I'll try to keep this short. My 14 yo son Eric and I met up with my brother in law and nephew on Thurs PM. We dropped a car at the Imp TH and went back to PNVC where we started our first hike, up the Wildcat Ridge Tr to Carter Notch. The weather clouded up on our ascent and by time we arrived at Wildcat, it was socked in and we never could see down into the Notch. This day was rather non-descript and we felt rushed because we had to make dinner by 6 at the Hut. This hike took us 4 hours. Emily, Dominique and Lindsey were great hostesses and my was the beef stroganoff tasty! A very comfortable night sleeping until about 5am when the mice became active and yes they found my gorp in my pack.
The next morning, the clouds broke and we finally saw the gorgeous site of Carter Notch. What a place!! We tackled the Carters on Day 2 via Hight and descended via Imp Face which is another little gem. This one took us 7h45m with some summit time included. We spent the next two nights at Joe Dodge Lodge - not bad facilities but it was very hot and stuffy due to the weather.
Day 3 plans were to hike the Osceolas so that the in-laws could make a quick escape after. Saturday had to be the hottest hiking day I ever remember. We ascended from the Kanc via Greeley Pond Tr and the ascent of EO was one of the toughest vertical stretches I can remember (a double whammy). I have never sweat so much hiking either and worst of all, I brought no extra shirt - yuck. The summit of Osceola is really beautiful except for the firetower foundation remnants (can we get rid of these?) Bagged these two in about 6 hrs.
Well, with the in-laws gone, Eric and I decided we'd just see how conditions were the next day and then just go for it. Deep inside, he wanted to do Washington and Monroe so that he would be caught up with me on the 48 tally. However that evening t-stms rolled thru and then again over night they rumbled and it looked like we would have to make alternate plans. I awoke at 4:30am to see stars twinkling in the sky so I woke Eric up and told him that we'd go for it. With a 5:10am start with headlamps, we climbed up the Tuck Trail and getting to Hermit Shelters was nothing. But the skies above brewed with the clouds hanging over the rim of the ravine. But what the hell, we had the gear so up we went. The winds continued to swirl and the temp was dropping noticeably on ascent. Just above Alpine Garden Tr, the rocks really got slippery and at one point Eric slipped and jambed his knee onto a rock - that not being so bad but he hit a rock with a small knob sticking out right square on the knee cap. We sat for five minutes until the pain subsided and we knew there was no serious injury, but I told him to keep moving or it would stiffen up. He charged up the summit cone like a trooper. The summit conditions at the time of arrival around 8:40 was 50 degrees, winds NW @ 45-65 and visibility about 50 feet. But we loved it all! After the coffee/cookie/potty break, down Crawford Path to the LOC Hut and Monroe. Then we went out via Boott Spur where the clouds still hung above the ravine but we had a wind-aided descent. The entire hike took us 8h40m.
What a great weekend despite the less than optimal weather conditions. My son and I have completed the ADK46 and now have climbed 23 of 48. Being that we are from Pittsburgh, PA, we only get 2 or 3 trips a year to hike so when we do get there, we make the best of it. We already have next year's first weekend planned - Day 1 Garfield and Galehead with a stay at Galehead Hut, Day 2 the Twins, 3 Bonds and Zealand and stay at Zealand Hut, Day 3 out via Hale. Now, we only have to wait 9 months...
I am so jealous of all of you who live so close by.