White Mountain Extreme

My Excursion into the White Mountains of New Hampshire, August 30th to September 1st, 2003.

Friday

4:00 PM : I am on the road and for the first time, I am on time. In fact a little early. Unfortunately that is it, on the road. The traffic is horrible. The traffic is bumper to bumper. I decide to send some cell phone text messages to my friends. I call mom to let her know I wont be calling this weekend. Monica calls to answer the text massage I just sent. Bumper to bumper … until I hit Vermont. Finally around …

Brattleborough I break free and finally am able to drive at a reasonable speed.

7:30 PM : Finally getting north but now it is starting to rain. The rain gets harder and harder all the way to Lincoln. The pass over to Lincoln from Vermont way is treacherous and I slide around some corners due to the rain and thick fog. Thank god for traction control and a good handling car. Also thank god I decided to go slow as the road pitch was so steep that I thought Id get washed off the road.

8:00 PM : Lincoln New Hampshire my home away from home. I love this place. Well the rain is coming down still and all the lights on the camping vacancy board are red. Not a good thing. That means all the campsites are taken. I decide to drive up the road to a couple to verify that indeed they are full. I think that maybe tonight I would get a motel but instead decide to drive north toward Bethlehem to either find a campsite or a cheaper motel.

9:00 PM : As I cleared Franconia Notch and started down the other side a family of raccoons appeared out of the fog. I slam on the brakes. I cant turn suddenly because of the slick conditions and knowing that that action would throw me into a out of control spin. I decide I want to live and I held on and veered slightly to the right, missing one butt … hitting the other. Suddenly my car felt weird and I took the next exit. The collision broke my fog lamp and ripped up my front grill. On top of that my skid plate under my car was dragging on the ground. I spent 2 hours in the pouring rain tearing and manipulating the parts back into place with wire and shoe laces. I got the car drivable but the mend would be temporary until I could call the insurance company when I get within cell arrange. I killed a living thing. I feel awful … This will be a hard thing to get over. I wouldn”t blame my higher power if I were to lose my life this weekend.

12:00 am : I am shaken by the ordeal and decide to drive back towards Lincoln. Before I could get to Lincoln I decide to start looking for a place to park so I could sleep in my car. Finally I decide on parking at the Liberty Spring Trailhead. I Made a bed in the back of the car and fell asleep. I fell asleep to flashes of lightning and pouring rain. As I dozed off I was awoke by a searchlight. A police officer was checking out the parking lot so I kept low and he moved on. Whew, thank god. I needed sleep.

Saturday

5:30 am : I wake to a pretty nice day. At least it wasn”t raining. There were some clouds and the wind was blowing pretty hard. Time to get to the hike.

6:30 am : Canon Mountain Trailhead. Before I take off, Marcy and I pose for a beginning shot to document the time. The hike started going up and the entire hike was moderately steep and never really leveled off except for a short traverse from a smaller peak over to Canon Mountain. Once on top there was no view so I snapped off a summit pic and then started down. As I climbed down I found breaks where I could take some pretty interesting pictures. Picture taking took its toll on my round trip time. I could of did the entire hike in under 2 hours but instead I completed the trek in 2 hours and 5 minutes or so. I was happy with the length but I felt that maybe I went a little too hard because my legs felt a little tired.

9:30 am : Twin Mountain New Hampshire. This place really needs bagel places. I miss the White Mountain Bagel back in Lincoln. I settle for a breakfast burrito and a cookie with coffee.

10:30 am : Dolly Copp shortcut. Monica and I found this nifty little shortcut over to route 16 towards Pinkham Notch. It starts in Randolph. This shortcut takes you by the Dolly Copp Campground so I decided to just stop in to see if they have any campsites. I was in luck as someone had just canceled their reservations. I got a great little campsite #77. How lucky is that. And in such a perfect spot, next to Mount Washington. I set up camp quickly and head off for mount Washington and my second goal for today.

11:00 am : Mount Washington. My friend Monica suggested that I take the Huntington Ravine up then over the summit of Washington and over to Boot Spur then down. So I headed out. I must of passed 50 hikers before I turned to the right onto the Huntington Ravine Trail. The trail started out nicely enough and I was making great time. I reached the Fan of the ravine in an hour. I figured I would summit in another hour. I was so wrong. As I climbed the boulder field known as the Fan I kept looking up. Where in the hell would this trail go. Soon I found out. I saw climbers climbing up a straight wall faces. I sincerely hoped that that wasn”t the trail as I have no experience, plus I had no ropes or gear. I was a good thing I left Marcy behind on this one. I was relieved to find out that the trail went to the right side of the ravine instead. I wasn”t so happy to find out that the trail went right up the rock face and out of sight. The winds were howling so I put on my fleece. I started to climb. Pretty soon I was terrified. Here I was dangling from my fingertips on a rock wall. I used every muscle in my body. I think I even used my tongue at one point. It took me an hour to cover a hundred feet. There were times that I feared for my life. It was terrifying. Finally I reached the crest of the climb. I was trembling as I sent every ounce of my energy to climb up. My fingertips were raw. This climb should only be attempted on a nice day with no winds. Today was cloudy, wet, and windy. Winds on Washington today was gusting to 88 mph. The visibility was bad and I found numerous hikers huddled behind Cairns like frightened little children. The winds were unbelievable. I went to take my pack off and it almost blew away. I had ice forming on my pack. When I took out my camera I had to put it back as the clouds that swept over the top at 88 mph covered everything in moisture. I summit Washington, ate some bread, then headed down. I was a broken man. It took forever to get down via boot spur. The terrain was awesome and I loved being all alone on top with no trees. The terrain was unreal and I loved every moment of it. Even though I felt awful. My leg started to give out and I barely made it back to the car before I could stand no more. The hike took 5 hours and 35 minutes. Why do I feel so awful. I felt every muscle in my body.

5:30 PM: Back at camp. I made pasta with saut

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