View Full Version : NH Winter 48 record comments

01-07-2004, 03:53 PM
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...

November 03
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)

01-07-2004, 03:56 PM
almost forgot a picture...

Papa Bear
01-07-2004, 04:10 PM
Most Excellent! And with the Yankees cap! Way to go.

I know you took pictures on most (all?) summits. Look forward to seeing them.

You inspire me to get out there and do more and more!


01-07-2004, 04:36 PM
Amazing . . . wish I had known that you guys were on this adventure when I ran into you early that morning. Glad to see such success! And ONLY 1 pain reliever? I take 6-8 every weekend I hike :D

You guys are amazing, see ya on the trails.


01-08-2004, 06:17 AM
All I can say is WOW, way to go!

Now what are you going to go for?

Happy Trails


01-08-2004, 08:16 AM
I might be able to do them all in 11 months... :)

I am in total awe of you guys. An amazing feat, congratulations.


01-08-2004, 08:51 AM
Great report, got me laughing and thinking about hiking. Congratulations!

01-08-2004, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by Papa Bear
I know you took pictures on most (all?) summits. Look forward to seeing them. I agree. My offer still stands, Bob... :D

01-08-2004, 09:04 AM
Frodo said:
Miles of trail breaking over a min of 8 inches of new snow: 45
If I only knew you'd be doing Garfield etc, that day I would have gladly shared in trail breaking. I would have had to start 'pretty early in the morning' though to get far enough before you passed!! Even following in your tracks (one set of snowshoes, and one barebooting) was work that day.

01-08-2004, 09:19 AM
Great job! It took me 16 years to hike all of them in winter. Guess I set my sights too low! Awesome! :)

Dennis C.
01-08-2004, 10:32 AM
Incredible journey (!) ... and a new winter 48 climbing record! When I commented in an earlier post ("this sounds serious"), I wasn't aware that you were out to do them all in consecutive daze ... er ... days. What an amazing and fantastic adventure!

Rob S
01-08-2004, 11:40 AM

Congratulations to both of you!

I'm so jealous!! :D

My goal is to complete the 48 in winter, period. Can't even imagine completing them all in one year let alone in under 11 days! You are both an inspiration.


01-08-2004, 02:37 PM
Everytime I think of this, I'm numb. This is so amazing!

I think I'm going for a record at the other end of the spectrum. My first winter 4K was Adams on January 6, 1979. I still have 18 to go! I'll be happy if I can just complete them. :)

I can only imagine how proud both of you feel. Major Kudos!

01-08-2004, 05:25 PM
Sorry Sherp, I think I have you beat. My first was Moosilauke in back 1973 or '74 and I still have about 30 to go!

However, HikerBob may beat the both of us.

01-08-2004, 07:26 PM
I'm buying the Guinness next time. Bravo on a superb accomplisment!

01-10-2004, 09:35 AM
Congrats on the great job!

I heard Stinkyfeet found a spongebob on top of Pierce. Spongebob said he wanted to hike with a real hiker, so I threw a snow ball at him on top of Pierce as this upset me. He appearently jumped out of my pack after the incident, and was considered AWOA. (absent with out Adrian)

I think he found a better home and hopefully was part of the record.


01-10-2004, 06:27 PM
Frodo and Stinkyfeet:
I just want to add my congratulations and general sense of awe at your accomplishment. You conceived it, you planned it and you actually did it! Bravo! And you actually seemed to have a good time! You must be extremely pleased that your bodies and your willpower were so unfailing throughout this feat. I'm sure you had your moments, but you kept on going. I wonder how it will be for you both to just do "normal" hikes now. Maybe a bit of a letdown and transition back to the regular hiking world. Or, are you cooking up something new? I get the feeling that you both love being out there in the mountains so much that perhaps you'll just keep on doing whatever you do and will be satisfied. This will be something to remember for the rest of your lives, no matter what other things you do. Great job!!!

01-11-2004, 09:00 AM
In my recent hiking column about the planned winter 4000-Footer assault, I incorrectly stated that it would take place in late Jan. and early Feb. Sue and Bob's plans had, indeed, been leaked to me, I just had the wrong dates. Look for more about their journey in this week's column.

01-16-2004, 05:46 PM
Way to go guys....Amazing...simply amazing! Congrats!


BirdHead Studios (http://www.birdheadstudios.com)

01-21-2004, 03:44 PM
I was wondering if the pair kept specific records of specific climbs that would indicate average miles per hour on the trails? This would provide an interesting perspective on an outstanding accomplishment.

01-21-2004, 07:04 PM

The trips were well documented in Frodo's reports in this forum. Check out Mohamed's website (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/winter-record.html) for a handy index of the trip reports and have your calculator ready.

01-21-2004, 08:54 PM
Thanks Stopher.

03-19-2004, 08:03 AM
The snow is falling fast and furious right now here in the Granite State, so it seems only appropriate to pass on this tip.

Stinkyfeet can be heard this evening at 6:30 p.m. on "The Front Porch" on New Hampshire Public Radio, recounting the awesome duo's awesome accomplishment.

If you are so unfortunate as to live outside the range of NHPR (e.g., you're one of those milk-drinkers living west of the Connecticut River), you can find an archived audio file after this evening at The Front Porch (http://www.nhpr.org/view_summary/1/).

Mohamed Ellozy
03-19-2004, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by stopher
The trips were well documented in Frodo's reports in this forum. Check out Mohamed's website (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/winter-record.html) for a handy index of the trip reports and have your calculator ready. You no longer need your calculator, I have posted my own calculations which may, or may not, be accurate.