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Thread: The Bonds (well, two of 'em)

  1. #1
    Member Kurchian's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Reading, MA

    The Bonds (well, two of 'em)

    Along with Squashman, headed up the Gale River Trail to Galehead Hut for a planned ascent of the Bonds the following day.

    The hike in was unevenful. The first half of the Gale River Trail is relatively flat and boulder free. I enjoy following rivers and criss-crossing them. The sound of the rivers adds to the woods experience.

    We arrived at the hut and scooted up Galehead to bag that. As we were relaxing at the hut we learned that a hiker had injured an ankle and required assistance. She was at the trail intersection of Gale River and Garfield Ridge. I couldn't help be impressed at the hard work of the Galehead croo as they rushed out with a litter and a posse of volunteers to assist the injured party. Perhaps someone involved in the rescue will comment on this.

    Day two began with that steep ascent of South Twin Mountain. I can never figure out whether that stetch of trail is better at the beginning of the day when I am fresh or later in the day when I am into a rhythm. We followed the Twinway towards Guyot and found the trail muddy in spots, but passable. The black flies were bad throughout most of the Twinway, a bit unusual for late July, in my experience.

    I really like how the Twinway skirts Guyot. That stretch of trail is unusual as it passes through the talus on the way to the Bondlciff junction. We headed south on the Bondlciff Trail and took the spur up to West Bond. We were beginning to tire and have concerns about weather along the Bondcliff ridge area. After retracing our steps along the West Bond spur we paused and diescussed whether we should continue onto Bond. In the end we decided to as we had come that far and it would be a shame to have lost the opportunity.

    We reached Bond and turned around and began retracing our steps back to Galehead. We had originally hoped to summit each of the three Bonds but a slow pace and the less than perfect shape of two mid-50's three-times-a-year hikers caused us to head back. We got back to Galehead at supper time and settled in to the evening hut routine after our day on the trail.

    I particularly enjoyed the evening naturalist talk by Celina on fir waves, a phenomena that only occurs two places in the world - the Whites and Japan! Ask Celina about it when you visit Galehead.

    Day three saw us go back down Gale River Trail to our car. Number 38 & 39 for me, but now I am worried about how the heck to get Bondcliff. I'm dissapointed that we didn't nab it, but I know my limits. My last "death march" resulted in a badly sprained ankle.
    Last edited by Kurchian; 07-29-2006 at 02:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mohamed Ellozy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Brookline, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurchian
    Number 38 & 39 for me, but now I am worried about how the heck to get Bondcliff.
    Bondcliff alone from the Kanc is a long slog with moderate elevation gain (18.2 miles, 3,100 feet, book time 10:40). An early start and a slow pace will do it qute easily.

    Since questions about how to get the Bonds are very common here I have described most options (dayhikes, backpacks, hut based trips) in the Bonds and Zealand section of my web site.

  3. #3
    Member Kurchian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Reading, MA
    I rely quite extensively on your outstanding site, Mohamed. The information you've compiled for 4000-foot baggers is unmatched on the web. The organization and presentation is excellent.

    In fact, the book time you quote for three Bonds from Galehead is what concerned me. You note that book time is 7:35. I did only west Bond and Bond and my time was approximately 9 hours. When I stood on Mt. Bond and considered what the extrapolated time for me would have been had I added Bondcliff I realized that I was surpassing my limits.

    I am going to consider your suggestion of going in via the Lincoln Woods Trail. Although I am not an experienced camper i will also research the tentsites in the Bondcliff Trail area as well for an overnight option.

  4. #4
    Member Squashman's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    I'll offer some brief observations about the carryout Kurchian mentions. It was a stunning display of competence by the young croo members of the Galehead Hut. Between securing volunteers, coordinating the rendezvous with New Hampshire Fish and Game staff and their volunteers, tending to the injured hiker, and teaching us how to effect the carryout, the 3 croo members really had their hands full (if you'll pardon the pun )

    At first there were only about 7-8 volunteers but as we began the work we were joined by volunteers from all directions, including an AT thru-hiker named Eagle Eye, who is a medical doctor - imagine the odds of finding a doc in such a situation. Eventually there were about 16-18 of us involved, including two very strong young women.

    Dan (?)the Hutmaster determined that we carried her for a mile down the Gale River Trail before handing her off the teh folks coming up to meet us. I have been unable to find any information about what the outcome of her story might be

    Lessons I can share:

    1) the more volunteers the merrier;
    2) some other kind of exercise the strengthen my forearms is required than what I have been doing for the last several years if I am to be prepared to repeat the experience;
    3) be younger! as I was among the last to make it back to the hut I am pretty sure that I had taxed my body to the limit

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