View Full Version : Hale, Zealand. W Bond, Bond, Bondcliff - Zealand Rd~Wilderness Tr 3/13

03-14-2004, 09:41 PM
1st time I thought about this route was when Sue said "You know you want to do this one" prior to the Epic Record Adventure. After that, reading others trip reports made me wonder if I might be up for it!? Figured if I wasn't I could always backtrack.

After hearing weekend weather report Saturday sounded best...clearing in the morning & windy & not as warm as Sunday. Didn't get to bed Friday night til 11 and alarm went off @ 2:30...bed feels sooo nice :) After a quick breakfast I'm on the road @ 3:38...started hitting snow around Franconia and roads got a bit slippery. Parked in lot on 302 near Zealand Rd @ 6:12 and headed out @ 6:24 in light snow. Figured I should be able to make it to Zealand then could decide about going on or not. Barebooted to Hale Brook Trail then put small snowshoes on to help grip the packed trail. Summit of Hale @ 8:37, took couple pictures and headed down Lend-A-Hand Trail. It had been traveled and was easily followed, about 4" new snow...still no views, snow had stopped & hadn't seen anyone else. Zealand Hut had lots of people there getting ready to head out when I arrived @ 9:33. Ate part of Ham & Cheese Subway sandwich and headed up Twinway after a 19 minute break, the sky now had some blue spots but still no views. The trail had been recently traveled by snowshoers and was in great shape. Arriving @ Zealand Spur a group of 6, that had been ahead of me, was there taking a break. Got to Zealand Summit @ 11:21. Felt fine and had thought if I made it by noon I would go on. Others were still @ jct as I continued up the Twinway. The trail was still easily followed w/some small drifts. The wind wasn't a problem as the trail was in the woods. Stopped before coming out of the woods on Guyot and changed from the waist up, put on wind pants and fired up some handwarmers. Met a couple on their way back from Mt Bond and told me the wind was terrible! I felt better knowing the trail had been just traveled to Bond! As I came out onto Guyot the wind was very strong and stopped to put baclava & googles on. Got blown off my feet a couple times but didn't bother me much. After going by turn to Guyot campsite I knew it was 0.2 mile to W Bond Spur. After awhile figured I must have missed it! Backtracked to the turn looking carefully for the trail...didn't see it! Headed back toward Bond still trying to find it. Just a short ways beyond where I had turned back there it was clearly marked and trail broken out by barebooters. Headed for West Bond. Met several others headed back out. Had to wait a bit while a woman relieved herself in the middle of the trail then summited @1:15. The wind didn't seem as bad and could see Bondcliff and others in & out of the cloud cover :) The trail to Bond was a bit rough due to barebooters but OK. Seeing all these others on the trail gave me a sense of comfort...had I not seen anyone out here I would have had doubts about making it! As it was there were about a dozen others headed toward Bondcliff. Had to take snowshoes off soon after leaving Bond due to all the rocks. There was a fair amount of ice between them but didn't present a problem. The wind however was brutal! Got knocked over several times...a lot of the others were doing worse than I. Ended up passing everyone that was ahead of me and arrived @ Bondcliff @ 2:47 :) I felt as though I'd made it...eventhough there was still 9 miles to go! I stopped in the trees after the summit to eat and take the googles & baclava off...that had frozen to my beard...ouch! Put snowshoes back on to. The rest of the way to the Wilderness Trail was packed and rough. The Wilderness Trail seemed to go on forever and I could feel blisters forming :( Towards the end the trail was a sheet of ice and I just wanted it to be over! Got to the suspension bridge @ Lincoln Woods Trailhead @ 6:08 :) ...and didn't have to use the headlamp!

Now the fun begins...hitch hiking back to my car!!! Got a ride to McDonald's but couldn't find a ride, got some food, called a shuttle and got back to my car for $40. I had planned on staying over and hiking Cannon tomorrow but I was reeeaaally beat and just headed home. Had trouble staying awake, got home @ 11:08 :) What a day!!! It was sooo GREAT :) OK so I'm dead now but I had accomplished all I had hope to and felt real good about it...kinda beginning to enjoy this winter hiking stuff to :) Think I'll sleep in tomorrow :)

03-15-2004, 03:51 AM
Thanks for the report on your epic adventure. Congratulations on a great hike!

03-15-2004, 08:24 AM
Nice Report and congrats are to be had ... good going.

03-15-2004, 08:54 PM
Good going. I was half of the couple you met just before Guyot! We made it back out to 302 by 6 pm, and were as tired as you!