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View Full Version : I don't bushwhack, but wait. I want vose spur!



sierra
04-01-2013, 12:50 PM
What would you hardened bushwacker's response be to my need and chances for Vose Spur. My Bio, 30+ years on the high peaks ( both here and out west) yet I never bushwhack. I do cross country out west, but it is open terrain for the most part. I can read a map, can use a compass and have a great sense of direction. I would wait for the snow to be gone completely. I understand this is a tough peak, but I just want to climb it. What would you rate my chances? I defer to the experts.

bikehikeskifish
04-01-2013, 12:53 PM
Vose Spur is pretty straightforward, complete with good terrain features and a some herd paths to follow. It was one of my first BWs and I did not find it difficult at all.

Tim

Tom Rankin
04-01-2013, 01:49 PM
Just remember, up is usually easier navigation wise. There are '359' wrong ways to descend. :D But as long as you head back roughly in the direction you came, you should be fine. If you search the board, there are some TRs that talk about routes, including a rubble slide approach.

Bombadil
04-01-2013, 02:06 PM
100%. Start just after the big rocks, don't aim for the summit and instead head straight up to intercept the ridge (in January I intentionally wanted to hit the ridge nice and low and set out due west and was on the ridge within half an hour at 2700 ft). From there the mostly open ridge will lead you right up to the talus field where there's just 20 minutes of steep woods between you and the summit. Nice views from the talus field too.

peakbagger
04-01-2013, 03:02 PM
Whatever you do, dont take the "easy way" from the summit of Carrigan, the stretch from Carrigan to Vose Spur was some pretty intense whackin when I did it years ago which negated any savings in reduced off trail mileage.
Maybe it has changed but not on my list of favorites.

I used to hike with someone who did off trail in the Smokies , required gear was knee pads, leather gloves and eye protection. sometimes they did as muhc crawling as walking to get through rhododedron thickets.

Kevin Rooney
04-01-2013, 03:45 PM
Sierra - just for grins - would you care to share with us why you've decided on Vose Spur as your first bushwhack? I was up there this fall with some friends, and remembered why it had been at least a dozen years since I'd been there last ...

sierra
04-01-2013, 04:56 PM
Sierra - just for grins - would you care to share with us why you've decided on Vose Spur as your first bushwhack? I was up there this fall with some friends, and remembered why it had been at least a dozen years since I'd been there last ...

The mountain looks nice for one, sometimes Im in an area like say the Sierras, and I see a mountain and just want to climb it. I have also as a long time member of this board, read many TR that seem to indicate its a great climb. Alot of guy's and gal's out here Know enough about mountains, I figure maybe thier on to something. Lastly, I like exploration in the mountains, after all these years, maybe something new would be fun.

dave.m
04-01-2013, 06:20 PM
Do you have smaller parcels of land to practice on?

I found it took a while to get comfortable moving thru the woods with just compass and map. My grandfather got me hunting and backcountry skiing in local park lands also helped.

I rely heavily on mental map guardrails. Find the roadways that make the boundary and keep that in mind and its pretty hard to get horribly lost.

The bigger challenge is getting to peace of mind. I've had several hiking buds sort of wig out when off trail. Mostly a matter of exposure. Take numerous small trips locally to get used to it.

sierra
04-01-2013, 07:28 PM
Do you have smaller parcels of land to practice on?

I found it took a while to get comfortable moving thru the woods with just compass and map. My grandfather got me hunting and backcountry skiing in local park lands also helped.

I rely heavily on mental map guardrails. Find the roadways that make the boundary and keep that in mind and its pretty hard to get horribly lost.

The bigger challenge is getting to peace of mind. I've had several hiking buds sort of wig out when off trail. Mostly a matter of exposure. Take numerous small trips locally to get used to it.

When I stated that I never bushwack, I was referring to major peaks. I have spent alot of time traveling through the woods. When in my twenties, I hunted in the Whites, could hunt for many hours and walk out without using a compass, never far from where we parked. For year's I have made hiking stick's out of beaver sticks, my supply generally come's from coloney's located off the Kanc, some are quite a distance in. Your suggestion of " mental map gaurdrails" is a great one and its a Technique Ive used many times. I laughed though when you mentioned your wigged out friend. When I was focused on technical climbing in the 90's, me and my partner where bushwacking off Dugway road, looking for the then new "Crag Y" in hope's of putting up some FA. Anyway, on the way back out, I lost my way for a time. I turned to my buddy and said " Bud what do have for food and water? '' He looked at me and said " never mind that shit, do your thing and get me out of here asap!". I found a brook and low and behold my happy friend bought me a pizza at Elvio's later that day.:D

RoySwkr
04-04-2013, 06:31 PM
Going up, the big thing is to avoid the beginner's mistake of starting the bushwhack too soon and winding up on Signal Ridge instead of Vose Spur :-)

The summit is flattish compared to the hike up, wander till you find the canister or bring a GPS

Going down, it's a shorter walk out if you go down the Sawyer River side instead of the Pemi side :-)

The navigation is trivial if you know how to use a compass or GPS, in clear weather you can orient yourself with surrounding peaks and don't even need those

There are some thick areas particularly higher up so try a cool day when you can wear more clothes, if you have fun there are dozens of nicer summits with no trails in NH

Stan
04-05-2013, 12:10 PM
After poring over a topo map we did the same route as Bombadil and found it a comparatively easy and straightforward bushwhack without dense fir etc. to iterally whack through. This was before GPS and we relied on map, compass and a crude altimeter as we have for many bushwhacks. We found a few herd paths, including some obviously traveled by moose, all converging towards the summit, i.e. they all ran generally perpendicular to the contour. Getting there was half the fun and a summmit register is always a point of pride ... and relief.

Nearby Nancy was an even easier bushwhack as the herd path, once you locate it near Norcross Pond, was next best thing to a trail except there were no waterbars or drainage so I wouldn't be surprised if today it is not only hardened but eroded in places.

sierra
04-06-2013, 12:51 PM
Thanks everyone for the great intel on Vose Spur. I will make the ascent when the snow is gone, I'm really looking foward toward the climb. I do not use GPS, never even held one, but feel my compass and using the surrounding terrain will be more then sufficient. Oh one more thing, thanks Stan, Nancy just made my list.