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Thread: Winter on Waumbek 3/9/07

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bobby's Avatar
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    Winter on Waumbek 3/9/07

    It was another early wake up, 4:00 AM. I rolled out of bed and made some hot chocolate for my thermos, and was on the road a little while later. It was 2 degrees in Boston. It's a long ride when you're alone, which gives you a lot of time to think. True to form, as I headed north on Rte. 93, I thought of my dad. The five year anniversary of his death is approaching. I was fortunate in that I saw him almost every day, unfortunate in that he left us at the young age of 63. He is the one that introduced me to the great outdoors, and told me to take my own kids out as much as I could. As the sun rose, I could only think of how much he would have loved the scenery, and how much he would have enjoyed todays planned hike, Waumbek.

    When I got to Jefferson, the temperature was -4, with no winds. I took my time getting squared away, and was on the trail about 8 AM. I was solo today for the first time on a winter 4K. I set out hoping to match book time, but as I hiked, I decided to enjoy the day. The first mile or so of the Starr King was bare-bootable, but soon after I began to posthole a little (I filled them in!) and put on my snowshoes, and wore them for the rest of the day.

    The trail was visible until the traverse through the spruce forest started, then portions were windblown and the track was filled in. Sometimes, the track was just visible, other times, I was on my own. I had my first experience with a spruce trap, sinking up to my chest in snow when I lost the trail. It took a few minutes to extricate myself, and I eventually found some trail markers and was on my way. Deeper into the evergreen forest, the trees were snow-covered and as the temperatures rose, the pretty snow cover became little snow bombs, dropping on me occasionally.

    I reached the summit of Starr King, and had some lunch and hot chocolate (no cocoa incidents ) The views were spectacular, I could see the Tripyramids to the south and I think into the Adirondacks to the west. I headed off to Waumbek, passing the chimney on the way. Again losing the trail and taking a few minutes to relocate it, I reached Waumbek. The trail sign was about 6 inches over the snow. After one or two summit shots, back to Starr King where I met two other hikers, who were nice enough to take a few pictures for me. The walk from Starr King to the trailhead took a little over an hour, for a round trip just short of six hours. Thanks, Dad, for getting me started, and for being there with me today.

    It was a perfect day, clear blue skies, temps for -4 to a high of 22. I was able to trade my wool hat for my signature Red Sox cap on the summit of Waumbek for the walk out (it's cotton, don't tell anyone ) On a silly note, I think I'm one of the few people in the world who can say they've been on Mt. Starr King, Starr King Rd., and Starr King Court, here in Charlestown.

    Pictures from Waumbek
    Last edited by Bobby; 03-10-2007 at 09:36 AM.
    "Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic." Crash Davis -"Bull Durham"

    photo link

  2. #2
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Wonderful trip report, Bobby! Loved the pix too. Couldn't believe how clear it was!

    Regards,
    Marty
    So when you reach the bottom line
    The only thing to do is climb
    Pick yourself up off the floor
    Anything ya want is yours


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    Artist: Big Audio Dynamite
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    Year: 1985

  3. #3
    Senior Member vegematic's Avatar
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    very enjoyable trip report and photos...thanks for sharing! I know what you mean about the anniversary. Both my parents passed in February (different years) and about that time of year I always have a strong urge to take a "memorial" hike just to think. It's nice to have a peaceful way to honour those memories.
    -vegematic
    If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat

  4. #4
    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    Bobby -
    Nice report and pics - glad you were spared the cocoa incident - it is tough to live down, at least if you hike with LarryD.
    Congrats on completing the Starr King list - you are a pioneer!

    Man - was it clear out for you!
    - Mike

    How bad can it be?
    Bobby

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bobby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapblatt
    Congrats on completing the Starr King list - you are a pioneer!
    It's the only list I've completed to date!
    "Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic." Crash Davis -"Bull Durham"

    photo link

  6. #6
    Senior Member vegematic's Avatar
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    Whoa! Not so fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby
    It's the only list I've completed to date!
    Have you climbed THIS Starr King in Yosemite yet?
    -veg
    If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bobby's Avatar
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    Hmmmm.....how about Bobby's New England Starr King list?
    "Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic." Crash Davis -"Bull Durham"

    photo link

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jason Berard's Avatar
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    Really nice TR and pics, Bobby. It sounds like a nice way to honor your fathers memory. Did you get Homer out of that spruce trap?

  9. #9
    Senior Member alpinista's Avatar
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    Way to go, Bobby! Nice trip report _ and gotta love the pic of Homer in the spruce trap!
    Not all who wander are lost...

    "For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."
    - Leonardo da Vinci


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  10. #10
    Senior Member peakn's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Bobby,
    Great pics and a fun report to read. Glad you decided to go.
    By the way, the skiing at Waterville Valley, Friday, was excellent. Could see Washington, Monroe and Bond from the top of the lift.
    Harry
    Last edited by peakn; 03-11-2007 at 09:45 AM.
    Never test the depth of the water with both feet!

  11. #11
    Senior Member amstony's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Glad you made it up to Waumbek finally! To bad you couldn't make it to Copley saturday, would have bought you one!

    How many of the 48 have you completed now?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bobby's Avatar
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    23 for me, 4 for Homer. He did eventually get out of the spruce trap
    "Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic." Crash Davis -"Bull Durham"

    photo link

  13. #13
    Senior Member giggy's Avatar
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    nice one bobby!
    Accomplishments:
    Fastest known time around the flume visitor center boardwalk
    Voted the "best barnes field" party organizer 2008
    Only person to get bit by a dog on mt washington
    Most known ascents of the picnic tables on the kanc
    Most rounds of the pinkhman notch visitor center stairs - also fastest known time of climbing the stairs from the gear room to the gift shop
    Adopter of la casa in millinocket and the cheap beer store in gorham

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