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Thread: Freedom of the New England Hills

  1. #16
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I guess my question was more about "Why do you have both the multi-day winter Presi Traverse and the multi day Pemi Loop?" And why did you pick the number 5 for the latter? Isn't the point about skills for handling that sub-optimal weather day or two that will likely accompany a 5-day excursion? And wouldn't it be more challenging in the Presis above treeline?

    I get what you are saying about forcing it, and maybe that's reason enough for you.

    Do you remember Mats Roing? And do you remember his winter Pemi loop attempt in a blizzard? This was, ostensibly, training for Denali.

    Maybe another way to look at it is to list some of the goals outside New England and then pick something in New England that would offer the chance to exercise the same skills.

    Or is this more of the "ultimate New England mountaineering bucket list"?

    Tim
    Last edited by bikehikeskifish; 10-23-2013 at 06:21 AM.
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  2. #17
    Senior Member iagreewithjamie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post

    Do you remember Mats Roing? And do you remember his winter Pemi loop attempt in a blizzard? This was, ostensibly, training for Denali.
    Thanks for posting that link, Tim. Interesting story.
    One thing I found particularly funny was something you posted in that thread 5 years ago:
    With all the recent talk about 'negligence' and recovering costs for rescues, I can't help but wonder if A. Reasonable Person would have thought you negligent for even leaving.

    Sound familiar?
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  3. #18
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    No, the number 5 isn't completely arbitrary, it represents a cutoff (to me): fewer days than that and many can suffer through it with a suboptimal system of heat and moisture management. But with 4 or more nights, you really need to have your system dialed or you'll bail before you get that far. I don't really see what Mats' trip has in common with this list I'm proposing, can you elaborate on your thoughts?

    Also, I'm not really proposing an ultimate mountaineering list, that list would have more than 6 objectives and many of them would cover the same skills. For this list, the purpose is to be brutally non-repetitive, to constantly force one's self to be on the steep part of the learning curve. In my mind, not one of these items is something that any given person off the street can just walk up and do. Each of them requires commitment and practice on easier stuff, with the goal of eventually checking an item off the list - when it can be done in good style. When you can do all of the items on the list, you've earned the Freedom of the New England Hills.
    Sure. Why not.

  4. #19
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iagreewithjamie View Post
    With all the recent talk about 'negligence' and recovering costs for rescues, I can't help but wonder if A. Reasonable Person would have thought you negligent for even leaving.

    Sound familiar?
    Oh, very familiar. I got a bit of flak for asking honest, if somewhat pointed, questions. I thought about reviving that thread in the current hikesafe thread - as an example that many reasonable people might think went too far.

    Tim
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  5. #20
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    No, the number 5 isn't completely arbitrary, it represents a cutoff (to me): fewer days than that and many can suffer through it with a suboptimal system of heat and moisture management. But with 4 or more nights, you really need to have your system dialed or you'll bail before you get that far.
    OK, not being a backpacker, I haven't dealt with this, so I can accept that 4 nights is somehow a reasonable cutoff.

    I don't really see what Mats' trip has in common with this list I'm proposing, can you elaborate on your thoughts?
    It was an example of an extreme trip in extreme conditions - something you could expect to encounter over the course of a multi-day trip in winter. I.e., should your list include a trip of that magnitude under such extreme conditions.

    Also, I'm not really proposing an ultimate mountaineering list, that list would have more than 6 objectives and many of them would cover the same skills. For this list, the purpose is to be brutally non-repetitive, to constantly force one's self to be on the steep part of the learning curve. In my mind, not one of these items is something that any given person off the street can just walk up and do. Each of them requires commitment and practice on easier stuff, with the goal of eventually checking an item off the list - when it can be done in good style.
    I liked what was said earlier about the skills. Is your original list in order of increasing difficulty (or order of required skills)?

    When you can do all of the items on the list, you've earned the Freedom of the New England Hills.
    Is there a patch for that? As you say, this is completely subjective.

    I often think about how far I want to take the hiking thing... maybe the winter 67, possibly the winter ADKs and/or NE115. What keeps me from doing that is mostly time, rather than skills. I wouldn't mind trying the backpacking thing - but I think I would like to do so with one or both of my kids and neither of them is remotely interested at this time (not necessarily winter...)

    Interesting thread idea, however, and not one I can remember having seen before.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  6. #21
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    Another factor for winter travel is the overnight lows.

    I aborted a planned five day trip after one night a few years ago because the overnight low that first night was -18 F. That night and the next morning were a real eye opener & kind of scary even though I was camped pretty close to the Zealand Hut. Huge difference between the single digits and -18 F.

  7. #22
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    If the list doesn't include skiing from the summit of Mt Washington to the car I'm not interested.
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  8. #23
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Freedom of the Hills =Knowing ones own abilities and limitations. In other words heading out, enjoy oneself and others, return home, repeat......
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  9. #24
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    A New England list should include challenges in each state. I'd like the list to include leading all 5 pitches of Whitney-Gilman, at least five gullies in Huntington Ravine, skiing the Thunderbolt Trail (MA), rock climbing at Ragged Mountain (CT), ice climbing in Smuggler's Notch (VT) and bouldering at Lincoln Woods (RI).

  10. #25
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I think Freedom of the Hill's was referring to one's love and dedication to being able to be in the mountain's. This goes hand and hand with the skillset to achieve all your goal's while exploring the mountain's. After year's of heavy backpacking and hiking, I knew I wanted to have the skills to both tackle tough NE climbs as well as go out west and climb the 14ers in CO and CA solo. I took 5 years to train on technical routes. I ended up with this, I can lead 5.10, A2+, grade 3+ ice, mixed routes, and excel on long snow climbs. This proved to be a sound plan. I have 20 plus routes on Cannon, 3 gullies in Hunnington's and over 40 14er solo's in CA and CO, some in winter. I think the most important skill, is the ability to combine all your skillset, and have the ability to move over varied terrain, knowing when to ply the most effective technique for what you are encountering.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Chugach001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    A New England list should include challenges in each state... bouldering at Lincoln Woods (RI).
    Challenge??

    Another vote for skiing something. For me trees were a much harder skill to master than anything else.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chugach001 View Post
    Challenge??

    Yup. Bouldering is one of the "Games Climbers Play."

  13. #28
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Freedom of the Hills =Knowing ones own abilities and limitations. In other words heading out, enjoy oneself and others, return home, repeat......
    Well, certainly many people feel that way, and the List, Grid, and Redline all fit into that mentality quite well. But what I'm suggesting is sort of the opposite: figure out your limitations and then take active steps to overcome them. I personally like to learn, and this list keeps me focused on what I don't know.
    Sure. Why not.

  14. #29
    Senior Member Driver8's Avatar
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    If you're looking for difficult, why not add a late January backpack traverse of the Mahoosuc Range to the list you're compiling of things I likely will never do.

    As to rock-climbing in CT, I'd say ascending the Chin of Sleeping Giant would be prettier than Ragged, with a lot more spectators, though I don't know about the difficulty of the several routes.

    Personally, I'll be thrilled to complete the 48, the 67, and the 100 highest, for the most part in the months from May to December. I almost got Pico in January, but had to settle for April. ...
    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; NEFF: 14/50; Northeast 4K: 27/115

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  15. #30
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Sierra, yes my first trip to the North Cascades about 10 years ago was eye-opening, that is for sure. 5 years in CA also helped put a clear focus on all of the things I didn't/don't know.

    Tim, I know you're asking about a patch tongue in cheek, but it gets to a key point, which is that this list isn't meant to be a measure of accomplishment; i.e. I completed the "Freedom NE" list, therefore I've accomplished something. Instead, it is meant to illuminate an individual's shortcomings (not in the pejorative sense). One can look at the list and think, "I'm a pretty good backpacker, but I certainly could not hike a straight line from Lincoln to Bondcliff, so maybe that's a skill I want to work on for the next year or two." Maybe you've done some winter trips, but you're not confident/competant enough to embark on a presi-traverse, how can you improve your skills in order to make a good style attempt?

    Upon completion of the list, rather than receiving a patch, what you get to do is stand on the top of Lafayette or maybe Isolation or any other prominent peak in any season and look all around you with the knowledge that anything you can see is attainable to you. You're only limited by your imagination for new routes and objectives. It's all available to you. That's the "Freedom of the New England Hills" that I'm talking about.
    Sure. Why not.

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