View Full Version : Winter "Open Hut" Solo Traverse

Tim Seaver
03-02-2004, 05:06 PM
The Winter "Open Hut" Solo Traverse (http://www.vermontphoto.com/wildwhites/winterhuttohut/index.htm)

David Metsky
03-02-2004, 05:43 PM
May I just say, that you are like a god. We're not worthy!

Amazing, simply amazing and inspiring.


Mohamed Ellozy
03-02-2004, 06:54 PM

03-02-2004, 07:56 PM

Such a feat. Well done and quite a trip report.

03-02-2004, 08:43 PM

Awesome job, and a well written trip report! Nothing like doing the Southern Pressies at night, which I have found to be quite spiritual... You had fantastic conditions, just like we had in VT, and your time reflects it. This will be one of those memories that you will look back on when you are 80...

Keep living those adventures...

Dr. Dasypodidae
03-02-2004, 11:06 PM
Congrats, Tim. Great effort! I can see G.W. smiling. So, now the Garfield-Lafayette section is broken out folks. Still 2+ weeks of winter remaining, and not many low pressure systems in sight.

spider solo
03-03-2004, 05:39 AM
nice to be able to tempt fate and get away with it...this time....

03-03-2004, 11:56 AM
There are three things all good adventures have: pain, sufffering, endurance, and .....no, four, there are four things that all good adventures have: pain, suffering, endurance and mental toughness. And a happy ending. Five! There are five things........ (you know the rest.) Gotta love it! Great story, Tim, and glad you're back safe. Your feats inspire us all.

Any photos?


03-03-2004, 01:45 PM
Great trip report!

For some reason, it made me laugh that you had a burrito shortly after dawn set on Crawford Notch!

simply wonderful

03-03-2004, 03:51 PM

Quite a feat! Just reading your report made my knees ache!

But I'm curious. You said you carried no overnight gear. What was your plan if you got hurt and could not continue?

03-03-2004, 11:42 PM
Incredible! Congratulations Tim. I'm curious about how you maintained your energy level and body temp over the course of this long haul. Did you eat carbs, Clif Bars, whatever, pretty steadily? Any rough idea how much you took in calorie-wise (in addition to the burrito). Also, any idea what the temps were for all that above treeline travel? Thanks for including the detail about what you wore, although I know each person varies quite a bit on this stuff. I find that keeping my body temp in a good place over a long workout, not too cold but not too sweaty, is a pretty complex mix of workout intensity, clothing choice and blood sugar level. I'm curious about your thoughts/experience with this.

Again, I've never done anything as long and intense as this and other of your exploits, but I've done my own versions of epic workouts over many hours, and I have some sense of the incredible elation and satisfaction that comes when everything is "working" well and you feel strong and in a good zone, surrounded by beauty. It doesn't get better than that! I'm glad you succeeded in your mission, with grace and humility. Inspiring.

Tim Seaver
03-04-2004, 12:27 AM
David, I try to eat at least once an hour while on the trail, usually something like a clif bar, but I also drink Accelerade the whole way. I make it about one and a half times stronger than the standard recipe. My appetite usually fades pretty dramatically when I am in my go-fast mode, so drinking this keeps me from bonking as it's loaded with carbs and proteins. 70 ounces of this at 1.5x is about 1500 calories, which got me through the Presidential section with almost half left, about 3 clif bars and a few pretzels. But I had loaded up on carbs the days before the event as well. Entire boxes of cereal right before bed is my loading method of choice!

Even though the Pemi section was much longer, I ate and drank about the same amount again ( but forgot my Accelerade powder at the Crawford cache so had to go on plain H20 )

I am a big believer that adrenaline will take you amazing places long after the calories are gone, if you are in a positive mindset :) At least when you are talking 24 hours or less.

The temp was 13 on the summit of Washington that morning at 5 am, with a 45 mph wind - I was past Monroe at this time. The wind chill really wasn't too bad. I was dressed pretty light so I could keep moving fast without drenching myself, but had plenty of warm stuff if I needed it. I put out a ridiculous amount of moisture, and staying dry is a real challenge for me - I can't stop for very long without a clothing change so I just try to adopt a pace that I can keep all day without rest stops. Rest steps will have to do!

03-04-2004, 07:17 AM
Simply amazing! Congrats on such a feat.


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

03-06-2004, 07:06 PM
Very impressive!

Question for Tim: How did you select this route? On the one hand, many easier routes were available, while on the other hand you went right by several closed huts and probably could have done the regular summer traverse in under 24 hours.

"The currently most popular summer 24 hour traverse route doesn't include Pinkham Notch, unlike most of the traverses that pre-date it, but includes Carter Notch, added after the first successful attempt ending at Madison." - from (copyrighted) vermontphoto.com web site, under "fair use" discussion exception

Note that none of the historical summer traverses mentioned included Mizpah Spring Hut, which wasn't built then :-)

Question 1 for historians: I'm curious about why Pinkham Notch was dropped, was this a political statement about the presence of this facility or just an easy way to shave a couple hours from the time?

Question 2 for historians: Has anybody done the 1954 hut traverse in 24 hours, or in any time?

Tim Seaver
03-07-2004, 01:15 PM
This route was selected using criteria which I thought would result in the most aesthetic route connecting the 3 huts that are open in winter. A direct line which minimizes travel by highway and also doesn't seek to avoid high terrain. I am not so sure that many other "easier" routes exist, but be interested in knowing what winter variations on this route you had in mind that would fit within these parameters.

The fact that it also passes by other huts that are not open ( in addition to Madison) is pure coincidence. From the perspective of a winter hiker, including an out of the way trip to a hut (Madison) that is boarded up, and offers no water or shelter, makes little sense to me.

This route seemed to be a logical winter interpretation of the constantly evolving "Hut to Hut" traverse.

In a way, I hope it encourages hearty winter hikers to perhaps plan winter traverses along this same route when prime conditions are present, albeit as a two to four day venture as opposed to a 19 hour push. Certainly, modern lightweight gear, sophisticated forecasts, and heavier trail use makes this a possibility for strong and experienced parties.

03-08-2004, 06:30 AM
What a great journey and acomplishment Tim! Congrats!!

Mr. X
03-08-2004, 09:46 AM
Mr. X is astounded...at the use of charts and graphs, fantastic job!


03-10-2004, 04:25 PM

You are a sick, sick man. Assuming you are a man. I mean that in the best way possible.


- darren

03-11-2004, 05:59 AM
Hi Tim,

I concur that your trip was an amazing physical undertaking, truly. The route was well considered, and your report was a pleasure to read. However you still havenít responded to several inquiries about what your emergency plan was in the event of injury. Not planning to be injured, lost, hypothermic, etc. doesnít make it imo. This thread could just as easily have been about another winter fatality in the Whites. Sorry to strike such a somber tone but I truly believe it is an issue for such an ambitious undertaking.

Tim Seaver
03-12-2004, 10:05 PM
Yardsale, the reason that I have not responded to the one query (I don't regard the cryptic remark about "tempting fate" as an inquiry) as to what I would do if injured is not because I had no emergency plans, but that I would rather not have this thread sidetracked into an endless discussion on the risks of soloing.

Such comments have ruined more than a few of my previous posts, which eventually resulted in their removal by me.

If people would like to discuss the risks of soloing, I would politely suggest they start a new thread of their own and have at it, or perhaps add to the existing lengthy discussion on the subject here:"Hiking Solo?" (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php3?threadid=1526&highlight=solo+hiking)