After spending a day sleeping, relaxing, and playing with my kids, I would like to say a few things about our adventure.
First of all, I want to thank everyone for the kind words of encouragement, either by all of the awesome emails or posts. The NE hiking community is a special group of compassionate souls, and it is because of all of you that we hike as much as we do. With all of you passionate hikers out there, who could have a better way to spend there free time????
I also want to thank Thom Davis. You were one of the original 3 who joined in on this adventure, but due to an injury on the 1st day you had to use your own itinerary. Remarkably, you ended up not far behind us (35 peaks in less than 11 days). You also were a great hiking companion, joining Sue and I for 25 of the 48. Also, thanks for letting us spend our last 4 nights in your beautiful home.
To Al “Cruddy Toes” Sochard (who has done the summer NH48 in 8 days twice). You da man! Thanks for finding the trail between Starr King and Waumbek (we were wiped!!!). Also thanks for letting us spend our first 4 nights at your awesome house. Sorry we didn’t have time for the “Hugh Hefner Memorial Hot Tub”, infact, I don’t even know what your house looks like in the daylight...
Also want to thank all of the friends who joined us for moral support (Andrew Thompson, Cathy Goodwin, Tom Wilkins, Andy Fay, Hal Rhubart, Gif, Mike, Neighbor Dave aka Post’r Boy, Michelle, Kris Ebbeson aka Littlebear), and all of the people we met on the trails. We wanted to have fun on this adventure, and you people helped to make it happen.
A special thanks to Mohamed for consolidating our trip reports into a more user friendly format.
More special thank you's go out to Steve Smith and Mike Dickerman for the encouragement and interest the both of you had in our adventure.
A little history behind this:
Sue (Stinkyfeet) Johnston emails me, and asks me if I would be interested in attempting a winter 48 record with her and Thom Davis. She had been thinking about an attempt during the past summer. Thom and I both join in. We all email our itineraries. Sue consolidates them down to 12 days. We plan a Dec 26-Jan 6th attempt mainly due to all of us having the time off for winter vacation. We know that we are going to have the shortest days of the year. We start training...
We do a few scouting hikes (Lincoln Slide, Passaconaway Slide). The rest of our itinerary we are extremely familiar with.
Tim Seaver inquires about a winter 48 record on VFTT. We are surprised to see his thread spiral out of control and decide not to post anything in advance about what we are planning
We have all of the details down and are ready to go. The weather is the only unknown factor, though we are concerned about the 2 major Nor’Easters that hit the Whites in mid December. If a storm develops during our attempt we are done. We invite many friends to join us in our attempt to keep us from going stir crazy. We count down the days...
January 6, 2004
We finish in 10 days, 22 hours, 37 minutes. The weather was on our side, though we still had to deal with the 1st two days of trail breaking, then a warm spell where the snow was soft, lots of washed out trails, high icy water crossings, rain, flurries, extremely icy conditions above treeline, bitterly cold nights, and very short days.
We end up finishing on Waumbek, which was unplanned, AND, quite ironic because Sue and I both met on Waumbek back in Aug of 2002. We were both part of Cave Dog’s White Mountain Challenge. I was his remote supply person and she actually hiked the last 22 hours and 11 peaks with him. It was a fitting end to a most excellent adventure...
Overall, we had a blast!!!!!
Thank you everyone!
Robert “Frodo” Williams & Sue “Stinkyfeet” Johnston
A few stats...
Total Miles hiked: 227
Total Elevation gain: 71,000 feet
Miles hiked at night: 71
Sets of batteries we went thru: 2 (Frodo), 1 (Stinkyfeet). Got to love those Petzl MYO’s!!!
Summit sunsets: 4 (S. Twin, Washington, Isolation, and Tecumseh)
Trips to Dunkin Donuts in Lincoln: 9
Nights at Thom’s house in Thorton: 4
Times we saw Thom’s house in the daylight: 1
Nights at Al’s house in Randolph: 4
Times we saw Al’s house in the daylight: 0
Nights at home with family: (Frodo 1, Stinkyfeet 2)
Nights in Motel: 1 (Frodo)
Favorite hike: Southern Presidentials/Isolation (we both agree on this)
Least favorite hike: Osceolas in the cold raw rain (we both agree on this)
Times we met Hal Rhubart unexpectedly on the trail: 3
Number of peaks Al joined us: 6
Number of peaks Thom joined us: 25
Number of peaks Andrew joined us: 8
Number of peaks we did without any company: 14
Number of water crossings: ~60
Number of failed water crossings: 2 (Frodo), 1 (Stinkyfeet)
Miles of trail breaking over a min of 8 inches of new snow: 45
Miles of hiking in the rain: 14
Number of pain relievers taken: one 800 mg. Motrin (Stinkyfeet)
Number of massages received: zero.
Mountains where I felt the best: Owl’s Head (Frodo), Kinsmans (Stinkyfeet).
Mountains where I felt like sh*t: Garfield/Galehead/Twins (Frodo), Madison (Stinkyfeet)