Trip Report: Mt Guyot Backpack 9/22/2012

Saturday we set out from Zealand road, our destination: Guyot Shelter, just off the Appalachian Trail. I have camped here many times before and always enjoy the hike there, any time spent in the pemigewasset wilderness is a good time. We hiked up the Zealand Trail to Zealand Hut, and continued up to the twinway, then headed south on the Bondcliff Trail, and took the spur path down to the camp.

The forecast called for a chance of late night thunderstorms, and temperatures in the mid 40’s, so I packed some extra layers, but decided to take my 35-degree EMS sleeping bag with a liner instead of my bigger 0-degree bag. I don’t ever get real fancy with my backpacking food, dinner was Mountain House dehydrated chilli-mac, and the normal assortment of snacks, bars, oatmeal and fruit for breakfast and lunch. The hike in was harder than I remembered, with some rough trail with large rocks in some places. Much to my suprise, The Guyot tentsite and shelter were nearly full when we arrived, but we were able to get a spot on a tent platform. It did rain overnight, but I was more than more enough. Sunday we packed up, and decided that we would skip the bonds and just hike out, and just enjoy the views from atop Mt Guyot. We spent a good amount of time on Zeacliff as well. A great weekend and lots of foliage color. Also, I was very impressed with the new bridges constructed on the trail into Zealand Hut.

   

 

Trip Report: Mt Pierce 9/15/2012

I had to opportunity to stay in Crawford Notch this weekend with my hiking club. On Saturday we set off to hike to Mt. Pierce, a peak I have been to twice, but never have visited Mitzpah Hut. The trail is in great shape and we had no problems. We stopped by the hut on the way up and had some snacks. Rain and winds blew in and we decided to get moving. The Crawford Path is in great shape, as always, but I much prefer this hike in winter.

We hiked very quickly and got to the summit but had no views due to cloud cover.


Distance: 6.61 mi
Time: 4:10:07
Avg Pace: 37:51 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 2,384 ft

GPS TRACK

Gear Review: Under Armour Men’s Evo ColdGear Fitted Mock

For winter hiking, my favorite base layer is my Under Armour Men’s Evo ColdGear Fitted Mock. I personally prefer synthetics to wool for my base layers, and in winter the compression fit keeps me warmer than wool. Compression fit is tight fitting, it’s a second skin type of fit, great for layering. In sub-freezing temperatures, I usually find myself wearing it as my base-layer, and having a mid-weight layer that comes on and off depending on the weather; like a fleece jacket of vest. The Coldgear fabric dries incredibly fast, and doesn’t itch like wool does. The fabric is also quite resilient, and it still looks new even after 2 years of wearing. I would recommend the Cold Gear line to anyone looking for a base layer for winter hiking in the north east region.

Key Product info:

A mock turtleneck with a tight compression fit, the UNDER ARMOUR® men’s ColdGear® long-sleeve mock clings close to your body to support your muscles and enhance your circulation. Its dual layer brushed fabric offers the ultimate thermal protection, with a durable nylon outer layer for protection and a brushed inner layer to keep you warm. 30+ UPF protects your skin from sun damage, and anti-odor technology keeps you feeling fresh.

Key Specs:

Fabric Content:63% nylon, 23% polyester, 14% elastane

Trip Report: Mount Garfield, NH – Flags on the 48 9/8/2012

(Via: http://www.flagsonthe48.org/) On September 11th, 2001 the consciousness of United States of America was undeniably altered by overwhelming and devastating acts of terrorism, so far reaching in their intensity that our country will forever carry the scars. Thousands of lives were lost in a fleeting moment, immeasurable families shattered and countless hearts broken.

We in the hiking community continue to honor the deceased with a tribute: flying the American flag atop all 48 four-thousand foot and higher mountains in New Hampshire on Sunday, September 11. By demonstrating our steadfast unity in this challenging endeavor, we also hope to express our unwavering support to the families, friends and communities whose losses are beyond comprehension and whose suffering we remember in our hearts.

This was the first year I was able to get out hiking to see it, and it was a fantastic day for it. I led a group hike to Mt. Garfield, a peak I’ve only visited once on a very long, very cold Pemi-Loop in November a few years back, and I had little to no views on that day.

We assembled at the trail head on Gale River road and hiked up via the Mt. Garfield Trail. This trail is in great shape and the footing is good, as it is an old trator road. There were ample places to refill water along the way, even above 3,000ft. As we joined the Garfield Ridge Trail the winds picked up and we added on some layers for the final .2mi section to the summit, where we were rewarded with great views. The team that had carried the flag and its supports informed us that it was higher, but the wind had snapped it down with a big gust. We could see the flags go up on Mt. Bond, South Twin, and Galehead. The Franconia ridge was in and out of the clouds all day. Just after we had lunch and were getting ready to descend, we cought sight of the Blackhawk helipcopter flying towards us. We all took some photos and enjoyed the walk out, just in time to beat the severe thunderstorms that rolled in from the west.

Flag flying atop Mt. Garfield

Photo of the summit as seen from the helicopter.

VIDEO

Summary
Distance: 10.03 mi
Time: 7:12:11
Avg Pace: 43:06 min/mi
Avg Speed: 1.4 mph
Elevation Gain: 3,006 ft

GPS TRACK

Gear Review: Patagonia R1 Hoody

It’s that time of year again, hunting season is begnning in the north east. Here in Rhode Island, there rules are as follows:

Fluorescent orange safety clothing is required during the hunting season statewide for all hunters. To meet this requirement, safety clothing must be solid daylight fluorescent orange. Fluorescent camouflage does not meet this requirement. The hunter orange must be worn above the waist and be visible in all directions.

Examples are: a hat that covers 200 square inches or combination of hat and vest covering 500 square inches.

1. 200sq. in. by small game hunters during the small game season.

2. 200sq. in. by fall turkey hunters while traveling.

3. 200sq. in. by muzzleloader hunters during the muzzle-loading deer season.

4. 200sq. in. by archers when traveling to/from stands during the muzzleloader deer season only.

5. 500sq. in. by all hunters (including archers) and all users of management areas and undeveloped state parks during all portions of shotgun deer seasons.

Reference: http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/pdf/huntabs.pdf

 

And this is all for good reason, there were some very tragic incidents in the state last year that should have been avoided. That all being said, I dont mind all that much once it gets to be winter, as I get to breakout my favorite layer, the Patagonia R1 Hoody. While pricey, it’s by far my go-to layer for any winter activity. The hood fits well, the thumb holes are a great feature, and it is available in Mango ORange, which is close enough to hunter orange for me. IT breathes well, weighs next to nothing, and wicks moisture. The fabric is extreamly soft and the waffle fleece design makes it increadibly insulating. I’ve worn mine with a compression base layer and windshell in near 0 degrees comfortably while snowshoeing. IF you treat yourself to one piece of high-end gear this year, make it the R1 for sure.

Massey’s does price match, so poke around to see if it is the best deal out there, and they will match it with free shipping!

Trip Report: Vermont NEHH Peaks – Mount Mendon, Killington, Mount Pico

I’ve been to Killington once before, when I first really got into hiking a few years back, now 79 of the New England Hundred Highest later, I decided to return for another visit there and it’s neighbors, the ski mountain Pico, and the trail-less Mendon.

 

 

 

We started out on the newly rerouted Bucklin Trail, which was damaged heavily from hurricane Irene last year. The new reroute was easy to follow and very well designed. We made good time up the trail to it’s intersection with the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail, and unpacked our camping gear at Cooper Lodge, a 16 person shelter. I had stopped here last time to change layers last time I hiked Killington in the rain, and had been excited about camping here once again. The shelter has open air window holes, 4 walls, 4 platforms, a table, and a roof. The windows face to the west, so we had a decent sunset view later that evening. It also has a very interesting privy.

 

 

After we had lunch and pumped some water, we set off to find the herd path I had read about. This was the first time I set out to a trail-less peak on my own, but I got some really good information from friends, and even stitched together a few different GPS tracks to make what I thought was the best route for my plan. We headed out on the AT/LT heading south and soon took a right onto the heardpath I had mapped out on my GPS. The herdpath was very easy to follow once we found it, it is very unassuming and one could easily walk by it without knowing it was even there. We followed it for about a mile and had no trouble at all. I often thought to myself, “this non-trail is in better shape than some real trails”. It then joined the old logging road, and the bushwhacking commenced at a small cairn on the side of the road. We lost the herd path from there a few times but eventually found ourselves on the false summit of Mendon, and then pushed on to find the canister atop the true peak. We then returned back to Cooper Lodge and had some dinner, and watched the sun go down. Just after sunset we heard a loud rustling in the woods very close and I was concerned it might be a bear, but after turning on my headlamp, realized it was just a large porcupine. I slept well that night, we had the shelter all to ourselves. In the morning we packed up, went up to Killington, and started out on our way to Pico via some ski trails and the AT/LT. It would have been easier if we had stayed on the AT/LT, but I did luck out when hiking up on a ski trail, I found a GoPro that had been sitting there in it’s waterproof case since 2009 based on the video on it. We dropped packs at Pico camp and went out and back to the the summit. I found the official summit amongst some construction equipment at the top. Luckily we met some nice hikers that agreed to shuttle us back to our car back at the Buckin trail, so we hiked out with them to Sherburne Pass, saving us the long hike back to Cooper lodge and down the Bucklin Trail again.

GPS TRACK

Distance: 15.72 mi
Time: 26:14:32
Elevation Gain: 4,423 ft