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View Full Version : Trip Proposal -- Wapack End to End



Mark_151
04-03-2004, 12:37 PM
I'm just trying to see if there's any interest in a VFTT end to end hike of the Wapack Trail. It extends 21 miles from Watatic in Ashburnham, MA to North Pack Monadnock in Greenfield , NH. The book time by the AMC Southern NH Trail Guide is 13 hours, 15 minutes. I'd personally put it at about 12 hours at a leisurly pace, and 10-11 going hard.

I propose the trip being around May 15th-16th, weather permitting.

Any interest?

Frosty
04-03-2004, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Mark_151
I'm just trying to see if there's any interest in a VFTT end to end hike of the Wapack Trail. It extends 21 miles from Watatic in Ashburnham, MA to North Pack Monadnock in Greenfield , NH. The book time by the AMC Southern NH Trail Guide is 13 hours, 15 minutes. I'd personally put it at about 12 hours at a leisurly pace, and 10-11 going hard.
I'd love to, but can't do it in May. It's easily doable in a day, though. Last November I did the part from Ashburnham to Miller State Park. Started at 5:00, missed a trail junction in the dark, and had to backtrack a bit. Still could have done the whole thing except that we'd spotted a car at Miller. 13 hours would have been about right to go all the way to North Pack, especially if you take the right trail.

Frosty

Mohamed Ellozy
04-03-2004, 03:26 PM
Basically interested, assuming that my back does not act up again :(

Would help to have a fast group and a slow group.

Michelle
04-03-2004, 04:08 PM
A few of us hiked the Wapack last October and with a semi-normal pace we managed to finish in just over 10 hours. I think this was counting the nap on Pack Monadnock!

It was absolutely beautiful in the fall and I remember wondering what the trail would look like in the summer with all the flowers in bloom......

Pat T
04-04-2004, 08:13 AM
Hi, Mark

I'd be interested--probably in the slow group, if available. But, that weekend does not work for me. I keep doing the section in Massachsetts but would really like to see the rest of the trail.

Pat T

Mark_151
04-04-2004, 08:54 AM
Good to see there's some interest so far. Just to clarify -- the date I proposed is just that -- a proposal. I just want to get the ball rolling and let all of us try to work out the date. I'd even personally take a mid-week vacation day if that worked for everyone.

I was wondering if everyone who's interested would put their preferences in their response for the date they're prefer for the hike. Maybe we can come up with a plan for that.

Mark

sli74
04-04-2004, 11:20 AM
Would it be possible to wait till the weather forecast is known and make a "last mintue" decision? Mid week towards the 3 rd week in May works for me and I'd be interested in a slow group as well. Thanks,

sli74

Barry Sr
04-04-2004, 12:32 PM
I have edited this to count me out instead as I have just realized this to be the Brain Tumor society Bike Ride weekend.

Wish I could go as well but both events are too much for me and I'm ridin'

Mark_151
04-04-2004, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by sli74
Would it be possible to wait till the weather forecast is known and make a "last mintue" decision? Mid week towards the 3 rd week in May works for me and I'd be interested in a slow group as well. Thanks,

sli74

Sure!! I'm semi-embarrassed to admit this, but I chose the date I proposed based on the Old Farmer's Almanac's prediction for the weather that weekend.
It looks like so far most people are interested in a slow, leisurly hike of this beautiful trail. Great time of the year to do it, especially with the long days now.

donna
04-04-2004, 05:27 PM
I'm interested... this hike has been on my wish list. The first 2 weekends in May work best for me, or a mid day hike will work as well.

sli74
04-04-2004, 06:46 PM
Okay,

How about we make the May Gathering a Wapack End to End Hike?

I have been "counting" the votes for the May Gathering and because of everyone's vacation time combined with all the "holidays" and such, we are at an even split between the 8-9 of May and the 15-16 of May . . . However given that most of the folks riding in the TBTS Bike Ride will want to sleep comfortably the night before I think it would be best to schedule the "Gathering" for May 8-9 with the "event" for the gathering being this suggested end-to-end hike? Any interest? If people seem like they might want to do this I will post it on the Gathering thread. I am out of town for a while but I will check in when I get back and see what the consensus is . . .

sli74

Mark_151
04-04-2004, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by sli74
Okay,

How about we make the May Gathering a Wapack End to End Hike?

I have been "counting" the votes for the May Gathering and because of everyone's vacation time combined with all the "holidays" and such, we are at an even split between the 8-9 of May and the 15-16 of May . . . However given that most of the folks riding in the TBTS Bike Ride will want to sleep comfortably the night before I think it would be best to schedule the "Gathering" for May 8-9 with the "event" for the gathering being this suggested end-to-end hike? Any interest? If people seem like they might want to do this I will post it on the Gathering thread. I am out of town for a while but I will check in when I get back and see what the consensus is . . .

sli74

Sounds interesting. I was going to post the following proposal if there was alot interest in the end to end.

With Sli's idea, I'd like to take it a bit further. The mid-point of the hike, Windblown XC Center, has several shelters available for rent, as well as the base lodge. If there's interest, we could even do this as a 2 day hike and really go at a leisurly pace. I'd just have to do a little research to make sure overnight parking at the 2 trailheads is ok.

Here's what the Warming Hut looks like:



Warming Hut 1 (http://home.comcast.net/~wi1w/IMG_1932.JPG)

Warming Hut 2 (http://home.comcast.net/~wi1w/IMG_1933.JPG)

Warming Hut 3 (http://home.comcast.net/~wi1w/IMG_1934.JPG)

Warming Hut 4 (http://home.comcast.net/~wi1w/IMG_1935.JPG)

Mark

Mohamed Ellozy
04-04-2004, 10:22 PM
Hmm ...

I find the end to end challenging, hence interesting. Two days hiking some low hills sounds much less interesting.

Frosty
04-05-2004, 06:35 AM
Originally posted by Mark_151
I'd just have to do a little research to make sure overnight parking at the 2 trailheads is ok. Mark
Not sure if you mean "legal" or "safe" when you say "ok." It's legal, anyway, and probably as safe as any trailhead overnight parking. There's a parking lot at the southern end (Ashburnham). You have to park on the side of the road at North Pack.

Frosty

Mark_151
04-05-2004, 06:45 AM
Originally posted by Frosty

Not sure if you mean "legal" or "safe" when you say "ok." It's legal, anyway, and probably as safe as any trailhead overnight parking. There's a parking lot at the southern end (Ashburnham). You have to park on the side of the road at North Pack.

Frosty

I was talking legal. I wasn't sure if Old Mountain Road was legal to park overnight on.

In any case, Mohamed had an interesting point about making this an overnight trip. As it is now, there's only about 8 people interested in doing this. Not enough for a "Gathering", so unless the idea of a May Gathering takes off, I'm thinking we should keep this as a day hike. Now, a winter traverse with a rental of the Warming Hut would be interesting....

Mark

donna
04-05-2004, 07:21 AM
I'm in for a day hike.

MichaelJ
04-05-2004, 12:21 PM
I have a committment the evening of the 8th, so I can do it on the 9th as a day hike, or on the 8th if we start really early. :D

Mark_151
04-05-2004, 03:08 PM
Still trying to figure out how to make it work for the everyone. I didn't realize I was clashing with the Brain Tumor ride -- I wasn't following that thread for lack of road bike.

How would it work for people to push the hike up past the 15th & 16th? Nothing's tight here, I threw up the date just to get things rolling. I'd even do it Memorial Day weekend if there's interest. On the other end of the spectrum, I have next Friday thru Monday off, but it's hoplessly mud season and no fun there right now.


Mark

Hammerdee
04-05-2004, 03:34 PM
I have done this hike in early May and it is wonderful -- weather tends to be mild, but not hot, views are quite nice given a relative lack of vegetation. Our group finished in just over 10 hours going south to north.

I would love to do it again. May 8 or 9 works for me. As Mohammed suggests, doing over two days makes it less interesting.

Jim W
04-05-2004, 03:55 PM
Add me to the list, please, if you decide on a day hike.
Any weekend in May is good.
(reserve me a slot with the medium-to-slow grouping)

Jim Willette

Mark_151
04-05-2004, 04:04 PM
Wow! 10 people so far, pretty good turn out. So far, it looks like May 9th might work best for the most people, unless there's some suggestions to push it up later, or do it earlier.

We'll just see how this developes.

Mark

Stan
04-05-2004, 05:03 PM
Can't make this trip but what makes a two-day hike interesting for some is the opportunity to linger without regard to time. I recall some ledges and a pond on the stretch between Watatic and Windblown. Also, interesting is the challenge of a group gourmet dinner, together with an appropriate box of red campsite wine (guarantee it'll be a great vintage whatever it is!).

Since the group is building up in numbers and there develops a tendency to separate into fast, moderate and liesurely paces, some might wish to make a weekend out of this.

Mark_151
04-05-2004, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by Stan
Can't make this trip but what makes a two-day hike interesting for some is the opportunity to linger without regard to time. I recall some ledges and a pond on the stretch between Watatic and Windblown. Also, interesting is the challenge of a group gourmet dinner, together with an appropriate box of red campsite wine (guarantee it'll be a great vintage whatever it is!).

Since the group is building up in numbers and there develops a tendency to separate into fast, moderate and liesurely paces, some might wish to make a weekend out of this.

I could see this being an excellent 2 day hike in the middle of the winter. Watatic to Windblown with an unrushed start late morning. Dinner in the Warming Hut, followed by late-night XC around the trails and telemark in the moonlight down the open slope, the whole center to ourselves.....

Just in case there are some who would want to join in but do this as a 2 day, I checked with Windblown and they have just about all weekends in May open for the Warming Hut. The rates are reasonable -$14 perperson per night, max of $100.

arm
04-05-2004, 06:47 PM
Wapack Trail makes for a great day hike

overnight parking is fine in the southern lot off Route 119 in Ashburnham ... we've left cars there all night and never had problems

overnight parking at the northern terminus should be alright ... Old Mountain Road does not see heavy traffic, you can park your car on the side of the road ... NH Gazeteer or Wapack Trail Guide might help you find the trailhead

Wapack website has a rough trail map - you can order a better Wapack Trail Map and Guide from their website:
http://www.wapack.org

latest Wapack News says that there's logging near Binney Hill, north of Watatic ... might want to look into that

Watatic is a great mountain ! an easy day hike that provides very good views for very little effort ... walk over to the eastern summit and relax on the open ledges

we stumbled upon some great backpacking sites while exploring the old cross-country ski area a couple summers ago, and met the fine folks who now own the land

if you wait until late May, you might run into black fly season

a few other options:

Monadnock Sunapee Greenway (50 miles)
http://www.msgtc.org

Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsage Greenway (75 miles)
http://www.srkg.com

Midstate Trail (92 miles)
http://www.midstatetrail.org/hikes.htm

MichaelJ
04-05-2004, 08:31 PM
Oops - yeah, count me out for May 9th, that being Mother's Day. I'd be a dead man if I didn't visit Mom that day!
:eek:

I'd be good with weekends like the 23rd or Memorial Day...

Mark_151
04-06-2004, 05:21 AM
Originally posted by cantdog
Mothers Day is Sunday, 5/9. Though I have no children and my mother can be flexible, that day might not work for some.
Any thoughts??

Doing the whole trip in a single day would work for me, even if it is Mothers Day.

Yes, that's true. Then, how does 5/8 work for everybody? I know it'll be a problem for Michaelj, unless he's up for an epic :D

If that date doesn't work, perhaps the first weekend in May, Memorial Day Weekend, or we could try June?

Mark

Mohamed Ellozy
04-06-2004, 07:01 AM
Originally posted by Mark_151
Then, how does 5/8 work for everybody?Mark,

I wonder if you will accept some advice from someone who has a lot of experience arranging hikes with friends ...

You will NEVER find a date which suits everybody. Get an idea of what seems to work, then choose a date. Those who can make it come, those who can't don't. It's as simple as that.

From my perspective the trip loses much of its attraction if pushed into June. Why hike in the southern hills once Mud Season is over and I can hike in the Whites?

Mark_151
04-06-2004, 07:09 AM
Originally posted by Mohamed Ellozy
Mark,

I wonder if you will accept some advice from someone who has a lot of experience arranging hikes with friends ...

You will NEVER find a date which suits everybody. Get an idea of what seems to work, then choose a date. Those who can make it come, those who can't don't. It's as simple as that.

From my perspective the trip loses much of its attraction if pushed into June. Why hike in the southern hills once Mud Season is over and I can hike in the Whites?

Thanks for the advice Mohamed. This is the reason I put the proposal up at this time, so I could get an idea of what would work with the grouip that responded before we set a date. It's looking more like the weekend of the 8th will be that date.

I agree with keeping the trip in May rather than June, but for different reasons. Hiking season is almost over for me -- pretty soon it's mountain biking and after work hikes on the Wapack and maybe rock climbing until the snow flies again and the crowds LEAVE the Whites!

Babysteps
04-06-2004, 07:32 AM
HI,
Michelle told me about this site yesterday, so this is my first posting. I would love to join in on the Wapak hike. Weekdays usually work better for me. But the weekend of the 8th also works for me!

Mark_151
04-06-2004, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by SherpaKroto
I'm interested in this hike, assuming I'm sufficiently recovered. It's been slow... The 8th works fine for me, and a day hike would be preferable with a very early start (for me).

Might make sense to have multiple car spots: one at Miller State Park (to be safe), one at each end. This hike would work quite well as a key swap hike: some heading north, some heading south, meeting at an agreed upon location (beer) after the hike;)

I think in deference to Mohamed's input, as well as for my and everyone else's sanity, I'm going to set the date for this hike as May 8th. We can see who will make that date and work out the logistics from there.

I'm thinking on the multiple spots, we could put a car or two at or near Windblown at the halfway point. I can call and ask permission to use their lot. I work in Greenville, also at the halfway point, and know of a fairly decent place we can meet (beer, food). Specifically, The Red Brick Inn. There's other alternatives around as well.

chomp
04-06-2004, 08:02 AM
I'd be interested in the weekend of the 8th and 9th. I could hike it on either day, and would be willing to stay at the warming hut for the weekend.

John S
04-06-2004, 09:18 AM
I'm also interested. Either day or both, day trip or overnight.

donna
04-06-2004, 11:01 AM
A day hike on May 8th works for me. I'll be there.

Babysteps
04-06-2004, 12:30 PM
Count me in! I would love to join you on the 8th!

Mark_151
04-06-2004, 04:03 PM
Ok, the trip is officially set for May 8th. Can everyone who will be going please PM me so I can compile an "official" list? We can start figuring out how the trip will work, say about the 1st week in May. So far, I have 14 people, including me, who are interested. We'll have to figure out if this will be a shuttle or key-swap style of hike, or a combination of the two
.
I'd like to eventually get an email list going so we can figure out how to make this work, unless everyone wants to keep the discussion on this thread.

FWIW, I did a quick hike up Watatic after work today, and the trail looked great, despite the 6 inches of rain last week. If it's indicative of the whole trail, there's really no "mud season" happening out there.

Mark

MichaelJ
04-06-2004, 05:30 PM
Since I have to be in formalwear at the Museum of Science at 6:30, it depends on how early we start and how long we expect the hike to take. I may coordinate a car spot with someone and leave my car at the halfway point so I can bail out and head home.

You know, every time I actually go ahead and commit to an event, somebody schedules a hike the same day. I'm cursed.
:mad:

Mark_151
04-06-2004, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by arm
you have to pay to park your car at Miller State Park lot, right ?

not sure whether leaving a car there for a "real early" start would mean missing the fee collector, whether they tow or ticket cars that didn't pay, etc

you could spot a car off Temple Road, near the old shack in Sharon NH (free parking):
http://www.wapack.org/map.html

here are a few pics from our Wapack trek last fall:
http://www.ofoto.com/BrowsePhotos.jsp?&collid=62196559705&page=1&sort_order=0

you should contact Friends of the Wapack to find out about the logging operation near Binney Hill Road ... it gets muddy in that area

I think we'll want to spot the cars on Old Mountain Road. There's another little detail because this trip will be on a Saturday -- that area can get VERY busy on the weekends, as well as the Watatic parking area, so a very early rendezvous and shuttle placement will be mandatory.

Good point on the logging operations, I will check with FOW, but that notice has been on the website for months now. I will contact Windblown and see if I can get permission to spot a car or two there.

Dugan
04-07-2004, 01:03 PM
Since it's a one day hike on the weekend, I'd like to join if no one minds someone new to VFTT. I've thought about doing this but haven't had a way to spot a car at the other end.

Frosty
04-07-2004, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Mark_151
Good point on the logging operations, I will check with FOW, but that notice has been on the website for months now. I will contact Windblown and see if I can get permission to spot a car or two there. When I hiked it last November, there was one spot a little tricky due to logging. Vehicles had widened the trail somewhat and I almost missed the turn (to the right) where Wapack Trail turned but logging vehicles/machinery kept straight. Otherwise, not a problem except for esthetics.

Frosty

Mark_151
04-07-2004, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Frosty
When I hiked it last November, there was one spot a little tricky due to logging. Vehicles had widened the trail somewhat and I almost missed the turn (to the right) where Wapack Trail turned but logging vehicles/machinery kept straight. Otherwise, not a problem except for esthetics.

Frosty

If that's the stretch from Watatic to Binney Pond, it was seriously ralphed when I did the section 10 years ago. Probably always has been, always will.

I have Friday-Monday off Patriot's Day weekend. I'm going to go hike the section to Binney Pond and maybe to Pratt to see how it looks.

Mark

Woody
04-11-2004, 12:49 PM
My brother and I did this hike last April, staying overnight at the high shelter at Windblown Ski Area. Other than the fact that it rained all weekend, we enjoyed the hike. The shelters at Windblown are well maintained. There are some nice views from the ledges and summits of the "small hills". Have fun!

chiptrnr
04-13-2004, 06:50 PM
Ok, the trip is officially set for May 8th.

Sorry I can't be there. I haven't done a E2E on the Wapack in 3-4 years. May 8 is the date of the Taconic Crest E2E. The TCT is 35 miles with 6-7000' elevation gain.

There is a Wapack Double on either 4/24 or 4/25. Here's some info:

Deb and Steve Pero are planning on running a double Wapack on next weekend, April 24th or 25th. The distance is approx 45 miles of rugged single track trail, the pace will be comfortable, meaning slow. We will walk the hills and run the downs...it'll be very much like a 100 mile run. Last year it took 16 hours, finishing well after dark

audrey
04-15-2004, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the warning about next weekend. I've several times experienced trying to hike during these group runs: I'll go elsewhere.

brianW
04-16-2004, 12:30 PM
Mark, the shoulder where the Wapack crosses rt124 (near Windblown) is fairly large and a few cars can park in the area without a problem. I would love to go along but will be teaching that morning.

Mark_151
04-16-2004, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by brianW
Mark, the shoulder where the Wapack crosses rt124 (near Windblown) is fairly large and a few cars can park in the area without a problem. I would love to go along but will be teaching that morning.

Thanks Brian

I got permission from Windblown to use their parking lot for the trip.

Mark

amstony
04-24-2004, 08:08 PM
I am new to the VFTT, so if it is not tool late I would not mind joining the Wapack end to end hike. :) Add me onto the list if it is not too late! This is a good prep for the continuation of the 4K Whites list.

Mark_151
04-25-2004, 05:46 AM
Originally posted by amstony
I am new to the VFTT, so if it is not tool late I would not mind joining the Wapack end to end hike. :) Add me onto the list if it is not too late! This is a good prep for the continuation of the 4K Whites list.

Hi

I better make it official on the VFTT board. The hike is full-up, and we are in the planning stages now on an email list. I'll put you on a reserve list, however.

Mark

Babysteps
04-26-2004, 04:49 AM
Hi,
I am new to this, but I was interested in the Wapak hike. I did reply a few weeks ago, but not sure if it was full at that time? Can I join the hike?

ultrastevep
04-26-2004, 01:43 PM
Chip mentioned about our little group run/hike that happened this past Saturday. We had 7 runners, 6 who made it all the way.

We started at Miller SP so that we could use that as an aid drop, we (my wife and I) also placed a cooler with some aid at the small parking area across from Windblown.

We did the North out and back first from Miller, then after resupplying, headed out to do the longer southern out and back to Mt Watatic. We added the Cliff Trail for some variety on the return trip.

Our front runner did it in under 12 hours and the rest of us staggered in at different times. Our goal was to finish by dark, which my wife and I did, starting at 6AM and finishing at 8:02.

It was a great training run/hike for our upcoming Rocky Mountain trip and we took some pictures which you are free to go view at

http://community.webshots.com/album/137573298ODJPjx

I was wondering what the group's feeling is regarding runners on the trail...even though we probabaly hike about 50% of it.

Thanks,
ultrastevep

SherpaKroto
04-27-2004, 08:24 AM
Runners on the trail? Well, they come and go a lot faster than anyone else, so other than the initial shock you feel when they come up the trail (similar to starting a grouse), I've no problem with them. Heck, it's not my trail, and they have as much right to it as I do.

sli74
04-27-2004, 10:40 AM
I agree with Sherpa ;)
and Neighbor Dave of course :D :D :D

Barry Sr
04-27-2004, 11:14 AM
Trail Runners always make me want to look back the rest of the trip to make sure they weren't escaping from the jaws of a bear.:D

dundare
05-03-2004, 06:10 PM
Ack, the 8th has been selected. Oh well, have fun!