Bondcliff to Galehead Birthday Bash

Date:  3/17/2012
Route:  Bondcliff to West Bond, South Twin via the Twinway, Galehead, Gale River Trail to Rte 3.
Gear:  light packs, light shoes, no snowshoes, microspikes (except tMail)
Team:  MadDog, DogMan (birthday celebration), tMail (birthday celebration) and me.
Conditions:  Bondcliff:  good snow cover, some postholing off the narrow treadway.  Bondcliff and the Twinway over Guyot were melted out.  Twinway between Guyot and South Twin was painfully slow due to postholing, as was descent off South Twin.  Gale River Trail had sporadic postholing higher up, completely melted out on lowest mile.  The Loop road has no snow on it.
Mutha's Pictures:  here
tMail's Pictures:  here

Trip report:  DogMan, MadDog and I trotted the rail bed from the campground (0:55 to the turn to ascend Bondcliff).  My microspikes exploded and we all got separated while I was doing repairs.

Lots of folks heading up to BondCliff - quite the crowd on a summit known for its remoteness.  Probably a dozen people on the trail on the way up, a few already on the summit, and another dozen coming in from Zealand.

DogMan and I stuck together for the next few hours, tagging West Bond.  We ran into tMail a few minutes into the W. Bond spur, on his way out.  While the three of us were on the spur trail, MadDog trotted by on his way north.  We eventually all met up by the time we got to South Twin.

The Twinway between Guyot and South Twin was pretty tough w/out snow shoes.  The postholing was unpredictable and I lack the language skills to do justice to just how hard that 2 miles was.

We all ran out of water by South Twin and refilled from a brook crossing the Gale River Trail later in the evening.

tMail took off on the final descent and arrived at the cars a good 1:30 before the rest of us.  DogMan defeated his demons and ran out the last 2 miles at a half-marathon 'sprint'.

Good for us.


Mt. Isolation in 2:32

Date:  3/10/2012
Route:  Isolation via Rocky Branch (from Rte 16).  Took Engine Hill bushwack.
Team:  Dogman, Trudy, Spanky & Mutha
Conditions:  Completely packed out trail.  Dogman was barebooting - i put on micros at some point although they weren't really necessary anywhere.  The bushwack was in great shape.  Two snowshoers from Keene did their best to follow the packed trail, which was a bit blown over.  To a large degree they followed it.  The Isolation trail near The Davis Path is a bit filled in and a few minor deviations by the snowshoers were corrected on the return trip.  Snowshoes aren't a bad idea beyond the bushwack but aside from a few deep postholes it actually wasn't that bad.
Pictures:  here

Trip Report:  We're preparing for Leadville so keeping the pace up was pretty high on the priority list.  On the other hand, the weather was gorgeous, the birch groves open and inviting and our packs light (z30's).


Lincoln, Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Loop

Did the Franconia Ridge Speed Loop w/ Spanky. 
Date:  3/7/2012
Route:  Ascend Falling Waters Trail, Descend Old Bridle Path
Conditions:  Very well packed trail everywhere.  In the warm temperatures there was a lot of slush and soft snow.  When this freezes up expect a lot of ice and crust.  Sections of the OBP were packed very tight and those will be quite slick when frozen.  I recommend traction of some kind.
Team:  me & Spanky The Wonder Dog
Pictures:  Here

Trip Report:
3:20 total time.  this included:
    - snack on Mt. Lincoln (5min)
    - lunch on Mt. Lafayette (10 min)
    - climbing down to retrieve the dog's water bowl that blew off
        the summit (+10 minutes round trip)
    - changing out of my crampons and final food/water (5 min).
    - 50+ photos
    - one 40sec video

Amazing blue-bird day, but a little warm.  Wore sleeveless shirt for the entire ascent and descent.  Put on a longsleeve shirt on the ridge.  Only wore a sweat-rag and no gloves.  I put on my light liner gloves on Lincoln when things got pretty windy, although it was nothing like on the Bad Boy (which cranked in the 60 mph range).  The wind probably got to around 25mph in sections.  My hands weren't actually cold - just seemed the prudent thing to do.  Gloves came off before I even got to the hut.

Traction was necessary.  Wore crampons until the final descent from treeline on down.  Probably could've been done w/ microspikes but at the higher trotting speeds that would've been dangerous on the descent of Lafayette.

Light climbing pants, gaiters, mid-weight summer hiking boots, wool socks.  gaiters were unnecessary.


Mt. Flume via The Osseo Trail

Date:  2/3/2012
Route:  Mt. Flume, via The Osseo Trail
Group:  Dogman, Trudy, Spanky & Me
Conditions:  Fresh fallen snow over packed trail.
Gear:  Snowshoes were necessary but we packed the trail down pretty tight on the up-and-down so it should be workable with crampons.  There are a lot of soft spots though, especially on the ladders so snowshoes are recommended high up.  Postholing w/out snowshoes is likely.  Once out on the cliffs, watch for spruce traps.  We headed into the trees to go around the spot where the trail crosses over the top of a slide.  It's a clean chute now.