The Plan for Finishing the 48

The plan for finishing the 48

Doesn’t look too bad but I figured it out and it will be over 75 miles with 27,035 feet of elevation gained over the course of it. I think it is going to be a fun unique challenge, I am starting a new job October 1st and it would be great if I could get this goal checked off before Winter sets in. Ideally I would have liked to end with the Presidential mountains and I still might but I wanted to give them the most time in case of inclement weather this gives me other hikes to do while I hopefully wait out the bad weather on the higher peaks. I also did not want to do them on the weekend, just too many people on the popular peaks for my taste. 

I have created a list in AllTrails of the remaining hikes I have left Remaining 4000 Footers I can’t wait to get started on this process, I have my backpack all packed. I have been doing spreadsheets, Spreadsheet of Gear I know how much everything weights down to the hundredth of an ounce. 

The practice of going through all of this has been pretty beneficial, I found some areas where I needed to add some things. I added Tylenol, Tweezers, Hand Sanitizer, Ear Plugs, Emergency blanket. They are all small amounts of gear but it adds up. The main area I lost weight was with my water system, the hydration bladder plus the two bladders I was using with the platypus gravity system is a full pound heavier than 2-1.5 liter Smart Water bottles with a Sawyer Squeeze. I had issues with the Sawyer leaking and I had the gravity system so I just used that. After giving it a thought for the 1 lb I also thought I could carry less water knowing it wouldn’t be too hard to just scoop up a bottle full at a river crossing versus breaking out the two hydrobags and fulling another bag. It is all Filter right before you drink!

kind of a pain. With this you fill the bottle with dirty water and then just filter it as you drink. Super fast super simple, and it will be stored on the outside of the back for easy use.

I will post more as I start hiking, first up one of those scariest peaks in the White Mountains, the Trip Slide!

Peaks 31 and 32 Done! Mount Flume and Liberty Loop

Flume Liberty Loop with a little extra

Did the Flume Liberty Loop on the 12th of September, it was a long hike, with one of the steepest sections I have ever hiked up. The slide is no joke! As you can see we had a little extra due to a funny story I will mention a little later, but the splits show just how steep the section is!

1,342 ft in a mile!

As you can see mile 5 was a brutal hike, 1,342 feet in a single mile, it was basically straight up, it is hard to see in the below picture but I assure you this is steep!

There was about 1.2 miles of this, crawling over bald rock faces, I put my trekking poles away because I needed my hands to haul my butt up the face. It was rough but fun, just please for the love of god don’t go down this direction! We saw a few people coming down but most went other directions. I can’t imagine going down this way. Also if it is wet do not attempt this trail (unless you know what you are doing).

Coming up to Mount Flume, I forgot that the Saturday after 9/11 volunteers bring flags up the 48 4000 footers all over New Hampshire. 

Flume and Liberty with the flag flying on top!

Top of Flume with Trish and the flag.

We walked over to Liberty and had a beautiful view of Franconia notch.

A little panorama immediately coming off of Liberty. 

Looking back at Liberty from the Franconia Ridge Trail, it was a great as you can see if you look at the map we took a little side trail with a funny story. There was a guy standing leaning against the sign, and from the smell of things he had recently passed gas and it smelled horrible, so we said Hi and quickly walked passed him. Low and behold that was our turn, so we added 1.5-2 miles to our hike but it was mostly flat. Actually it turning up hill was how I realized we were on the wrong trail. The trail toward the end felt like it was going to go on forever. Luckily it did not and it end, I ended up getting home around 8:30 pm. One thing I found interesting is the amount of people that were out in the woods without any idea where they were going. They went out in the woods without a map or a phone or any sort of information. I must have been asked the direction to the parking lot half a dozen times. It was really pretty shocking, always have your phone and a paper map with you. Please try to learn how to use the paper map while you have your phone so you can learn how to do it in case your phone dies at one point. Just keep in mind you move slower than you think you do.

Mount Isolation

Mount Isolation

Mount Isolation is a killer of a hike, my buddy Jay and I set off on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. I knew it was going to be a long one and I warned him that by the end he would be miserable, that turned out to be true.

Start of the day

Started the day feeling pretty good, we hiked up the first few miles and things started flattening out. I was getting excited, if the terrain is like this we would be closer to 8 hours instead of the 10 that I feared.

Tough Muddy Area

It is hard to see here but the terrain in the flatish part of the mountain was 2-3 miles of hoping from rock to rock hoping that you don’t fall off and step into an ankle deep puddle. This was a tough hike, it wasn’t the hardest or the most technical but miles and miles of bouncing from rock to rock is hard on the feet.

tons of river crossings

There were tons of river crossings as well, I want to say 5-6 in each direction, luckily the first week of September the water was at a low. We didn’t have to take off the boots once. 

finally made it to the top

The top of the Mountain was gorgeous and we had beautiful weather!

 We had a Grey Jay follow us on our mountain adventure.

The view from Mount Isolation on the Eastern side of the mountain.

Mount Washington off in the distance

You can see the weather station on the top of Mount Washinton

Mount Isolation Geo Survey

Our Grey Jay friend eyeing the PB&J that Jay thankfully remembered!

Laying down for the picture of me at the summit, it was a very hard hike.

Jay taking a picture of the Geo Marker. I was a very hard hike, quite long, I would highly recommend going later in the season when things are drier. The river is at an all time low right now. Even with that it was muddy, I can’t imagine hiking this in the spring. The hike just really long and sneakily technical since you are doing a lot of water crossings and a lot of rock hopping to avoid mud. It took us 9ish hours of moving time and 9 hours 37 mins of total time so we didn’t have a lot of down time on this hike. There is plenty of water available and I should have brought a filter with me and taken a one water bottle instead of bringing 4 liters (8.8lbs).

The view from Mount Isolation is beautiful, a great view of Mount Washington, Jackson, and Eisenhower. I would love to hike it again, just make sure it is dry and you prepare for a long day!

 

 

 

First Backpacking Trip Since Long Trail

A few days ago I got back from my first backpacking trip since I tried to hike the Long Trail. I had a great time, it was actually a lot of fun, I checked off five 4000 footers. There was a little bit of a change in plans that resulted in me not getting the 7 peaks that I was hoping. I heard that the rivers were running high so I took a alternate route over Mount Hale, which I climbed a few weeks ago. So I went over the top of Hale and then found out that I didn’t really have to. It put me behind and I had to skip Galehead Mountain and Zealand, but that was it for bad news! Glad we got that out of the way.

Day 1 of 2
Day 1 of 2

Actually I do have one additional piece of bad news, I forgot my battery pack and I didn’t record day 2 because I wanted to keep the power for taking pictures and video.

Crossing the Little River on the North Twin Trail, took the boots off and put them around my shoulders so that I could keep them dry. I wore my flip flops to cross and then put them on the outside of my backpack to dry.

The thing I love about the ridge walks is you can see the paths so easily and I had beautiful weather for such a hike!

This was the view right before the summit, amazing weather/view.

North Twin Summit

The summit of North Twin!

South Twin Summit

South Twin Summit


 

Mount Guyot Summit

So because I did the extra trip up Hale, I had to cut out Galehead and Zealand, I am going to do a separate backpacking trip to get these out of the way. The weather was beautiful but it was a little warm. I was pretty proud of making the right decision, I was completely worn out when I got to the campsite I knew anything additional would have been a mistake.

Hammock made finding a spot at the Guyot Campsite a lot easier, if I showed up with a tent I would have been sent to the overflow. I highly recommend hammock camping for the Whites, according to the rules you have to camp below the tree line anyway. 

As for food I did cold soaked cous cous with some packets of tuna fish, I decided to do cold soaking when I was on the long trail after a hard day of hiking I really didn’t want to worry about cooking. Cold Soaking was great, I added water to the cous cous and taco seasoning. By the time I got my hammock setup the cous cous was ready and I could just eat and go to bed. For breakfast I had carnation instant breakfast with a packet of instant coffee. They call it hiker cafe mocha, it was really really good!

For lunch I had Justin’s Nutella and Peanut butter packets which was also good. I am going to experiment more with cold soaking recipes. I think I can come up with an instant rice burrito, instant rice with taco seasoning and a packet of buffalo chicken, something like that.  

The beauty about hammocks too was able to get everything packed up in a short amount of time. I was able to get to the top of West Bond pretty early in the morning.

West Bond

I met a nice guy from CT and we were chatting as we headed down the mountain to the West Bond Mountain

This is the view of the Bond Cliffs from West Bond. This was the best part of the hike, I think this is currently my favorite ridge in the White Mountains!

Bond Cliffs in the Background

You can see the Bond Cliffs in the background!

 

Quite the drop if you go off the trail! After that it was pretty steady slog down the mountain. The real bummer all was my phone was basically dead so I couldn’t see how far I was into the trail, the last part was 4 miles that was a former rail road track. So flat and boring which was kind of nice. I thought the below bridge was the end.

I thought this was the bridge at the end

I thought this was the bridge that marked the end of my hike and I was so excited. After I passed over the bridge I noticed I didn’t see any signs of civilization, after about 20 minutes I realized that I wasn’t done, I asked a hiker heading the opposite direction and he said it was still at least 1.5 miles left. It was a little deflating but I kept trudging on!

The actual end of the trail

This was the actual end of the trail! It was amazing. All in all I had a great time and can’t wait to do it again. I did get some blisters on the inside of my big toe and a one on the ball of my other foot.  

Overnight Backpacking, taking down 7 peaks in two days!

This weekends backpacking trip

This weekend I am doing my first backpacking trip since I did the Long trail almost two years ago. I am really excited, I am going stove-less with oatmeal for breakfast, with a protein shake with instant coffee mixed in. I think for lunch I am going to stick with bars and jerky, I might grab some tortillas, I bought some individually wrapped Justin’s peanut butter packets. For dinner I am going to make Taco Cous Cous with some chicken packets. I am only going to do one dinner because I think I will be off the trail before dinner two! Or at least I better be 🙂 All of these can be made just by cold soaking, I have an empty peanut butter jar that I am going to use for cold soaking. Basically just mix all of this stuff with water, and you can start cold soaking when you are at a water source in the morning. I don’t think I would use cold soaking if it was going to get at all cool, the forecast for the weekend though is very hot and I have found that I just don’t want anything warm, and I can save a few LB’s in fuel and stove, no pot, no pot holder ect. 

I am pretty excited, I think this is going to be a tough weekend I am interested to see how I do getting up to the top, as you can see it is pretty steep up but the good news is that once you are up there you don’t really have to come down too far. I am staying at the Guyot campsite, or in the area as I suspect it will be mobbed.

I am going to park my car at the end of the trail and then use a service to drive me to the start of the trail. This is probably obvious to people that hike a bunch but I always assumed you would have someone pick you up at the end but this is obviously wrong for so many reasons. You stink, you don’t know when you end, and it is going to be so sweet to just be able to get in the car and go. 

I looked in various facebook hiking groups and the best lady for the white mountains is  Trailhead Rides/Shuttle Hike Northern New Hampshire check out her website, I will post a review as soon as I get back but I have full confidence it will turn out well.

I am going to have a lot of fun and it is going to burn a lot of calories, and enjoy the time to quiet the thoughts and spend some time in nature. I think all around it will be a good thing

Dinner and planning for nicer weather

Homemade kielbasa and Costco kale cabbage brussel sprout mix

Just cooked the rest of the bag of Costco mix below with 4 oz of some kielbasa I made to give away as Christmas gifts. I mean I can’t give all of it away it took me two days to make! Anyway cooked it with a little spray of oil 10 minutes on medium high. Put some a small amount of mustard over it after I took the picture.

22.5 miles, 5614 ft, 6 peaks

During my hike today I talked to Ashley, looking into doing a 2-3 day backpacking trip. We would hit Galehead, North and South Twins, Mount Guyot where there is a shelter, West Bond, Mount Bond! So in two days we can knock out 6 peaks! The Guyot shelter is 10.8 miles into a 22.5 mile hike, it is perfect!