Norcross Pond Camping

Finally got a chance to try out the tent I got from the PM.  Took Jake & Spanky w/ me on their first backpack overnight.  We didn't hit the trail until 3pm yesterday, so we hiked in 2.5 hours to where Norcross Pond dumps over the cascades down toward Carrigain Notch.  We camped in a sweet spot in the fir trees.  It dropped to about 45° - easily manageable, but it meant packing up in the morning at 6am wearing fleece, wool tights under pants and a hat.  Then disrobing in stages - eventually in shorts in t-shirt by 8am.  Pictures Here.

Notes for the future Mutha:

  1. The lid on the jetboil has a purpose.  It keeps all that sputtering of rapidly boiling water from shooting out all over the place.  Use it for that.
  2. A little LED light hung from the dome destroys night-vision and in the middle of the night, is a mistake to suddenly turn on to figure out why the hell Spanky is sleeping on your head.  Put red taillight-repair tape over it before the next outing.
  3. Only bring mess-kit gear that matches the menu.  A corollary to this rule is:  almost everything can be eaten out of a mug.
  4. Okay, I see why my old sleeping bag (my first, from back in '81) sucks.  It's warm - that's fine - but it has never been washed.  It weighs about 5 lbs (maybe 4) and compressed down to the size of a motorcycle helmet (w/ visor).  If it weren't for my support of Leave-No-Trace I would've left the thing in the woods.
  5. Do a gear check PRIOR to leaving.  Did you really need 500' of paracord?  Can't that med-kit be trimmed a little (50 ibuprofen?  really?  If MadDog's not along for the pain-train, skip all the extras)
  6. Only bring strike-anywhere matches if you also bring the strike-strip from the box.  They suck really bad on rough stone.  Glad I had a flint stick AND a lighter.
  7. The vaseline/cotton fire starter is THE BALLS!  One freaking spark and WHOOOOSH!
  8. A nearly bald Jack Russell can be warmed in front of a campfire.  Consider camping only in places that allow campfires, like last night.  It made a little cold dog veeerrrrry happy.
  9. Backpacker's Pantry brand dehydrated meals aren't bad, but eating Kung Pow Chicken 2 years after the expiration date wasn't smart.  Taste wise, I would've gotten the same thing by dumping a handful of peanuts in Ramen Noodles.
  10. Consider Ramen when camping.  I wonder if it's possible to get some kind of dehydrated beans for flavor/interest.


Back In The White Mountains: The Semi-Pemi

Sunday's Big Adventure:  The Semi-Pemi.  16-ish miles, 5000-ish feet.  We haven't decided clockwise or counter-clockwise, but it looks like the route is (if counter-clockwise):

Hale Brook to Hale summit
Lend-A-Hand to Twinway to Zealand summit
Twinway to Zeacliff to AT (Ethan Pond) to car.

If done clockwise the time to beat is 5:06.  I don't have a PR for the counter-clockwise route.

Mutha's Trip Report:  Only a few comments (pics here),
  • Don't try to keep up with a man who's training for an Iron-Man.
  • Pain hurts
  • Snow everywhere.  Running/trotting/walking on it required muscles that I forgot I had.
  • On descent of Hale, encountered a family that were probably 5 minutes into their attempt to get through/over a massive windthrow consisting of at least 3 large trunks.  I just ran around it, noting that there wasn't really any reason not to.  Why they decided they had to get into that tangle is a mystery, but going around involved a detour of about 8 feet.  WTF?  Eventually caught up w/ tMail at the cars and he did the EXACT SAME THING.  What were these people doing ?!?!?!?  It was like watching the Stoopid Family from South Retard, Montana.
tMail's Trip Report (pics here):

1. I have finally learned to take what the trail gives you, this helped today as we both stayed fresh and still had a good overall time. I also drank all of my 3L of water I had a my 1/3 of Liter left. Food consumption was all Hammer Gel nothing else, it worked well, Montana Huckleberry.

2. Taking the Zealand Trail down off Ethan Pond was awesome the hollow down there is wild, lots of stuff, rugged, and peaceful.

3. Twinway blew ass, snow hard at times, and like mash potato at other times. It took total silence to concentrate to blast down off Zealand.

4. You had to keep all your muscles flexed in your legs at time to get up or down on the monorail.

5. Sorry to the couple coming down off of Hale while we were ascending, I ran right threw a massive mud puddle and splattered them.

6. Hale is a TOTAL piece of shit, we did officially work our way up the rock pile and the views are not that bad.

7. The analogy is like this put 15 Christmas trees in the middle lane of a three lane highway...for whatever reason Mom, Dad, Dog and Daughter who was all the way underneath were all stuck in the trees, I went around them in maybe 1 second as there was a trail cut to go around the tree. Their dog looked at me and had that look like why is my family retarded can I come with you.

8. Great day to be back on the trails, can't wait for the trails to be bone dry so we can turn and burn.

9. Happy Birthday Mutha!