my category...I'm determined to pass him and I do.

Mile 25: The only guy in my division to pass me during the day, do so. Damn!

Mile 26: The GI with the unknown flag is a young German, I'm not so interested in talking...he knows my feet are in bad shape...he insists we run it out together, and finish strong - can't argue with that. He gets to the finish seconds before me, but waits and then we crossed together.

Mile 26+200 ft: Finally, I get to the field hospital and have the wheels worked on.

Tyler's Report [None Yet]:


Brief Hiatus

Due to the Bataan Death March there will be no new posts for at least a week. Any Bataan plans should probably be by email unless we think there's a compelling reason to post lists (gear?) here.

See you in New Mexico.

Owl's Head The Easy Way

Last Sunday tMail and I took a look down the east flank of Mt. Lincoln and drooled over the stable, road-like slide into the Pemi that drains the entire section of the range between Lincoln and Lafayette. The slope doesn't appear to exceed 40° and from above didn't have any obvious ice-falls or other technical obstacles and simply wanders off on a direct line with ... Owl's Head.

Not content to take any long routes, MadDog and I decided to avoid banging around on hard-packed trails and to avoid the crowds, did the Lincoln's Backbone bushwack to the summit, dropped into the Pemi, cranked up Owl's Head then reveresed engines and headed back up to Lincoln. We hit the ridge at about 6:15pm and dropped down Falling Waters - headlamps weren't needed until the last half-hour or so. Pics are located HERE.

Here are some specifics before the trip reports (measurements are approximate based on Delorme Mapping software):

  • Distance Hiked: 10.1 mi
  • Total Elevation Gain: 6700'
  • Elevation lost from Lincoln Summit into Pemi: 2200'
  • Elevation gained from Franconia Brook to Owl's Head summit: 1200'
  • Time on the trail: 11h 15m
MadDog's Trip Report:
The day began with a meeting with the man who is the great purveyor of pemi possibilities He asked what my desires were - I replied, something level and 1-2 hrs in duration. His response was I have the perfect day for you, follow me. So I did and thus begins this adventure:
  1. See Mutha's post for maps, the route, etc...the Delorme must do it thing, and this process cannot be rushed.
  2. We encountered what I believe is the largest moose den of ill repute, east of Reno.
  3. Like the signs say at the gym, it was a total body workout.
  4. I had everything with me on the way to Mutha's, plus the kitchen. But that knowledge did not stop Mutha from freezing me in my tracks at Marty's, by asking: "Maddog, did you forget your crampons?" Doh!
  5. Making a 1pm call to those left behind, was liberating.
  6. For the project management wonks, this was a six-phase project. Each delivering it's own flavor of beauty, pain, strain, and discomfort.
  7. I thought Lost and Found was a department. It's not, it's something that only bushwhack trails do with my gear.
  8. We crossed paths with a bear.
  9. The birch grove in the Pemi, was just spectacular.
  10. While on Franconia Ridge, Mutha sought my attention about a couple of spectacular boulders. I thought, how does he have eyes in the back of his head?
  11. Do the boner.
Mutha's Trip Report:
  1. The workout on the Backbone is, as MadDog said, a total body experience. The trees vary from open glades to dense thickets of interlocked spruce; the post-holes varied from crotch-deep to whole-body (MadDog disappeared up to his nipples once).
  2. Wildman and I had stayed on the south side of the ragged vertebrae at the very top last year. This time I took the north route, crossed to the south and back north again while MadDog took off his crampons and bombed straight over the tippy top. All routes are fine (I say stay alongside - not over - and use crampons and axe!). MadDog may be able to clarify what topping out on the boulders is like for a guy who claims to be concerned about heights.
  3. The slide is easy to get to and not too steep (we never had to front point). The glissade down the steepest part of the east slide off Lincoln was great.
  4. The slide gradually transitions into a narrow, heavily wooded ravine. The route down low involved weaving back and forth over snow piled up to 8ft deep - if not more. I guess all the snow that blows off the ridge dumps down there. The ravine never really flattens out but the woods are beautiful and easily navigated by sticking to the brook or making little detours onto the steep banks where there were cascades or other obstacles. Attempting this in summer is probably not a good idea - it seems horribly inaccessible and tangled (I'm up for trying it).
  5. When we hit Franconia Brook I thought it was a large tributary that shows on the map and wanted to walk along it toward the south. MadDog correctly pointed out that it seemed to have the appropriate magnitude of water to actually be the brook - so we crossed it... on bridge made of about 6ft of snow! (MadDog was right).
  6. The ascent up to Owl's head was the best way up - it really beats the slide. Interestingly was basically just did a beeline from Lincoln and headed up by crossing the contours at a right angle. It is never steeper than Falling Waters - and then only for a few hundred yards. In general it's gorgeous, through open birch glades, spruce, aspen, red pine and maple. The push through dense branches near the summit was brief - just a few minutes.
  7. The summit of Owl's Head loaded with snow is unrecognizeable. We hit the ridge and headed North until it began to drop toward Garfield, then turned back and headed south until we hit the section above the slides where it weaves through mature balsam, then back to where we topped out. I believe we hit both the old and new summits but there was no sign to be found. We were on many feet of snow so nothing looked familiar but we spent about 20 minutes or more covering a long stretch of the ridge to make sure we hit it somewhere.
  8. On the way back up the ravine to the slide we notice that a bear had come through the woods and crossed our tracks. For the next 20 minutes I kept looking over my shoulder.
  9. While certainly an aggressive hike, this was an absolutely terrific idea. Spending so much time off-trail gave a sense of privacy and remoteness. We ended on the ridge with the sun about to set and decided that crossing the entire Pemi was within reach without skis - Lincoln to Bondcliff: No problem. But I'll tell you, on skis this would ROCK. Hellgate here we come.


Saturday, 3/21: MADDOG DAY!

Woo Hoo. a-Waitin' on MadDog for his list of preferred adventures.... stay tuned.

[Update 3/20] Maddog and I have been too busy to firm up our plans. Something with a long, Bataan-like slog was the last I heard from him. It'll be Saturday. Sue and I are going to Boston to have lunch w/ tMail and won't be home until late so the final destination will be by word of mouth.


Lincoln's Throat

Meeting Time: 8:15 - 8:30 in East parking lot of trailhead for OBP. Destination: Lincoln's Throat via OBP bushwack from 800m-ish contour.

We have no idea what we're doing. Will report back asap. Read about it from These Guys. For a harrowing picture, see this one. Or check out These Guys (photo album).

My pics are now posted HERE.
tMail's pics are now posted HERE.

tMail's Trip Report:
  1. Holy Shit
  2. Holy Shit
  3. Holy Shit
  4. Blew the doors of Hillmans.
  5. Looking back and saying okay today you can easily break everybone in your body don't fall.
  6. Seeing Mutha go knee deep into a tree.
  7. The falling ice crystals that were falling down the slide some at alarming speeds.
  8. See the ice ax go in the ice and then all the ice break away...hhhhhmmm...self arrest?
  9. The bushwhack...where was it?
  10. Topping out on Lincolns false summit and seeing people just staring at us.
  11. The "I am still alive" team hug on top of the ridge.
  12. Bluebird
  13. Double lightsabers for Mutha and I
  14. Mutha's route guidance, traction updates, and confidence!
Couple of side notes:

What an insane day...that was Epic...it is a incredible approach to Lincoln...and must be what it is like in the big mountains when you just keep working your way up.

The lady in the parking lot arguing with us as to why we should not bring snowshoes. Note to lady...I saw you on the ridge in crampons with rubber boots on let me know how the crampons through rubber through skin through bone goes!!!

The first time in my life I saw a dog with better gear than a person. This kid was with his (gf) I assume...the kid had on the latest and greatest gear so did the dog...his gf has on jeans, sneaks and cotton...they had to turn back going to Lafayette she could not keep traction. Mutha asks her can I take a picture of you because your gear sucks so bad I need this picture...she poses and smiles for camera.

The guy that decided to ski of Lafayette...god rest your soul

To Bens Fold Five you are a true mountain spirit thanks for the Redrocks and Hellgate tips...many miles to you!

What a day!

Mutha's Trip Report:
Beautiful day, excellent spring weather. What started off looking like a rough bushwack in as we departed from the hairpin turn on the OBP turned into a 100yd drop to Lincoln's Highway - wide enough to drive a truck up with a solid, strong snowpack. tMail and I experienced something that this group has established well over the years: trust, teamwork and no fear of a big day out. And for some highlights:
  1. Stuff coming off the mountain ran down the hard-crust gully and collected in pools. It was the size of marbles, not sand. They were round, clear, ice balls. We later discovered it was ice coming off the trees above treeline in the sunshine and tumbling down the mountain - become smooth like rocks in the PM's tumbler.
  2. tMail charging up that gully like he owned the place and discovering the loveliness of the two-fisted axe wielding.
  3. Route decisions: Hmm, we can go to the right and die in the deep snow; left and die in a steep fall; or straight up picking our way over the falls and die slipping on ice, falling through the air, landing on ice, and having bones scattered into the deep snow.
  4. The douchebag on the summit all "hey man, was the Throat all gnarly?", geared up w/ the geared up dog and the girl-friend w/ cold, soaked denim jeans and sneakers following him like a groupie - miserable but afraid to say so.
  5. Wallowing in the krumholz: the only thing more amazing than being in steep terrain is being in steep terrain and soft snow.
  6. Having an axe touch rock through an inch of ice on one swing, and then have an arm plunge into soft snow on the next.
  7. Topping out on Lincoln and attracting bears on the summit with a smoked herring sandwich.
  8. Taking pictures of tMail and then noticing on reviewing at home that the horizon is showing up at a 45° angle. What way was up?
  9. The gully got steeper, steeper, steeper - smoothly, gradually and relentlessly.
  10. Ben and Nicky of Thetford know all the nooks and crannies of the WMNF. It was a pleasure to talk to people that play in the woods and hills for personal pleasure, love to share, have the relaxed demeanor of people with nothing to prove and also believe that these woods and mountains and all the beautiful snow are a bounty of fun and beauty, not to be ignored.
  11. Spending four hours descending from Lincoln via Lafayette. No problems, no delays - lots of stopping, staring, taking pictures, hanging out. This was easy with winds steady at 0.5, gusting to 2mph.

Kinsman Ridge: Cannon (=Fail) & North Kinsman

We took a shot at Cannon from the Kinsman Ridge Trail, but were unable to ascend the ice falls near the top - and had to turn back. Should've brought an axe, rope and an elevator. After climbing to within a few hundred feet of the summit, descended all the way to Lonesome Lake and ascended North Kinsman. Temps in the low single digits or below zero made sections of the woods like a walk-in freezer. The summit was sunny but very cold. 10 miles and 4300ft of elevation gain and cold temps were tiring. Am taking a slow day today, as is the pup. Pics are here.


Weekend Plans: March 14th/15th

Okay boys: the weather forecast for this weekend, although it's still many days away (might as well be a month considering the difficulty in meteorological forecasting) things are looking REALLY great: a bunch of precipitation followed by several very cold days and nights. We could probably toss a grenade at this stuff and all it will do is punch a hole.

We're looking at fast travel at higher elevations, lots of places to stick an axe, etc.

What'll it be?

[Update 3/13, 6am] It's decided: High Adventure on Franconia Ridge. Possibly Lincoln's Throat, his Backbone or some other part of his anatomy. Departure time from east lot TBD.


Hillman's & Right Gully Trip Report

An extraordinary day out for us. tMail is now addicted to steep snow and spring-like conditions. The route was a Hillman's Highway ascent with an off-trail traverse to the summit (hugging to top of Left Gully, Tuckerman's ravine, and then ascending across the south-west snowfields of the summit cone. The descent was via a similar route but directly down to Tuckerman Ravine (to where the Alpine Garden Trail meets the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. We stuck to the top of the ravine and headed down Right Gully for the final descent into the bowl.

Mutha's Trip Report (Pics HERE, Video HERE):
  • A Good Start, Part I: the slog up to the Cabin featured me trying to keep up with tMail. I made things worse by going on and on about my bowels. Great story, if you like to talk about intestines.
  • A Good Start, Part II: it was so warm up to the Cabin that I stripped to my light poly t-shirt, no hat, and thin gloves just for comfort.
  • Visibility was so low when we started out that I couldn't find Dodge's Drop. It Photo Credit: tMail
    didn't matter though, because Hillman's was a great way to get our confidence up. Surface conditions were primo.
  • Near Death, Part I: We began to catch up with three skiers ascending for a run back down. We were about 2/3 the way to the ridge when the closest skier (still in snowshoes) lost traction and rocketed down toward us. We were about 25ft from his glide-path (to climber's right) and just watched him shoot past - he lost both poles, one snowshoe, and kept feet-first (more or less) until he lost it and began tumbling until he ground to a halt. He wasn't injured, gave a meek thumb's up. It was awesome - especially when we could hear him suddenly accelerate as he lost friction to the Gortex Gods.
  • Near Death, Part II: That left two others, who put on their skis and got ready for the trip down. One, clearly experienced, began instructing the other on how to do fast jump-turns: "When you get to the side, do this ... [jumps gracefully]... then just - AHHHHHH!...". Down goes the 'expert', shooting past us, losing a ski and poles and rocketing down the hill head-first to join his buddy. Also no injuries. Totally awesome.
  • Near Death, Part III: One guy left. The new guy. He shouts out "Wait a minute, I don't know what I'm doing!". He then proceeds to ski down the hill, a little stiffly, but totally without incident to help his buddies pick themselves back up. Good for him.
  • At the top of Hillman's, the skies cleared and we had a snack in the shelter of an outcrop. We watched Froth ascend a great-looking ridge on climber's right of Left Gully - impressed by his daring. Turns out he couldn't get over the substantial cornice at the top and in the low visibility chose a treacherous route. His evaluation: "I was pretty scared".
  • The Trek Up The Summit: The cloud layer blew off and the off-trail trek along the top of the ravine was impressive. Many hikers lined the route up to the summit, looking like a train of ants from our perspective. We went straight up the snowfields of the summit cone to avoid the crowds and the rocks. Very excellent choice, landing right in the middle of the lower parking lot.
  • The summit was crawling with hikers. "This place is crawling with bugs!".
  • The descent was also off-trail, featuring a butt-slide down to the top of Tuckerman Ravine. We banged along the ravine until we found the top of right gully. It looked pretty sketchy, but I started down face-to-the-hill and tmail followed ass-to-the-hill. After about 25ft or so we did a practice self-arrest and found the conditions ultra-slow and easy. We moved out to the center of the gully and glissaded all the way into the bowl. It was so easy it was kind of a let-down.
  • The One Forgetting Piece of Gear That Mattered: Sun-screen.
  • The One Remembered Piece of Gear That Mattered: Julbo glacier glasses.

tMail's Trip Report (Pics HERE):
  1. Not telling Mutha the goal was to make it to the cabin in under 1 hour...we did it in 1 hour 4 minutes.
  2. Part of a snow ranger uniform is to have a beard that has been growing since last November.
  3. Hear the snow ranger tell MZ that it..."sounds like you know more than we do" hint to snow ranger he does.
  4. Working our way up to the start of Hillmans and not being able to see it.
  5. I was felt fully confident on Hillmans 99.9% of that was probably do to Bonney Pass.
  6. Seeing snowboarder slide all the way down Hillmans and all his equipment fall off him...I was waiting for a pair of goggles to come my way.
  7. Seeing his buddy slide all the way down Hillmans and all his equipments fall off him...I was waiting for a pair of goggles to come my way.
  8. Seeing the third amigo say he is the least experience...thinking to myself this is going to be awesome then listening to him scream all the way down Hillmans and not fall.
  9. Hillmans was bomb proof...we had nice kick steps and were able to plank our ice ax perfectly.
  10. Getting up to Hillmans and the heavens open
  11. Staying on snow pack all the way to summit.
  12. Glissade down south west snowfield
  13. Saying to MZ..."Fuck it were going down Right Gully"
  14. Seeing the 4 roped up guys thinking that nobody was doing a belay and they could have crumbled like dominos.
  15. I have more desire to do Left Gully because Froth looked like he saw a ghost.
  16. Hearing about Adrian shit his pants and not be able to ski down Right Gully so he went into fetal position on the alphine garden trail...never seen again...screw'em


Snow Snow Snow Snow

... and more snow.

Down in the boston area the forecast is for up to 14 inches, max snowfall rates in the 2-3 in/hr.
Up here in the north country we're only looking at 5-10 inches w/ max rates in the 1-2 in/hr.

I have such snow envy. But the longer-term prospects up here are pretty good. We've got two feet on the ground in Danville which is substantially concretized from last week's rain. In the Drifts In Steep Terrain
Whites there's 3-6ft generally, more in lee drifts and 10-15ft in the ravines - probably close to 30-60ft in Tuckerman's. Same stats with the Greens. If school gets canceled tomorrow i'm heading out on the BC skis in the afternoon to get some turns in and pretend like it's the last of the snow but from the looks of things it's going to be xc season into April even if it stops snowing after tomorrow's bad boy.

So we've got three weekends until Bataan. Should we use the weekend outings for heavy-pack excursions? I'm kind of thinking that any adventure will be appropriate - either distance, elevation or both. The deep snow will be around for a while. I have a tradition of heading up the Bad Boy the first weekend in April to watch the skiers and enjoy the deep, plentiful and stable snow in the bright blue sky. I guess that's my way of saying: no rush, there's always time after Bataan.

So what about the next three weekends? What was floating around on our To-Do list? Anything you can think of please post in the comments and I'll tack them onto the list. He are some starters to get the creative juices flowing (in no particular order):

  1. Lincoln's Backbone. I know this may not be really appealing because we've been on the ridge so many times, but man, Wildman Warren and I had such a great time up there it's hard to ignore. And for anyone who hasn't done this bushwack, it's highly recommended. It's not a horribly big day out in terms of time, but is great adventure.
  2. Bamforth Ridge. WTF? Yeah, I'd go back there in an instant. To stand a chance of a round-trip it'll require an earlier start, which means Friday night at MadDog's for everybody with a Sunday morning drive home. It's an almost guaranteed 12-hr trek - best done in good weather. But it's fresh in our minds, and if MadDog and I were able to sniff out the trail as well as we did yesterday we can certainly do it again. Be prepared for a test of will. Good practice for Bataan.
  3. Owl's Head, eastern bushwack. I forget the name of this route - g-$$$ told us about it and I've subsequently seen more references to it on VFTT. I'm sure it's so filled in with snow that we'd be high in the trees. Why bother with the long slog in and out? Dunno. Just thinking of MadDog's 48 and test of will. Ski in/out for those that have 'em.
  4. Hell Brook. Another Green Mountain favorite and surely one to make any sane man fall to his knees. But this late in the spring is bound to result in success. I mean, it's got to, right? MD and I have a 3-for-6 success rate I think. It's a logistical challenge for the boys from the south, but nothing that can't be overcome.
  5. Norcross Pond. Just a little variety thrown into the mix. Easy gradual approach followed by a steep ascent of something like 1,500ft (like a mini Falling Waters trail). Scenic views into the Pemi.
  6. Thoreau Falls. Long trek, flat approach, scenic views. Possible trampling by moose.
  7. Flume Slide To Liberty. Is this possible in winter w/ axe and crampons?
  8. Lincoln's Throat. tMail's suggestion for Flume Slide (see #7) sparked this one. This requires some good route decisions, but the bushwack in is just guesswork.
  9. ...
[Update 3/6/09, 10pm] All this talk and it's come down to me and tMail in Tuckerman's. We won't know the route until we talk to the USFS guys at the cabin. Stay tuned.