Webster & Jackson The Hard Way

Mutha's Trip Report (Pics Here):  Man, what an epic day out.  Rather than the standard trip report I'll merely go through my day:
  • Got up at 4:30am.  Made breakfast, consisting of a pot of Bob's Red Mill 10-Grain hot cereal made with water with a whole banana blended in it, two tablespoons of peanut butter and 1/4 cup of maple syrup (Goodrich Farm in Marshfield).
  • Sharpened crampons of mountaineering snowshoes.
  • Packed food, including two bagels (Bagel #1:  peanut butter & marmalade made by my brother Matt;  Bagel #1:  Nutella & marmalade).  To keep the stuff from leaking out of the hole in the bagel, used thin sliced of bagel to make a cover for the holes.  Works great.
  • Forecast called for clear skies, summits in the high teens/low 20's.
  • Drove in sleet/freezing rain.  tMail and I met at the AMC Lodge in Crawford Notch.  One of my Tubbs snowshoes busted (the binding) but I improvised a repair w/ some nylon straps.
  • We hit the trail at 9am.  The Webster-Jackson Trail was completely packed out to start.  There had probably been 6 or so snowshoers on it since the big snow and it was packed down between 2 and 3 feet below the top of the snow.  It was real easy going until the junction of the Jackson Branch and the Webster Branch.  The former (heading to the Jackson Summit) was also completely packed out.  The latter (heading to Mt. Webster) hadn't had a foot on it since the snow started falling.  It was completely intimidating.  We took it.
  • The Webster Branch was a brute.  We took turns breaking trail and soon lost the trail completely.  We spent 4 hours working our way through alpine forest of fir that grew ever closer together, fully laden with snow, on 3-6ft of powder.  That 4 hours covered the entire trek up the Webster Branch Trail/Bushwack.  We wrestled our way through spruce traps, over submerged windthrows and into drifts that could swallow a car.  I kept referring to my 'North-South Finder' to keep us on a steady bearing of magnetic south which we knew would get us to the ridge.  We set 1:00 pm as the point at which failure to hit the ridge would require a turnaround and descend.
  • We had a number of challenges in addition to the obvious.  For one, the huge snow bombs falling off the trees were potentially hazardous and required attention and hoods.  Also, the cold weather light clothing conspired with the slow, arduous pace to make moisture management nearly unmanageable.  Additionally, stops were accompanied by a nearly immediate losing of the fingers.  And lastly, the swimming through the snow, the tedious pace, and the ever narrowing spaces between trees were highly psychologically wearing.  (On comment made during the roughest parts was "this would NOT be a good place for somebody with claustrophobia").
  • At 1-something-pm we re-found the Webster Branch Trail (that we has started on.)  By 1:50 we were on the ridge at the Junction with the Webster Cliff Trail.  This trail, which we intended to take to Jackson, was also not packed out and was looking quite challenging.  We decided to head back down, taking the newly found Webster Branch trail back.  The trail breaking, even though it's a steep downhill, was arduous and we had to take turns.
  • At 2:45 we got to the trail junction again for the Webster & Jackson Branch trails having descended about 1,000ft.  We snacked, drank a little water, and decided to make it a big day out.  We made a right and headed up the Jackson Branch Trail to climb the 1300' (-ish) up to the summit.  Tagged it at 3:45, turned right around and were back at the car by 5pm.
Some final notes:
  • Poles were almost useless.  If I put my weight on the pole it would shove down until my arm was in the snow.
  • Taking turns breaking trail is really key.  As in cycling, regular turns prior to damaging fatigue is the best idea.
  • A hood is necessary.
  • These bushwacks are not for the faint-of-heart, but are great practice for being held captive, tortured or being forced to stack stones for a month while handcuffed and wearing cement overshoes.
tMail's Trip Report:  Where there is failure there is success.

  • Webster Cliff Trail first step down to my waist!
  • Webster Cliff Trail 2nd step down to my chest! This will be fun!
  • There is a cascade falls lull in the trail, getting up the other side was what Mutha compared to Hellbrook, I went no where for 5 minutes
  • We were on the trail perfectly, then I don’t know what happened, we missed the turn, it was a 95% degree left that we missed.  I actually bushwhacked parallel to the trail by about 10 feet and said this can’t be it!
  • Lessons learned gore-tex hood jacket essential for bushwhack and gore-tex gloves or over mitten essential
  • It was a tangled web head deep snow, spruce traps, branches, moving trees, breaking branches, clearing snow, wind, cold, branches poking below/above/beneath you, I didn’t know if I was going over wind downs or snow bridges that always gave out.
  • If we saw an opening we went for it.
  • I complete lost my hands everything else was fine at which point I said lets head back down, then the demon of Webster hit, Mutha said let me go to this clearing and it was the f’n trail.  I put on over mittens, ate food and hands came back slowly, if breaking trail I had warmth if not I froze to death.
  • I stayed in the same clothes all day trusted the wool it dried and I stayed warm.
  • The remaining trip up to Webster painfully slow, more trail breaking, DEEP snow.
  • We looked at the sign and turned around and within 45 minutes back to the Jackson / Webster cliff Jct
  • Food / liquid up Jackson very little consideration, we knew we had to go up.
  • I said to myself its only 1.2 miles forget the round trip math let gravity pull me down.
  • Jackson ascent was uneventful we kept marching forward, I generated little heat, I was at exhaustion at this point, was in full shell jacket, gloves and over mittens.
  • Highland Center is becoming like a 2nd home place is crawling with Crawford Notch Tail!
  • 5 hour energy did nothing for drive home
  • Signs of the Apocalypse at the Irving station my bill was $6.66 cents getting gas in Hooksett it was $46.66
  • I randomly took 89N home thinking it was the Hooksett exit I was half asleep pulling a MD, I realized it immediately.
  •  I got up at 4.45am to drive 3 hours, to bushwhack for 4 hours, to get no where, descend all the way down, ascend all the way back up to get Jackson in December not because I want to be an Ironman but because I am a GRIDDER!!!!!


Rescheduled the 12/27 trek for 12/29

Due to conditions (weather and work), tMail and I have scheduled the next hike for Wednesday, 12/29.  The route is TBD (see this previous post for some idea of what's on the table).  If you are interested, email me or leave comments.  For future readers, the weather issue is a big blizzard running up the east cost, dumping a few feet on Boston and about 6 inches here in Danville.


Chiseling North Kinsman

Speicher, Spanky, Lambeau and I tackled North Kinsman (via the Fishin' Jimmy trail).  Highlights (pics here):

  • On 93 the highway was covered in ice and snow.  The falling snow changed to freezing rain and sleet around Littleton but in the notch it was blowing snow/sleet.  I was close to calling off the trek (not dog friendly, no precip jacket) but trusted that higher up the precip would all be frozen.
  • Good stiff winds up high.  Temps were around 20-ish.  Kept us honest.
  • We're approaching the end of bareboot season until spring - snowshoes will be necessary soon.  The snow was only a foot deep on top of established crust/ice and the descent was made easier by not wearing crampons (I wore microspikes).  Crampons would've made sliding and jumping more awkward.
  • My pack was the Gregory Z30 I got from tMail.  The only time I had to go into it was for food.  I could've done this trek with big pockets.
  • We encountered two older gentlemen in snowshoes who had turned back before hitting the steep part of Fishin' Jimmy, warning us that conditions were really tough.  When we found their turnaround point it was clear they were both insane or on crack.  Oddly, they'd turned around on a nearly flat section.
  • The trees were filled with snow - just loaded (see pics).


A Day To Live In Infamy: 12/27/2010

The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let's get together
Before we get much older
I believe that on 12/27 a new dawn will light the skies over New Hampshire.  As a cure for what ails you, as a tonic, as a potion, I propose we get our mountain thing on.  Here are some prescriptions:
  • The Willey Range/Webster-Jackson Loop.  This is a LONG day.  Expect about 14 hours on the trail, and about 6000ft vertical.  Trek starts before sunrise and ends in headlamps and the gradual disassembling of your body until only a little spark in your brain is left to signal you are still in this world.
  • Mt. Isolation via the Rocky Branch Trail from Jericho Road (not Rte 16).  Return via Davis Path & Stairs Col.  Long day, great vistas, weariness and dehydration are only the beginning.
  • Mt. Bond:  The route in is via the North Twin trail, tagging North Twin, South Twin, Mt. Guyot, West Bond, Mt. Bond.  We'll avoid Bondcliff to save our souls, yet find them crushed into dust anyway.
  • Owl's Head via Lincoln Woods Campground:  XC ski in and out or just snowshoe it.  Special consideration will be given to continuing up Lincoln Brook before turning east to explore the north-west flank of the mountain.  Lose your soul to the demons.
  • Carrigain:  Go in via the Carrigain Notch trail, and loop back via Signal Ridge.  Die a slow and painful death.
  • Webster, Jackson, Pierce via Webster Cliffs Trail.  Out and Back.  Prepare to be brutally beaten.
  • Webster, Jackson via:  Webster Cliffs, AT to Mizpah Hut, Mt. Clinton trail into Dry River Wilderness, Dry River Trail to Saco River Trail to cars.  13 miles of death.


Getting Ready for the VT100

The Three Day ramp up to VT100 Training:

  1. Groton State Forest Romp
  2. White Mountain Insanity
  3. Bushwacking Through Space & Time
tMail's Trip Report (pics here):
Groton State Forest Run
  • Mutha, Spanky, Jake and myself rocked for about 1.5 hours through Groton State Forrest and up Devil’s Hill.  We ran and ran it pretty hard in the snow both with mspikes on it was great.
  • Ground cover was slick and probably about 5-6 inches of soft fluffy snow.
  • I made the decision to run in trail runners, Brooks Cascadia
  • A decision I did NOT regret, wool socks and a constant forward motion kept everything warm, yes feet did get wet but nothing new.
  • Brooks are truly an amazing trail running shoe.
  • Mutha and his network of trails, beaver crossings, bogs and hills is amazing in GSF.  It will definitely be a training ground for Vt 100
TFW – Webster
  • Temperature is very interesting we hiked in 0-5 degrees all day and at times could have been in short sleeve
  • The window to stop and stay warm is about 0-5 minutes
  • I hike in my shortly sleeve smartwool with IBEX long sleeve and Arc’teryx shell for a majority of the day
  • We did an awesome job of moisture management
  • I stayed warm all day even hands and feet
  • Webster Cliff Trail is rocking
  • Coming off TFW towards 302 is rocking as well, the Stairway to Heaven section is cool.  I don’t remember this because two winter’s ago I actually boot skied over these ladders there was so much snow!
  • Jackson sucks, but we will conquer it another time.
  • PB&J (6 of them), cookies made from Hardwick was the food of choice.
  • Gel flask of Montana Huckleberry stayed non frozen if kept in interior pocket of pants.
What a rocking day!

Hooker and Mack Mountain
  • We arrived at the Militia Compound to be greeted by DogMan, MadDog, Trudy and Peaches
  • Our destination was Hooker Mountain via bushwhack then Mack Mountain
  • The Militia Compound is awesome, we carried some RPGs in case we got ambushed .
  • The day was awesome, tough little mountains and the push assault up Mack Mountain was heart pounding fun as we just pushed through the snow covered trees
Conversation was some of the best trail convo ever!
  1. Wall Street – MadDog hates it but is heavily invested in Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and Monsanto
  2. Big Business – MadDog hates it
  3. Profit earning companies – MadDog hates them
  4. Bill Gates – MadDog hates him
  5. Warren Buffet – MadDog hates him, but said the guy has been the same for 50+ years.
  6. Andrew Carnegie – MadDog hates him
  7. JD Rockefeller – MadDog hates him
  8. JP Morgan – MadDog hates him
  9. All Kennedy’s – MadDog hates them
  10. John Lennon – MadDog and DogMan both share/agree he was in the right place at the right time, imagine!
  11. Weird Al – MadDog hates him, Mutha said he is a ruthless entrepreneur.
  12. The guy that stood in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square – MadDog loves him, he is my hero.
  13. Gandhi – MadDog loves him
  14. Dali Llama – MadDog loves him
  15. Oprah – Everyone hates her including Trudy and Spanky
  16. Mother Theresa – we were divided here, MadDog likes her Mutha said she is a cheater.
  17. We talked about JC Carpentry Company – that’s right we talked about Jesus Christ and his carpentry business and decided he did not pay enough attention to the business aspect but too much time to Philanthropy and got nailed for it.  We also think he didn’t pay taxes and wrote off the business as loss each year, thieves pay for their actions.
  18. Lance Mackey – gained much respect from the crowd
  19. Lance Armstrong – many said he was a fraud
  20. Bono – fraud
  21. Founding fathers of the United States of America – scum suckers
  22. A hero can not be defined
  • We need to go on another hike to see if what Oprah does is a form of art.
  • I threw it out there based on Tolstoy the Government is a form of art.
  • I need a tin foil hat now that Mutha has a jacket.
What a great day!!!!
MadDogs Trip Report:
10pm the night before. the phone rings: It's the offices of Dewey Screwum and Howe. Hmmm...at 10pm?

MD: "Hello"
DSH: "Maddog, we're going for a WALK tomorrow."
MD: "Great, a pleasant stroll in nature. Where?"
DSH: "Meet us at the militia compound, 10am."
MD: "My knee is not good - I can't do much."
DSH: "Don't worry, just bring a bottle of water and a cracker pack, we'll be out for 2 hrs max."
MD: "Ok, see you then."

...10am the next day...

I arrive at the compound greeted by a friendly centurion and some intimidating K-9s. DSH hasn't arrived yet. So we chat and get prepped for our light, waltz in the woods. Minutes later, two studs arrive at the door decked out and ready for a pitched assault on Hooker. Protective eyewear, armour, axes, knives in their teeth and teeth on their feet. WTF! My mittens and Dockers sneakers were looking kind of lame.
Mutha's Trip Report (pics here):
1.  Groton State Forest Romp
tMail dragged my a$$ all over Groton State Forest today. We did 1.5hrs in microspikes with Jake & Spanky. For those that know the area, we did Devil's Hill from the Peacham side, dropped down to the Jerry Lund road via VAST trails, looped around by Peacham Bog and lollipopped back via Forgotten Notch (between Devil's Hill and Jennison Mt.). All told, about 6 miles.

Jake's a bada$$.

Tomorrow's Beast: Willey Range, Webster & Jackson. He's trying to kill me.

2.  White Mountain Insanity
  • Within  20 minutes of starting out we had our first barrier:  a brook crossing that required ice, not rocks.  We tested up- and down-stream and eventually settled on what looked like good ice development.  It was.  Whew.
  • Snowshoes weren't needed, but this was probably the last weekend for that.  We decided that future hikes would require them - at least carried on the pack.
  • We did most of the hike in microspikes.  This was kind of dumb, but was the point of the challenge.  All over the Willey Range the mspikes were just fine.  But on the descent to the Ethan Pond trail when we hit the 'ladders' it was really time to put on the crampons.  We stayed in the mspikes.  This was a slow, painstaking descent.  We kicked in steps.  The water had flowed over many of the treads to make iced cascades.  We hugged trees.  The steps went on for many flights and it probably took 30 minutes just to descend this one section.  Then it was ice and water and snow for another hour.  You never knew when your foot was going to be on hard ice under snow, water under snow, water under ice, snow under water, rock under snow, scissors paper and stone under fire or WTF.  It was just slow.
  • We crossed 302 in them and half-way up the ascent to the Webster Cliffs, when we were hugging trees and climbing ice cascades, tMail said:  "I'm putting on crampons".  Game changing decision.
  • The Webster Cliffs trail has a lot of exposure and a lot of snow.  It was unbroken and to be honest it was difficult to tell where we were.  By the time we reached the signpost at the Webster Mtn junction where you can head north to Jackson or west to Saco Pond, we thought we might be on Jackson already.  Maddog and I had the same experience:  "Where the F are we?"  After studying the map and our compasses by headlamp light, and getting hit by stiff, 5° breezes, and me losing my fingers, we decided to make a beeline for the car.  Reminder:  1.3 miles of unbroken snowed in trail in the dark is a big number.  Don't do it if your even close to thinking:  "I don't have the heat reserves".  Also don't do it if your estimated time back at the car is 3 hours after your "call mountain rescue" time on your itinerary.
  • It was a great day to follow the Groton State Forest Run.

 3.  Bushwacking Through Space & Time
  • So then the THIRD day, we met up with Dogman and MadDog and Trudy and Spanky and the 6 of us did the great Hooker Mtn -> Mack Mountain bushwack.  This was inexplicably cool.  It was about 6.5 hours of wandering through the hills with trees covered so heavily with snow that the typical sight-line was about 20 feet.  Trail chatter ranged from Mother Theresa to Bill Gates and from profit motive to ruthless capitalist pig-ism. 
  • What a great day.  Spanky at 5 hot dogs.  She emptied her intestine in the yard that night.


Mt. Hancock & Dogs

tMail, Spanky and I hit the Hancocks for a quick 4hr loop.  

Mutha's Trip Report (pics here):  Excellent mild weather - easy brook crossings (frozen over - walked on ice).  On the trail surface it was typically a substantial coating of ice and a few inches of powder.  We took the clockwise route, saving the steep part for the descent.  Oddly, I remembered the north summit ascent as being steeper - I've got all my trails confused.  You'd think I had that all straight.  In general, the footing was fine for the dogs (had to lift Jake up some rocks a few times). South Peak was typically more windblown and snowy and the drop down the chute challenging at high speed - entire trek took about 4hrs which is only 1/2 longer than my 'good weather' time of 3.5 last November. Given that we had stops for dogs & footwear, and an icy descent I'd say that was pretty quick. 

Ran into good friend Robyn on the trail, hiking with a big group. Lots of folks on the trail - lots of dogs too. It was a surprisingly busy place (I guess it was the nice weather).

Heard it on the mountain:

  • Relationships only work if the partner treats you like a real, complete human being.
  • You can defend a bunker better with a shotgun than a handgun, except at close range when long knives are handy.
  • Immediately:  establish food cache, communications and transportation lines.  Head for the hills and only take tactical/functional/survival items (leave books, photos and business records behind).
  • The Canadians will never make it into the rough terrain.  They'll focus on established roads first, giving us time to build an effective resistance.
tMail's Trip Report:  What a great day a little bit of a leg burner as we dropped the hammer going up Hancock and across to South Hancock. I think we went from Hancock to the bottom of South Hancock at the split in 45 minutes.

Trip Report Conversation:
  • Vermont is the ideal location for this group to relocate and form our own militia and become self sustainable.
  • Only gear is that which is tactical for survival would make the trip North. Cross bike important - gas may be too expensive.
  • We would need to arm ourselves, I have a double barrel shotgun and .22 with scope.
  • We would live completely off the gov't grid in Hookersville in DogMan's compound all in camouflage.
  • Wikileaks what a mess this is becoming. Is this Cyberwar?
  • Cheaper to eat unhealthy and become a significant money pit to healthcare system than eat right. Cost of eating healthy out of control.
  • Chapter 11 - United States of America Bernanke has hinted at QE3 another 600 billion.
  • DogMan can you scout high ground something south facing lots of sun we can go solar screw the electric grid, grow our own food. Work on it.
  • If we needed to milita-ize in Hookersville where is our ammunition supply?
  • Bunkers would be huge.
  • Telecommunications hub to transfer money.
Government is crumbling we need to think about this stuff. F the Hancocks!  



 I'll let the trip reports speak for themselves.

 tMail's Report
What an adventure!  This was my third time on the North Slide once in primo winter snow ice crampon / axe conditions, once bombing down it and Saturday Dogtown Day.

  • Weather Reports have been whacked lately, Saturday was suppose to be snow instead sunny weather, decent views.
  • Its an over looked area for hiking but the interconnectivity of Passaconaway, Whiteface, Tri's, Osceola, Tecumseh and Hancocks is worthy of high adventure.
  • Fireworks went off on the North Slide, dangling from trees, traverses that got pucker factor across the slide, bushwhacking both left and right side of slide.
  • Ice axe and traction equipment of the day.
  • Never would I have though I would be pretzel-ed around a tree on the North Slide trying to get 100lbs Trudy through ice, over a tree then DogMan over me while holding Trudy.
  • Trudy is all of 100lbs, 200lbs when she is frozen on the slide collapsed against your left rib cage.
  • DogMan put your axe down the root of the tree, Tmail drive your axe to secure it. Ok I'm in you in? Yes, ok hand me Trudy.
  • We had Dog release rolls, Dog spotter rolls and Dog catcher rolls while handing the dogs off on the slide.
  • Black Diamond gloves continue to reign superior.
  • Ibex liner gloves superior.
  • Wool superior.
  • Looking at Mutha coming down to support the Trudy experiment and seeing Spanky anchored to a tree by either a hiking pole or ice axe.
  • Mutha telling Cody at Dunkin Donuts the size small coffee cups suck and he should fix them, poor Cody.
  • "When were the bagels made?"
  • "Our dogs need food, you have day old food around?" Cody - "yes we have stuff for dogs."
  • DogMan freaking out at Dunkin Donuts saying "this is all fictitious food."
What a great day!
DogMan's Report
Some of my thoughts:
  • The root structure of the tree of life is somewhat implanted in my brain.
  • Sometimes you can go up, but can't go down. And shouldn't think about it.
  • Total body work out. Like no other.
  • Sand in the v*? How about sticks up your ass, literally.
  • I need truly telescoping poles. Who knew that could matter so much.
  • That little "leash" thing on the tree hooker (eh ice ax), good idea.
  • Flashbacks still occurring here. Simple walk in the woods today, slight slip of the foot, brain instantly sends message "you are going to fall 300 feet and die!".
  • Conveying confidence to your dog by forcing it to put all it's weight onto you while perched on a quasi vertical slab of rock ice, held in place with crampons, an ax and pine saplings is weird, but ultimately proved helpful.
  • TMail was a f* marvelous manager and partner at a crucial time. I can't compliment or thank him enough. Neither can Trudy.
  • My brain was completely flushed. Like a big mental stress s*, no room left for the bullshit of everyday life after that.
  • Dunking Donuts is indeed a marvel. A restaurant that does not sell food. But that green thing I had sure tasted good.

Thank guys.

PS - no more of that for the dogs I think. Happy to have got us all through that in one piece. But for me anyway, new rule is if ax required/recommended, it is not a dog friendly scenario.
Mutha's Report
  • This was truly a day of high adventure.  The clear blue skies transitioning in the late day to threatening clouds and then back to clear skies with stars was a complete surprise (based on the forecasted snowy/stormy system spinning to our north).
  • The dog thing was, astonishingly, a surprise.  It may seem like it was a bad idea from the start - and I feel a little bad about labeling it dog-friendly - but my past ascents put it at a workable trek... at the limit, but workable.  As it turned out, it was over the edge.  Live and learn
  • As DogMan said, the day was a complete brain dump.  High levels of focus relieved me of all the outside cares and woes.  The day was about not slipping and moving the dogs in stages.
  • On the plus side, I learned that I could micromanage Spanky. She did fine with it until near the top when each 'staging' would present her with no obvious next move. Then she was clearly not thrilled. But I did learn where her balance point is for a one-hand lift-and-place while feet were anchored and the axe placed for security. Quite a few times I had to secure the axe and do a two-hand lift-and-place to head-level, then retrieve the axe with one hand on the dog. At 50lbs she was a lot easier to manage than Trudy, but my shoulders are still aching.
  • It's amazing how versatile that damned axe is.
  • The microspikes did well on the slide. The lack of toe points requires rethinking body position. The fact that the points are set in, under the foot, also requires careful placement in sketchy conditions but I was determined to test them to the summit. Not bad. Kept them on until we were down from the snow/ice.
  • Tested the Columbia Omni-Max sweater. The inside lining is all shiny - my "Liberace Dinner Jacket". Could only wear it as a summit warmer - too warm to hike in in those conditions.
  • The descent was via the Scaur Ridge Trail (to avoid the South Slide). This trail also required a lot of dog management. It's steep, rocky, icy on that day but with beautiful views north and south. It's razor thin at the saddle near the junction but the surrounding trees make it secure.
  • The day was truly transformative.


Adventure for Saturday

It's time to start thinking about an adventure (above treeline?) for our next trek, scheduled for 12/4.  It's a little to far in the future to have a good read on the weather, but it's looking kind of snowy.  Please mention any trek ideas in the comments and I'll throw them onto this main page.

Mutha's List:
  • Castle Trail to Jefferson and back (from Randolph).  Rating:  Hard.
  • Isolation via Glen Boulder trail.  Rating:  not too bad.
  • Isolation via Rocky Branch Trail in, Davis Path/Stairs Col Trail out.  Rating:  long day, not too bad.
  • Carrigain the long way:  in via Nancy Pond Trail, drop into the Pemi.  Out over Carrigain.  Requires spotting a car or two depending on group size.  Or do the reverse.  Rating:  Huge.
  • Carrigain Loop via Carrigain Notch, return via Signal Ridge.  No car spotting.  Rating:  Big day, not too bad.
tMail's List (concerned about ice above treeline):
  • Passaconaway & Whiteface
  • Cannon, Cannon Balls, Kinsmans