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Thread: Winter Finale March 18, 19, 20 2010

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    Senior Member michael's Avatar
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    Winter Finale March 18, 19, 20 2010 NH/VT

    Winter ‘09-‘10 Finale
    Took a couple days off to do a little last minute winter peak bagging.

    Day 1 Mt Tecumseh: Took a leisurely drive to Waterville Valley from Richmond on a sunny and warm winter day. Barely a cloud in the sky and temps at the trailhead hover in the 60’s. Too hot already and so I lose the fleece pants that I drove over in and don the shorts and long johns – this too would prove too hot but I wanted to get moving.
    The going was steady and the snow easy to work with the snowshoes and soon I was at the ski area view and obliged myself with a view to the tripyramids

    After a few more bursts of energy I top out at the junction with the Sosman trail.


    My plan was to get up top for some extended summit time. Have a beer and maybe crash out in the sun. Well I did enjoy a cold beverage,
    but never got around to lazing in the sun as the clouds were starting to mass. Also, the extensive snowpack provided a needed boost to the general vftt.


    Great view into the pemi and Franconia ridges. ‘What a day for a Pemi Loop’ I mumble to myself…

    Sue R. and Chuck join me a little later and we have a fun chat about winter hiking and various folks and groups that we hike with. The more I hike in NH the more I seem to meet folks that know folks that I know or know folks that know folks that I know - been a busy winter for me in the socializing department. Hiking in Maine generally means hiking more offline…

    So Sue and Chuck head down and I kill another half hour up top. Reason being, I am to meet pete and andy in West Lebanon around 7:30pm so I wanted max summit time. Turns out I should have stayed another hour, however I am starting to chill a little from all the hanging around and I descend in soft snow and cooling temps higher up to icey crusted remnants near the trailhead. And still pretty warm.

    The drive to West Leb is uneventful, meet the boys and soon we are all headed of finto the Vermont darkness to the Emily Proctor trailhead.

    Day 2 Bread Loaf/Wilson: We arrived at the turnaround on FR 54 just past the FR 201(unplowed) jct around 10:30ish and circle the wagons.

    There’s a pickup under the street lamp that departs suddenly when we begin to deploy the tents and camp gear. “I tell you, pop, they was peak baggers!”
    Cool. Got the place to ourselves and it doesn’t look half bad…It was only the next day we noticed the double deuce and other homo sapien scatological remnants. Nice. But whatevs

    We got a super late start for some reason that may or may not be blamed on a certain governing timepiece not being set to DST but nevertheless it was tough and rewarding day in the warm late winter Vermont sun.


    The lower section of EP trail is a mess and the monorail was beginning to form as witnessed buy frequent slide-offs and post-holing with our snowshoes. The going is slower than expected, sun is pounding us down and we are sweating a lot and lathering up with sunscreen.

    We make the Emily Proctor shelter in about 2 and a half hours. We break for lunch and shots

    The walks to both Bread Loaf and Wilson were interesting and more or less followed the LT though it could be argued that we were off the trail as much as on it in both instances.

    This day proved a much better day for views on the summit of Bread Loaf than my previous non-winter hike. Stunning views up the spine of Vt towards Abraham, Ellen, Camel’s Hump and Mansfield.

    Wilson’s summits provided more interesting perspectives along the Northfield Mountains.

    The snow conditions were pretty firm up higher but deteriorating as the day progressed.

    The major stream crossing at 1.4 (1.7 winter) miles had a snow bridge, but that was seriously deteriorated as we crossed on the descent. The stream had come up substantially that day and chunks were falling out under our snowshoes as we crossed. Sketchy! Likely it did not survive the nite.
    We arrived back at the cars around 7:30Pm and after a parking lot celebration and a jump start of the Honda we set off just as the pickup truck is returning…

    Day 3 Winter Finale on Dorset: We stayed in Rutland Friday night so as to stay focused on the task at hand. Knowing that only madness lay down that path to Proctorsville we opt for a motel and semi-sober night of showers and hot food.
    At 6AM we are up and soon eating a continental meal courtesy of Ramada Inn. We are about to leave when I realize my car won't start. Again. Last night we thought: battery terminals. So we clean and jump and vroom! Off we go. To the trailhead or bust! We arrive at Dorset Hollow and are on the trail by 8:32. Again my car does not start but that can wait. We have to turn this around by 13:32.

    The snow is firmer than yesterday and we make short work of some steep and deep snow to the snowmobile trail.

    The air is cooler and a breeze picks up. We follow the logging road/sled trail turning off onto a side route that takes us to the Door Set. We hit the old Fire tower summit first and pay homage to the grill and tower remnants

    before heading across the saddle to the North Peak summit. Yay! It’s pretty early still and we drink beers and celebrate our last summit of the winter.


    Coming down Dorset in deep easy gliding snow making big steps and good time. We were back at the cars at 12:32pm and on our way to Proctorsville after deciding to go for ‘just one beer’ as my car was needing attention I didn’t want to be stuck in Vt without the support team so the decision was made to caravan and nurse my car to Maine.

    See you on the trails….
    Last edited by michael; 03-23-2010 at 06:27 AM. Reason: add pics and more commentary, spelling
    MATC VP and Assistant Overseer Baldpate District NEHH/March 2004 100/100 WNEHH March 2013
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