Gannett 2010

 Gannett via the Glacier Trail (SummitPost link to Trail Description):  The hike starts outside of DuBois, Wyoming and bangs south to Gannett for 22 miles (to summit camp) and then another 3 to the summit for a round-trip total of 50 miles.  The elevation change is from about 7400' (trailhead) to 13804 (summit) for a net gain of about 6400' - however the total ascent is around 10000' due to several substantial climbs (Arrow Pass ascent, for example) and descents.

g-$$$'s Trip Report (pics here):
Quick thoughts and a short message courtesy of the scheduling genius of American Airlines.

Thanks fellas....for yet another trip of (tip of hat to muthaz on Gannett 08) unexpected consequenses.  I know the goal was getting me to the summit.  I am humbled and extremely greatful to have such an awesome group of peers/friends to share with,  lean on, listen to, talk to, and learn from.....oh yea....and to exploit. Despite the sores, blisters, and thoughts of replacing well worn gear, I still can't believe it's over and done.

Just a few highlights until I can assemble my random thoughts after such a huge high!
  • Team Bare Bait adventure with the juvenile Griz in hunt for tmail
  • Tmail is a terrible negotiator...all decisions are final when he is strongarmed and end of discussion isn't always so definitive.
  • Carl is the man...we all need to send a message to the NFS to give him props.  If all civil servants shared the same passion, knowledge, and willingness to serve...imagine how much greater this country would be.
  • No Atomic Burger but the Cowboy Cafe still is the classic post- expedition feed zone and a standalone highlight of Dubois.
  • 50 plus miles with 50 plus packs.
  • Muthaz...no shortage of thoughts, opinions, and good stories.
  • Tmail...a born leader.  Strong like an ox, speed like a goat, and heart of a lion.
  • Wildman...the silent warrior.  Your calm demeanor belies your wisdom and determination.  Thanks for defending the uphill afterguard with me!
  • Supporting crew...you were missed but not forgotten:
  • Pm...you couldn't make it but we were incredibly glad your gear did.   we were lucky to have it.  You were missed but your spirit was with us....every step.
  • Maddog....the dried goodies were so awesome...every piece of granite talus evoked the though of having you there
  • Dogman...many adventures to come.  We need a newbie to continue to pass the wisdom and frivolity to!
  • Highpoint 48.....wow...Denali 2015?
  • Free airline tickets are anything but free.
Lots of pictures and lucid thoughts after some quality time with EZ-E, the missus, and a backlog of work that is gonna cripple me to my knees.  Looking forward to Puppetmaster Challenge 2011. 
2 words PM....Grand Teton.

Incredibly great fun and great times with great peeps.  Memories to last 10 lifetimes.

Thanks so much guys!!!
tMail's Trip Report (pics here):
What I learned in the past and applied to the trip.  The success of the trip was not based on one but on all of us and what we have learned and applied to ourselves from each of our unique characteristics.
  • PM – His leadership skills and ability to analyze and always think ahead for the better of the group.
  • G$$$ - His patience, knowledge, thoughtfulness and determination.
  • Wildman – His cool collective calmness that no matter what always gives the sense everything is ok.
  • MadDog – His ability to always push forward and be the supportive voice we always need to hear to make things seem easier than they really are.
  • Mutha – His ability to get that little bit more out of you when you think there isn’t anymore to give, his jovial attitude and ability to always get you to smile, laugh and know you have someone who is right there with you.
  • DogMan - His free spirit and ability to enjoy the moment as much as possible.
As you will all hear, the summit almost didn’t happen for Tmail, but the encouraging words of one and the desire to do what others would do overcame the fears and anxiety.

“You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.”
Mutha's Trip Report (pics here):

I have only a few specific things to add that can't be gleaned from the astounding pictures we're posting:
  • This trek was a huge achievement for me and I have to thank the greatest team.  This includes the ghost of DogMan, identified as "the guy who we had to drag out here next time"; the PuppetMaster whose enthusiasm and power filled us all in absentia; MadDog, whose tagline and Chinese Laborer photo became the mantra of the ascent; and our spouses and family who enthusiastically (if somewhat nervously) embrace our adventures.
  • The sense of vertigo and vastness of the great ranges of Wyoming as viewed from the ridge trail are completely indescribable and not adequately communicated by the pictures.  I'm embedding an image of the final ascent along the ridge, shot last summer by hiker Redwic and found on SummitPost.org.  It gives a sense of the narrowness of the trail and the conditions to either side.  What is doesn't show is the 3000' drop to either side.
  • The trek in was overlaid by the thoughts of the ridge traverse.  The trek out was overlaid by the distinct possibility that we'd come face-to-face with a 'sub-adult' grizzly reported to have encountered hikers and a horses in the days before out exit.  That's a lot of mulling over things like personal challenges, death & carnage.
  • The Glacier Trail is not a straight shot.  There are interesting sections throughout, including brook crossings, rushing glacier melt, switchbacks, long-haul ascents, boulder fields and of course glacier/snow travel.
Wildman's Trip Report (pics here):
A long a dusty trial at times trail from DuBoys. Amazing how different this approach was compared to Pinedale. Steepness and at times dryness comes to mind. The glacier runoff was beautiful, but didn't provide many fishing opportunities, oh well. Day one over Arrow Pass was a gut check, I wasn't sure it was ever going to end. Thirt
y switchbacks, really, definitely possible. Our down day above the Tarns provided a day a rest and hours and hours of of summit route discusion.

  • Tmail remembering the tent poles
  • Next time lets not start anything with "when Bob is getting mauled"
  • Deciding who's tent we should pour Jelly on
  • Mutha pumping water by the gallon
  • 1 jar peanut butter 1 bottle jelly 4 people 3 lunches got it
  • Instant Banana Pudding rules, sorry Tmail Chocolate is no match
  • NOLS clearly delirious after 20 days, maybe they didn't know which way they went
  • A so so day can make for a great summit day
  • G$$$ you've got the dinners dialed in (as well as the route finding), I can't wait until next year
  • Mountain Goats, rock hopping wonders
  • Blasting out the last day 10.5 miles in 5.5 hours leaves it's mark on you feet
  • Tmail remembering all of the details from 2008, despite the Altitude issues
  • 57lbs without water I gotta leave more stuff behind or pack it in other packs


Looking forward to doing if again next year. The possibilities are endless


The Great NEK Cyclo-Madness

Today, the day of the great event (start time 9am) I get an email from MadDog:  "What are we doing?  Do I need an ice axe or a bike?  A bike?  Okay, road or mtb.  Mtb?  Okay, I only have a road bike...".  MADDOG! 

Dogman is leading the pack (w/ MadDog, BH and myself in tow).  We'll decide the exact route on the ride, but it'll be sufferfest for sure.   The graph the elevation profile of the  route is shown here (the "Shark's Tooth").  MapMyRide route and profile is here.

Maddog's Trip Report:

    I guess I should have checked this route profile beforehand. Wait a minute, that's not a route. You can't fool me, that's the profile from the jaw of a tiger.

    And so the story starts...

    1. Brian couldn't make it, but his friend Howie does. So Howie and I share the ride to the tiger den.

    2. We're slightly early - 45mins to be exact. And DogMan is nowhere to be found. But Al is. So we hang and chat with Al while waiting for Mutha - tour the gardens, socialize with Trudy. Nice.

    3. My bike (the metal interconnected tubes and two tires is DOA. Both stems on the tube and tires non-functional. And my spare tube had been slashed. Howie threatens to kill me for not having a backup strategy. Somewhere there's a pic of my equipment only while my body is being searched for. Fortunately, I am grateful that Mutha's IT training has reinforced the concept of fully redundant (everything). He rolls in with a spare riding resource.

    4. After a 48 second comfortable descent, the teeth of the tiger began to bite, and hard. My mind (and biking) were wanting to climb, but the engine-room was maxed out (on the first hill) - I knew it would be long and painful day (I wouldn't have wanted it any other way).

    5. Apparently one of the design parameters for today was that we could not spend more than 3 minutes on the travel surface, if the road name did not have the word "Hill" in it.

    5. Cabot, Calais, Woodbury, and whereever we else were just gorgeous. Theatres, Sinister Brooks, hills that never end, sheep, and great landscapers.

    6. Sorry to admit it, but RedBull & Woodchuck Cider get an MD endorsement. Gatorade does not.

    7. Woodbury has much more interesting geology than Cabot, et al.

    8. Thanks for sharing the ride today for those who showed (Al, Howie, Mutha). Where DogMan, Steve, and Brian were, who knows.

    I will definitely be counting my sheep tonight.
Mutha's Trip Report:
Just a few elaborations on MadDog's report:
  • Howie is the EverReady Bunny - UNSTOPPABLE!
  • MadDog is a sandbagger - OUTSTANDING!
  • Al is the Terminator - UNTIRING!
  • The weather was gorgeous - INSPIRING!
  • Minister Brook Rd. was heartwarming - OVERJOYED!
Thanks to all for financing the expedition and to the great job done on the last climb up Danville Hill.
DogMan's Trip Report:
    Return To Minister Brook

    This is why one lives in Vermont!

    Awesome weather, awesome venue, awesome company (sorry Mutha but I can still use awesome right?).

    Howie gets top kudos for never cracking, even after the up hill spill on Chartier and the whole drag back through Woodbury and up Danville Hill. It isn't always easy to crash going up hill, and even harder to then get back on your bike, tackle the "wall of chartier hill", "sears truck pathway", "wall of woodbury", "bothfield bonk" and then hit danville hill.

  •     If MD had an appropriate bike and rode more than once a year, he would bury us all.
  •     Mutha is nipping at my heels, and doesn't even look tired.
  •     The sheep were good (not in that way).
  •     The pizza was good, not sure why no one else had the sense to get some.
  •     The garden tours were good.
  •     The red bull was good.
  •     The woodchuck was good. 


The Storm Before The Calm

The last hill has been climbed, the last mile run... sort of.  Friday, Saturday & Sunday of this weekend were awesome outstanding.  Highlights:

Mutha's Trip Reports:
Friday:  tMail, DogMan & I rode a 72 miler through the Northeast Kingdom, departing from my house (due to Dogman's strict rule that you don't drive to a ride).
  • Mile 35:  Parker Pie at the top of the climb up Bean Road in West Glover
  • Pizza and cokes and an hour of leisurely chit-chat
  • Mile 37:  Bread & Puppet Theater Museum.  DogMan's head didn't explode.  tMail felt the pressure building.
Saturday:  g-$$$, MadDog, tMail, Spanky The Wonder Dog and I on a relatively casually-paced 12 miler from Lincoln to the App Gap along the spine of the Green Mountains.
  • Got to see both sides of both gaps.
  • Was astounded to discover that not all reasonable people consider the same side to be the 'hard' side.
  • Encountered a couple doing the 6-Gaps ride.  They were on gap 4 (at 5pm).
  • Topics covered:  love, life, death, bike components, 1-Acre intensive farming, jets, planes, gannett, sheep, goats, fencing, bikes, relationships, money, fuel, bikes, tires, bikes, troubleshooting bike problems, bikes, ... um, etc.
Sunday:  tMail and I cranked out the Burke Mtn Auto Road while DogMan cranked the 'Maple Corners' loop by bike.  Arrived at the top of Burke Mtn (2000' ascent) about a minute apart (w/ tMail running like a gazelle on a casual tour, and me tromping like a rhino in labor).  We did it in 33 and 34 min respectively, but tMail could easily hit 30 min if he pushed like I did.  We got back to Danville, loaded up the dogs, and took a 1:26 run through the Danville Town Forest, up and over Pumpkin Hill, up and over the next hill, took the LVRT for a mile, then Pumpkin Hill Road up a steep ascent, then back up the unnamed hill and back and over Pumpkin hill.  Huh?  Let's put it this way:  nothing but hills the whole time.  Mileage?  Unknown.  Maybe 6.

Final damage:
  • Bodies everywhere
  • Broke DogMan (joke)
  • Broke Jake & Spanky
  • Broke tMail's tent
  • I thought I was going to crash hard on Sunday, but took a long shower to get the accumulated sweat/salt off.  Felt better.  Took care of some chores around the house and pounded in a few cedar posts.
  • tMail is gentleman:  bought pizza for everyone (in Danville) and financed the food supply for treks.
  • DogMan is a gentleman:  picked up the tab at Parker Pie.
  • Mutha is a mooch:  accepted the favors graciously, ate his fill, and shook some hands.
Now to chill for a few days and prepare for Gannett.
tMail's Trip Reports:
I arrived in Danville on Thursday and was immediately transported to the CSA to pick the Mutha Share of food. I met Mimi who is a smoking chick who owns the farm and would probably beat all of us arm wrestling. She said I can come to the farm anytime and she would put me to "work". I accepted maybe fall time. 

I was then transported back to Mutha training facility and into a truck with Shirley the chicken, Sue and Jill for the next 2 hours.  I was taken to a farm and met Ann Mary who raises Jacobs sheep and has built a compound that David Koresh would be proud of. I then had a double date with Sue and Jill at Positive Pie.

Thursday night we planned a ride to ride (DogMan, Mutha and me) north to Glover and stop at Parker Pie and pick up chicks with the Glover edge! We also sat next to the band R.E.M.

Then my Jedi training really began as I had to use Jedi mind tricks at the Bread and Puppet Theater which is a walk back in time to the 60s and 70s or the land of Oz take your pick. My favorite puppet was the giant silver face looked like the Tin Man that represented an Atomic Bomb and a sign that said "Shoot them". Honey's everywhere and they invited the three of us dressed in spandex costume cycling outfits to a party at 8.30pm.

Mutha is a machine on a bike and DogMan is like Cancellera during Paris Roubouix I had to time trial for about 10k at 35mph to catch but he freaked out Sunday saying he needs to ride more and didn't come with us to Burke.  After the ride we went to the DogMan system and had some Sierra Nevada's, talked about farming. If the CIA, FBI, KGB or KKK is ever after you hide out at DogMans 100 acres of coolness!

Saturday was our Green Mountain assault from Lincoln to App Gap (G$$$, DogMan, Buttercup, Mutha and me). They took me via car after the hike on the Gaps and apparently MadDog aka Buttercup is going to do a 6 Gaps ride and be done with training for D2R2. Hike was great I could not name one peak except there was a hot blonde on one summit and teenager on another with pink shorts that were painted on her. Vermont Girls!

Sunday we tried talking DogMan into not doing his Maple Corners ride but coming with us to sacrifice ones self on the run up Burke Mtn, DogMan retreated and Mutha and I forged forward. Burke Mtn auto road is a beast but can be dissected and destroyed for under 30 minutes. Mutha is a machine!

When you thought it was over we ran for 1 hour 20 minutes through the Florida everglades in Danville it was awesome!

Things learned:

Molly the goat is an alien or yoda
DogMan does not drive to bike starts
Meth users work at Marty's
Parker Pie and Positive Pie are far out.
Mutha is a machine similar to energizer bunny but better.
DogMan can be brainwashed.
G$$$ nobody works and plays harder.
MadDog's training method train around your weaknesses in that case everyone sit on your couch and don't move!
Jake the Dog had his heart ripped out him.
Spanky the Wonder Dog was sacked like Napoleon's army.

If you want to get in shape in 72 hours go to the Mutha's Jedi Camp.
Sue is a saint and she gave me a Sue Zucker original painting that is VERY cool.

Close to 100 miles covered all weekend on bike and foot.

Mutha thanks for everything next stop Gannett!