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Thread: The Winter 48 in About a Week

  1. #1
    Senior Member ferrisjrf's Avatar
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    Apr 2008

    The Winter 48 in About a Week

    Companion to this thread.

    If my beautiful prose ain’t your thing, here’s the good stuff:
    - Pics from days 1 and 2
    - Pics from days 3 and 4
    - Pics from days 5 and 6
    - Pics from days 7 and 8

    If you don’t do Snapfish, you can use the following info for access:
    Password: 1person

    Hale, 1/18/10
    Garfield Ridge Trail, 1/19/10
    Carrigain, 1/20/10
    Bondcliff, 1/21/10
    Bondcliff (another view), 1/21/10
    Guyot, 1/21/10
    South Twin, 1/21/10

    Saturday, 1/16: On the trail towards Isolation at 6:20AM. It went quickly. The way back was weird. I felt like some kinda loser celebrity from a reality TV show, meeting tons of people on the trail, all of whom seemed to know what we were up to. It got our spirits up, but it felt odd, knowing how far we were from our final destination.

    Wildcats → Moriah went pretty smoothly. Mats had some cramping issues as we headed up Carter Dome, but pushed through that pretty well. Moriah was a bit of a challenge, partly unbroken, in the dark…but Stony Brook went fast, and I think we all felt pretty good when returning to Cruddy’s place.

    Sunday, 1/17: Prezzie Traverse. We looked at this as one of our easy days, and it went pretty well. Great weather to Washington, low visibility thereafter. Easy moving, though. Snowshoes all day. The most time consuming part was getting through the small piece of unbroken trail just north of Jackson. After finding the huge blowdown on the north end that was screwing everyone up, we had a pretty easy job, until we got to within a mile of the bogs. That’s when we just resorted to crawling on our bellies under all the bent over fir. Fun stuff.

    Monday, 1/18: Waumbek, Cabot, Hale. All pretty uneventful. A little trail breaking, but not much. We had Gillian and MEB with us for Hale, which was very cool.

    Tuesday, 1/19: Garfield, Franconia Ridge, Owl’s Head. Started real slow, as Mats and I both had some foot issues. I was using Mats’ Kahtoola Flight Deck snowshoe system for the first time, and had to perform some trailside surgery on my trail runners to get things to work smoothly. Once performed, though, we were on our way. After Garfield, Ryan and I had a pretty easy time until we reached tree line…and maybe 20ft visibility. Getting to Little Haystack took a while, but after that, we cruised pretty well along the ridge. The wack down from the Liberty/Flume col (the Roing Route? ) didn’t go quite as fast as when we’d done it in daylight, but we were on Lincoln Brook Trail within about 1.5 hours, so not bad. The Owl’s Head climb was slow. The descent was fast. The walk out sucked. Went to the “new” summit. Late night.

    Wednesday, 1/20: We made quick work of the Willey Range before heading over to Carrigain. We took a while between hikes, mostly eating and drinking. Reached the Carrigain summit right at dark, but the out was quick and painless. Early night!

    Thursday, 1/21: Bonds, Zealand, Twins, Galehead. This day provided some of our best views. The Bonds and Guyot were gorgeous. Zealand…well, it was Zealand. South Twin to North Twin was a little tricky, picking our way through all the snow laden trees. We met Mats on our way back to South Twin, and hiked the remainder of the day with him. Sunset from the Twins was amazing. Galehead proved to be more challenging than expected, as there were a couple spurious paths. Once we got on the right one, though, it was a pretty quick ascent. Then came one of the most annoying outs of the week. Gale River Trail sucked…bad. We were happy to get back to Beaver Brook and into a warm car.

    Friday, 1/22: Cannon went well. Then we ran into our first real challenge. We saw that the Cannon Balls appeared to be broken out, so we decided to head over to the Kinsmans that way. It ended up that the tracks, after going over the first Ball, turned north, where skiers had been skiing some glades out that way. So we had to decide whether to go back to where we’d come, head down to Lonesome Lake, and back up Fishin’ Jimmy…or continue on over the Balls. We made a decision to break trail. Ryan broke the whole way.

    When we reached packed trail a couple hours later, I told Ryan that he should go on ahead of me. I knew he’d be able to get the Kinsmans, Osceolas, and Hancocks, and still get out at a reasonable hour, if he went balls-out. I knew that it would take me until probably midnight. And I knew we had a big day on Saturday. So the decision was made, and he went ahead. It was weird to hike solo for the remainder of the day, after spending so many hours with Ryan (and Mats), but it was cool, as I saw him and Rebecca on East Osceola later in the day. Osceola provided another amazing sunset. I got home early, and enjoyed the company of Mats and Dr. D for a while, before greeting a stoned-looking Ryan (led by Rebecca), fresh off the Hancocks, at around 10PM.

    Saturday, 1/23: Moosilauke was beautiful, as usual, with the perfectly graded Gorge Brook Trail providing a great warm up. Charles met us near the Lodge, and skied back with us while we plodded along in our snowshoes. We then raced over to Tecumseh, and made quick work of that. Charles and Drewski met us on our way down, and we laughed our azzes off, as Charles tried to tele down WV on edgeless BC skis, and Drewski used his sled to fly down the mountain.

    Charles then skied down Livermore Trail with us until Scaur Ridge, where we parted ways. About up Scaur, we met Mats and Rebecca coming down. After a brief update on trail conditions, we were on our way. I was feeling pretty fresh, with the extra rest I’d gotten the day before. Ryan was a little tired, but still didn’t have a problem keeping up. Tripyramids were fun, if a little slick in spots. Rollins Trail descending Whiteface was probably the low point of the night for me. Conditions were a little less than ideal, but not terrible. We dropped our packs at the Dicey Mill intersection, and plodded our way up to Passaconaway. The summit was very emotional for both of us, and we shared a special moment where we farted simultaneously right at the summit, causing both of us to shed a tear.

    After returning to our packs, we packed up our snowshoes, and took off running down towards the trailhead. We slowed a couple times on some of the small uphills, but it was mostly a good run all the way to the end…where Mats, Rebecca, Gillian, and Dave Bear were waiting for us…with food and beer! We didn’t get back to Twin Mountain until nearly 2AM, but when we did, we enjoyed an(other) awesome dinner provided by Christine (Chinook Trail).

    Sunday, 1/23: Got up at about 7:30AM. Cleaned and packed up the cottage. Had a couple more beers. Hit the Hancocks trail around noon: myself, Ryan, Gillian, Rebecca, Kim, Hui Yeng, and Mike. Mike had brought 2 Swiss Bobs, so I had a wicked fun descent with the sled and an axe. It was more work than boot-skiing, but it was more fun too, and certainly more fun for everyone to watch.

    Tally on damaged gear:
    - 1 pair MSR Denali Ascent snowshoes (1 binding broke)
    - 1 pair MSR Denali Evo Ascent snowshoes (both bindings broke)
    - 1 pair MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes (1 binding cracked)
    - 1 pair Microspikes (torn rubber)
    - 1 pair EMS softshell short gaiters (ripped by Lightning Ascent snowshoe)
    - 1 pair TNF Storm Peak boots (surgical “repairs” prolonged their life, but we lost the patient)

    Huge, huge, huge thanks to:
    - Mats; who put this all together, and is probably the nicest guy I’ve ever met…even if he likes weird music ;-)
    - Ryan; who I didn’t want to kill after 200+ miles (and who motivates me to push harder than I ever would on my own)
    - Gillian, Rebecca & MEB; who did lots of cooking and preparing…and dealt well with our tiredness, stupid inside jokes, and weird smells
    - Cruddy Toes; for the amazing hospitality for our first 3 nights
    - Charles (Youngblood); for providing great motivation on that final day
    - Mike and Ginny; for providing food and drinks, and a place to stay last night
    - Kim & Hui Yeng; for the beers at the end of our Prezzie Traverse, and on the Hancocks
    - Whatever forces control the weather. We owe you!

    And much respect to Frodo, Stinky, Tim, and Cath...all of whom set the bar pretty high, making this kinda thing all that much more fun. I'm sure we wouldn't have pushed as hard as we did, if we hadn't had the motivation provided by the spirit of competition.

    I apologize if I forgot anyone or anything. It was a long week. Great time, though, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. A Hut-to-Hut attempt might have to suffice for now, though.

    Last edited by ferrisjrf; 01-26-2010 at 12:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dave Bear's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Brookline, NH Avatar:Ice Cave on Cascade Brook
    Pretty long trip report for you Jason but definitely in order for this event! You guys have kept us on the edge of our seats all week long, hoping for safe journeys, wondering how the weather would treat you, certainly unsure how anyone could keep the momentum you guys mustered for so long! Its great to read your report and check out the terrific pictures of your journey knowing you're all safe and had a fun time. Really was worried about how FRT and the whack would go when the weather was turning and its probably good that Ryan made another pass through before you started. How much time do you think average hikers would take going down "Roings Route" in its present condition? Its different then a whack of Joe Green's I wanted to try but in the same neighborhood.

    Congrats to the team, supporters, Mats, You and especially Ryan for a record-setting week on the summits! Shake and Bake Baby!
    Last edited by Dave Bear; 01-26-2010 at 12:55 AM.
    The heart of the journey is in the path not the peak!

  3. #3
    Senior Member leaf's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    nice job, boys. you did enough winter hiking for me now, so i don't have to! thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Bloomville, New York
    I'll never write another Winter TR again!

    Well, maybe not for a while...!
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
    Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO - Views and Brews

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Bloomville, New York
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrisjrf View Post
    Companion to this thread.
    I thought this was one of the best TC's ever!
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
    Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO - Views and Brews

  6. #6
    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Waterville Valley, NH

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the GREAT trip report and details of the journey. Sharing your emotional highs and lows provides a realism and greater understanding of the mental challenges you faced beyond the physical. I think this record will stand up for quite some time if not forever!
    It's the journey, not the destination

  7. #7
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Kill Kaso, MA
    Very Cool. Ryan and JF, very excellent job. Nice report, JF. Pretty awesome all around...

    -Dr. Wu
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  8. #8
    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    White Mountains, NH
    Truly inspirational. Wow.
    [B][SIZE=3]Patricia Ellis Herr (TRISH...ALEX...SAGE)

    Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it. --Chinese proverb.

    For more info about The Terrifying 25, contact me at or search for The Terrifying 25 on Facebook.

  9. #9
    Senior Member FARMER's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    awesome report. made me feel like i was on the trail with you. greenies are in the mail.

  10. #10
    Senior Member michael's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Richmond Maine on the mighty Kennebec!


    wicked cool!!
    MATC VP and Assistant Overseer Baldpate District NEHH/March 2004 100/100 WNEHH March 2013
    48/48 W48 74/115 208/451 etc...Freeport Grittys & Liberal Cup Mug Member

  11. #11
    Junior Member Curious1's Avatar
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    May 2009
    The accomplishment is amazing, that you did a trip report with video and pics all ready is unbelievable!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member mookie's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    south burlington, VT
    Quote Originally Posted by Curious1 View Post
    The accomplishment is amazing, that you did a trip report with video and pics all ready is unbelievable!!
    I think it is amazing that they didnt drive each other nuts! Jason can get old, real fast (well i wouldnt really know that because i cant keep up with him on hikes)!

    Pretty crazy to think the prezzie traverse was your "easy" day!
    Last edited by mookie; 01-26-2010 at 09:30 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mtnpa's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    The record is kinda cool. But records are made to be broken.
    What's really impressive is the "Passaconaway Salute"
    Be a long tome before anyone can top that.
    Curiosity won out over good sense. We had a plan...

  14. #14
    Senior Member DiamondRidge's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Great job guys!
    Hiker pick up line...
    "You know, I've always found bruised legs, short nails and three days without a shower dead sexy."

    NH 48 2010
    MooseMaiden 34/48
    Waterhorse 4/48

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Some people thump their chest when they accomplish a big goal.
    But some people write things like this:
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrisjrf View Post
    And much respect to Frodo, Stinky, Tim, and Cath...all of whom set the bar pretty high, making this kinda thing all that much more fun. I'm sure we wouldn't have pushed as hard as we did, if we hadn't had the motivation provided by the spirit of competition.
    That shows a lot of class.

    Trip pictures

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