Franconia Ridge: The Dawn of the AHL

We didn't hit the Carters due to weather issues, but we did hit Franconia Ridge today.

tMail's Trip Report (pics here): What a great day to get out and get back into the winter mind set. Couple of things:

For the knee brace wearers in the crowd the snow builds up between the knee brace and shell pants. In the hinges it also forms a icy fill that needs to be scraped out with a finger.

Snowshoes could have been a good piece of equipment but at times been an cumbersome.

The mountains always surprise the forecast was for 70-50mph winds with them decreasing to 45-30mph there was hardly any wind. Bottom line always be prepared.

There was a group that camped on falling waters. When I was coming up he asked me where I was camping. I said I am not camping I am doing the ridge why? He said "big pack". Mutha asked him how his night was he said cold. He had the equivalent of a fanny pack I had more than him in my pack.

Now we move on to the David Westie (Rip van Winkle) part of the report.

Westie disappeared for a while on falling waters and didn't respond to verbal commands (which raises the question of whistle commands what are they?)

I don't know if it was the fear of being with three other guys but Rip Van Winkle proved his manhood on Lafayette to the 3 cute girls from Quebec. Before saying "hi" he says "do you have a hockey team the Sherbrooke you know the AHL, huh do you?" then says "you know hockey". Smooooth!!! One of the girls said that's how you get the ladies.

Also Westie has officially earned the nickname Rip Van Winkle. He sleeps on the drive up and sleeps on the way home. Within 15 minutes of ride home feet on dash board out cold...I don't know if it was smell or instinct he wakes up minutes before NH liquor store says pull in. He comes out with gallon of Makers Mark.

Back to the hike.

I bombed Greenleaf wedged myself in the corner braced the corner walls and dropped a cairn. Snowconed my pie hole it was perfect then dried with TP.

Great day out all gear worked awesome.

Great day, Mutha finished his first grid peak. I am 1 or 2 mountains away from my 100th overall peak.

Mutha's Trip Report (pics here):
  • The Falling Waters trail was pure carnage. The high winds of the previous storm tore down so many trees that two faint-hearted groups turned back. The downed trees caused serious delays and made the trek both more interesting and more challenging.
  • From our perspective, nobody else was doing the loop. There were some close contenders but those parties appeared to be conducting limited attacks on the ridge.
  • Conditions: not very cold, not very windy. The overcast would suddenly disperse and then return. One time exposing the entire western view over Kinsman Ridge, then suddenly exposing the entire Pemi as far as the Presidentials. The changes were rapid and unpredictable.
  • Snow depth varied from a few inches at the parking lot to several feet in drifts. Typical snow depth in the trees, near treeline: 18". Snowshoes could have been used, but would have been a hindrance for most of the hike. Crampons weren't necessary for the ridge (no ice). In general, good boot-skiing technique was the most helpful on the way down.
Rip Van Westie's Trip Report (pics here): Congratulations is due to Zucker for completing his first grid mountain - Lafayette
▪ 8.9 miles of great exercise, endorphins & fab views periodically as the sun came out on the ridge – could have set up margarita bar and sun bathed on Lincoln! Here kitty kitty
▪ I may have had a slow start with the lovely ladies from Sherbrooke, Quebec on top of Lafayette with my hockey team comment. Next time I’m going straight to the Vodka & hot tub line
▪ Those Sherbrooke girls must have been angels as they flew down from Lafayette like they had wings
▪ Tmail dropped an A-bomb behind Greenleaf which shaved about 5lbs off him and helped him kick it into high gear
▪ 1.75L of Makers Mark at the NN state liquor store for $41 is worth every penny!
▪ Thank you for including me guys. With ski season near I probably won’t see you on the trails until I ski Tuckerman’s in the spring. Good luck and be safe!
▪ On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!


The Great 2009 Carter-Moriah Traverse

Well, it's that time of the year again for a cold Carter Moriah Traverse. In November of 2007 tMail and I did this trek (south-to-north) in about 13 hours (18.6 miles).

a 6:30am start will minimize headlamp time, but let's plan on being out 15 hrs which means about 5 hours w/ headlamps at the end.

28 November 2009 Eastern Standard Time

Begin civil twilight 6:25 a.m.
Sunrise 6:57 a.m.
Sun transit 11:33 a.m.
Sunset 4:08 p.m.
End civil twilight 4:40 p.m.

Moonrise 1:32 p.m.
Moon transit 8:37 p.m.
Moonset 3:56 a.m. on following day

Phase of the Moon on 28 November: waxing gibbous with 84% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.


Sandwich Dome & Black Mountain on Saturday

Destination: Black Mtn via Sandwich Dome (Via the Sandwich Mtn Trail)
Distance (Total): 11.2 miles (approx)

  • Noon Peak: 2976'
  • Jennings Peak: 3460'
  • Sandwich Dome: 3993'
  • Black Mtn: 2732'
Parking at the trailhead near Waterville Valley. Logistics via email.

tMail's Trip Report (pics here):
Yeah.....for those that did not attend - you missed one of the most ultimate verbal exchanges of F bombs the White Mountains had ever seen.

This is my entire trip report by the way....I was a eye witness involved in the heart of the action I even through my knee in the mix.

We are walking up the trail in this order: Spanky, tMail, Trudy, DogMan, Muthaz - there is this couple walking down the trail with there dog part German sheppard, Husky, something with husky fur in it...it was grey and black with a black face....

So as we come around this switch back there is an all out attack on Spanky from Cujo....Spanky retreats and I stick my pole inbetween the two of them and start swinging it...Spanky runs for Mutha...i am there looking Cujo in the eyes..the eyes were red, droll dripping from its fangs....

DogMan comes in and says HEAL YOUR DOG...the fat owner just keeps walking...the dog still snarling...DogMan repeats you need to HEAL YOUR DOG it just attacked...Control your Dog....

Then all hell broke out:

Eat my Ass Guy (more on that) says - Fuck You
DogMan - Go Fuck Yourself
Mutha - Hey Hey your fucking dog attacked
Eat my Ass Guy - more go fuck yourself - fuck you
DogMan - Go Fuck Yourself - FUCK YOU!!!
Eat my Ass Guy - EAT MY ASS

I tried getting out - your wife (who this guy was with) "your wife lets you have other guys eat your ass" but i didn't or couldn't probably a good thing

Anyway...it was awesome vicious dog, spanky getting regulated, trudy saying fuck this, DogMan telling some guy to FUCK HIMSELF, Mutha saying all kinds of stuff....

You had to be there.....one thing did go through my head which was stab the dog with my trekking pole, i don't know what would have brought it to blows but that guy would have been fucked...we could have tied him up, i had rope, cooked him, i had jet boil, we could have done math problems with his body parts potential was huge!!!!

Mutha's Trip Report (pics here):
tMail's assessment was NOT an exaggeration. this was total WWF grudge match stuff: Dick Cheney vs. Jesse Ventura.

Te dog looked like it was prepared to dismantle our entire party - if only the cyborg would stop waving his sharp sticks.

the only thing to add is the DogMan was about to do the same to the guy. do NOT cross DogMan - or at least, don't let your dog get out of control - or at least don't be a fat f**k who says "eat my ass". this was an awesome display of a medieval methods of taking down an entire castle: stones and flames everywhere, bodies, blood.

what a great day.


Trek Ideas

Just for the record, throwing these out on the blog so I don't forget them:

ideas for upcoming treks:

  • Kinsman Ridge/Gordon Pond by: lonesome lake/fishin' jimmy, north kinsman, south kinsman, mt. wolf, gordon pond trail.
  • Trail Trot 1: two car setup: start at lincoln woods campground and trot to the Cedar Brook Trail (about 60 min trot). take Cedar Brook to the Kanc at the hairpin turn (avoid the Hancocks)
  • Trail Trot 2: two car setup: start at hairpin curve on the Kanc, trot Hancock Notch trail to Sawyer River trail and back to Kanc.
  • Trail Trot 3: similar to #2 but hit Carrigain.
  • sphinx trail from somewhere, return somehow
  • isolation via rocky branch (a loop that returns via the davis path and stairs col trail).
  • sandwich dome & black mtn. out and back.
  • chocorua via some loop somehow


Boott Spur

tMail, Agent 007, Spanky and mutha tackled the Tuckerman Ravine -> Boott Spur-> Boott Spur Link loop.

tMail's Trip Report (pics here):

  1. Excellent weather for a mid November hike.
  2. Spanky the wonder dog can and will eat anything...almond butter....mmmmm
  3. Agent 007 has requested MD to gather all the White stones on the cairns that look like marble.
  4. Seeing Dodge's Drop for the first time since April...WOW
  5. To Mutha's point when moisture is controlled and managed...life is easy, but when it is not it is fun to use all your gear.
  6. Jetboil continues to perform
  7. Bad Boy looks like it was struck with a bomb on in the eastern snowfield.
  8. The descent off Boott Sput back to Hermits Lake shelter doesn't have a name.
  9. Finding a flip flop on that trail.
  10. The trail chatter of Lord of the Rings was excellent.
  11. The MadDog 2010 is going to be spectacular
  12. The Carter Moriah Traverse is going to be like walking into Middle Earth.

Mutha's Trip Report (pics here):
  • Spanky The Wonder Dog finds being lifted down boulders to be personally insulting.
  • tMail's JetBoil works as well as The PM's.
  • A rare day on that mountain where special gear isn't needed.
  • Friday's are quiet on the Tuckerman Ravine trail. The mountain was empty.
  • The pace was kept modest for Agent 007 and Spanky. It's is amazing how the slightly lower intensity makes a huge difference in perspiration, fatigue and pains.
  • tMail and I discussed at length the logistics of the MadDog 2010 and The Lord of the Rings.


Cabot & Waumbek: Elmo or Cookie Monster?

The route was as planned: Cabot via Unknown Pond (and side trip to The Horn) - an out and
back. Drive to Starr King trail, Waumbek out and back: sunset on the ascent, headlamps on
by Mt. Starr King. While these two summits are among the lowest of the 48, this was no walk-in-the-park: About 18 miles and about 5,300ft vertical.

Also of note was the recognition that we'd have to repeat this feat of endurance 11 more times for the grid - yet this trek and our last tag of Cabot & Waumbek in one day was ALSO in November when tMail, MadDog and I did the Kilkenny Ridge Traverse.

It's like we're being punished for something we didn't do.
Mutha's Trip Report (Pics Here): Outstanding camaraderie and typical trail talk, covering everything from ... um ... Elmo to Cookie Monster. Trip highlights (just the first few to come to mind - I'll leave it to the others to fill in the details):
Presidentials (by Mutha)
  • Blaze orange gear, courtesy of MadDog: vests & hats
  • Knee brace adjustments galore!
  • The Horn and views of the Presidentials (see pics)
  • Stupid Mount Cabot
  • Getting back out of the car at the Starr King trailhead
  • Finding socks on the trail
  • Ascending Waumbek in the waning evening light, gorgeous sunset and snowy trail
  • Headlamp hike to the summit cairn and back.
tMail's Trip Report (no pics due to failed camera): A great drive up from the flatland to meet the green mountain boys at Starr King Trail head...jumped in Tmail's hotrod and headed to wonderful Stark, NH
1. MadDog's glow in the dark orange colorful vests and hats.
2. Westie's pre Combo's hike snack
3. Heading up to Cabot talking about MadDog's eat habits he counts the number of almonds he eats per day. Sunset (by Mutha Z)
4. MadDog's diamond drill story.
5. Mutha's shit sludge drink
6. Cabot summit
7. Drive to Starr King and efficiency of transition and DD Lancaster.
8. Listening to Mutha's theme song.
9. Heading up and down Waumbek talking about things from Frank Zappa, Elmo, Queen Elizabeth.
10. The Palin ban on Pink Floyd in Jericho, vt
11. MadDog burning his pants @ PPAC and not knowing which way to turn his head.
12. Talking about the sound of Steak slapping against counter top.
13. Westie taking the high boots and summer dresses.
14. Westie and Erin Burnett
15. Awesome summit on Waumbek.

Dinner following the hike, included 3/4 pound burgers with fries...highlights from the diner, 2 waitresses pregnant, one was drinking while serving. TV choice at bar was UFC, one guy saying Chuck "The Iceman" Ledell is deadly. Seeing one guy put half the salt shaker into his beer.

Westie was in a coma until Boston.

MadDog is a litter bug:

DD cup
Peanut butter crackers wrapper
Luna bar wrapper

MadDog leaves his gear everywhere:

I picked up Northface down vest
Blackdiamond trekking poles
61 cents in change from his side of the back seat
Mutha picked up 4 snow tires (don't ask).
MadDog's Trip Report:
  • 1. Cabot or Waumbek
  • 2. Ridge hike or river walk
  • 3. Boots or heels
  • 4. Salmon or prosciutto
  • 5. Morocco or homegrown
  • 6. Left knee or right knee
  • 7. Ginger snaps or Tmail craps
  • 8. D&D or greek bandaids
  • 9. Day hike or night hike
  • 10. Headlamps or no headlamps
  • 11. Bra or no bra
  • 12. Seven fish or seven sin
  • 13. Metallica or king crimson
  • 14. Houdini or handcuffs
  • 15. Carter north or Carter south
  • 16. Marty's or Tim's
  • So much to choose from :-)

    Westie's Trip Report:
      1. tMail picked me up at Carson Beach in Southie at 05:30 sharp
    1. 2. Stopped at THE convenient store near Mt Waumbek to grab the bare essentials: local honey, local cheese tub & 2 packs of combo’s.
    2. 3. Met up with Zucker & Madddog at 08:30 and drove to Mt Cabot trail head
    3. 4. Suited up with fashionable bright orange hats and vests sponsored by Home Depot and ate 1 pack of combos before the hike
    4. 5. Great views from The Horn of northern NH especially the northern presidential range
    5. 6. Tear gas coming out of Maddog
    6. 7. Shot over to Mt Cabot and quickly descended back to tMails jeep
    7. 8. Quick stop at DD for hot cocoa which hit the spot
    8. 9. Up Mt Waumbek with headlamps and a beautiful pink sky as the sun set
    9. 10. Humorous conversation the entire trip especially near summit and on decent
    10. 11. Black mini skirt & black boots or red heels & tight red pants?
    11. 12. After sun set sky was crystal clear, stars bright and headlamps working effectively
    12. 13. Total trip: 18 miles 5,300ft vertical elevation gain and my left hip flexor is tight
    13. 14. Post hike meal at Cabot Motor Inn & Restaurant. We sat down at the bar. UFC was on TV. Bartender drinking a margarita. Band planning downstairs very loud as the floor was shaking for a minute. Ordered cheese burgers & fries tasted great. tMail was wearing his Yankees cap and I thought someone was going to pull out a pistol and shoot him. Luckily I was wearing my NASCAR hat which may have comforted the locals.
    14. 15. Couldn’t stay awake for the drive home THANKS for driving Tmail!! THANKS to all!!


Hancocks: Buh Bye!

Two more 48's off the list. I took both Spanky and Jake out to the Hancocks today. Only 3.5 hours to do the whole loop. Trail conditions are excellent these days - only about 1/2" of snow on the summit, temps in 20's, low wind and blue sky. Unfortunately there's not much sun on that hike unless you're down low near the Kanc. We didn't stop at the North summit (just beyond the area with exposed ledge and sunshine) because I was hoping to find some sun and have lunch on the South summit. Forget it. We ate on our feet (it was pretty chilly up there) and had a nice lunch back at the car.

Nobody out. Ultra quiet. Wednesday is a great day of the week to hike.

Highlights (Pics Here):

  • Jake has now tagged his first two 4k'ers.
  • Spanky is up to 9 I think: Pierce, Jackson, Eisenhower, Lafayette, Moosilauke, North Kinsman, Bondcliff, North/South Hancock. Can't recall if we tagged South Kinsman when we were up there.


Saturday: Pilot/Pliny Ranges

For all who are available on Saturday, the plan is both Cabot and Waumbek in one day. We're currently in negotiations for the plan, but it's either:

  1. An out-and-back for Cabot, drive to Starr King and an out-and-back for Waumbek
    17.2 miles w/ a car ride in between
  2. The entire ridge traverse.
    22.5 miles
As I said, it's in negotiation. Post your ideas in the comments.