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Thread: big idea-skiing thru the pemi? any interest?

  1. #1
    Senior Member hikerfast's Avatar
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    big idea-skiing thru the pemi? any interest?

    I have always wanted to cross country ski from lincoln woods all the way to zealand at route 302. anyone interested?

  2. #2
    Senior Member audrey's Avatar
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    Probably too long a day for me unless conditions are perfect. Some years ago there was an article in the Charles River Mud by a woman whose group tried it in the other direction and got lost along either the Thoreau Falls Trail or the Shoal Pond trail, I don't recall which. They bushwhacked for hours and finally found the trail not far from the bridge at the Cedar Brook Trail and got out well after midnight. I tried to trace their route from her description but it wasn't detailed enough, and she mentioned some small cliffy areas that I am not familiar with.

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    Registered User Dalraida's Avatar
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    Sure

    I've done this twice now over the last 6 years. Both trips have been in the opp direction. Zealand to Lincoln Woods. That direction because I live on the Western side and it was most convenient to leave a car at L. Woods and continue on to Z.

    I would prefer to make the trip in late winter for the longer days and sun. The last two times were done in shorts and t-shirt. Although the temp was in the 20s and 30s, it felt like summer.

    I would like to go in the direction you mention for a change.

    Another great ski through is from Rte 302 Nancy Pond/Norcross pond through to Lincoln Woods or the reverse. Both of these routes are my summer destinations every year so I know the routes very well.

    Any way if you will wait a bit, I would like to go.

    TomW

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    Senior Member spencer's Avatar
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    I know of at least 2 different groups that do it as a yearly pilgrimage. I've always wanted to do it myself, but I don't think it's in the cards for this year.

    I've opted for the Baxter traverse

    Have at it and have fun...

    spencer

  5. #5
    Senior Member hikerfast's Avatar
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    groups

    how does one get in touch with these two groups that do it yearly?

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    The AMC Boston Chapter Ski Committee is running a trip with a night's stay at Zealand. You can find the contact info under Trips.

    -dave-

  7. #7
    Senior Member el-bagr's Avatar
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    I did Dalraida's Nancy/Norcross -> Lincoln route a few years ago. Sure, Zealand is the more traditional traverse endpoint, but Nancy/Norcross makes for a straighter east-west route. Ending at Lincoln makes for easy auto-pilot on those last 5 or so miles!

    Doable in a day, particularly if you know the trail. The descent from Norcross Pond to the Pemi is a great run when conditions are right!

  8. #8
    Senior Member hikerfast's Avatar
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    coming down from Norcross pond I haven't done. I don't know if I have the skill level for that but I sposed I could trial by fire. My other question is, getting up to Norcross Pond. I assume your talking the Nancy Pond Trail? that is very steep up past the falls and all. I wasn't planning on that. Any comments?

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    Senior Member el-bagr's Avatar
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    IMO, the most difficult thing about descending into the Pemi from Norcross is the level of commitment. Once you're down in there, you're as far from a road as you will be on the trip. Parties must be self-reliant and prepared for surprises.

    From the base of the falls to just below Nancy Pond is the steepest significant ascent of the Crawford Notch -> Lincoln Woods route. It's about 0.5 miles of steep switchbacks after 2.5 miles of moderate grade. If you don't have skins, it may make sense to click out and bareboot it. Once the steepness moderates, you're in kick-and-glide heaven.

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    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el-bagr
    IMO, the most difficult thing about descending into the Pemi from Norcross is the level of commitment. Once you're down in there, you're as far from a road as you will be on the trip. Parties must be self-reliant and prepared for surprises..
    This is the area that a friend of mine got caught and wound up having to be rescued. He was going to ski out to Saywer river road though not Lincoln Woods. He lost both legs, one below the knee and the other above the ankle and certainly would not have survived another night without the assistance he recieved. There can be large deep areas of drifted snow that can make travel almost impossible. Be forwarned and prepared to change your plans.

    Keith

  11. #11
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    I skied over Norcross years ago, down to the old Desolation shelter on skinny skis, leather boots, a full pack, and three pints of Ben and Jerry's. Lots of fun, then skied into Zealand hut for the night, delivered the B&J, and yo-yo'ed the caretaker's glades above the hut. One of the best ski trips I've been on. There's lots of good skiing in the Pemi, I hope to take advantage of more of it one of these years.

    -dave-

  12. #12
    Senior Member hikerfast's Avatar
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    Dave, I assume you took the shoal pond trail to get over to zealand? how was it? i have never been on it. i have skiied into zealand and thru the notch and out to shoal pond from the other direction

  13. #13
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    This was 20 or so years ago, so my memory isn't all that good on this. I think Shoal was fine, we skied on the river for a stretch just for fun. It's not a fantastic ski but not bad either.

    -dave-

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    I skied both Threau Falls Tr and Shoal Pond Tr (loop from Lincoln Woods) about 2 years ago. SPT is pretty easy skiing--mostly old logging railway and road. Did the entire trail in the dark. Route finding was pretty easy--only had difficulty at one place: between Stillwater and Crystal Brook--a wide open area on the inside of a bend in the river. You shouldn't have any problem if you do it in the light. There are several sizable river crossings.

    The southern half of TFT is an old logging railroad right-of-way. The northern half has several "up the hill and over a bad spot"s which may be hard to find. (The RR used to cross the river at these spots.) Also an open, wide, flat spot where I lost the trail--picked it up where the route became narrow at the other end. The final part up to the stream crossing involves a steep climb--one spot was at the limit of my ability to skin up and too narrow to sidestep. Very few blazes. (I did this one in the light and still had some trail finding difficulties.) Only one stream crossing worthy of note--above Threau Falls. I skied it S-to-N--much easier than N-to-S due to the steep section just below the stream crossing.

    SPT appears to get more traffic than does TFT. When I did it (just after 6in of new snow) there were new snowshoe tracks on the southern half of TFT and only occasional faint ski tracks beyond. (I think the snowshoer had bushwacked down from Mt Bond or Guyot shelter and crossed the river at an abandoned crossing to the east side where the TFT lies.) There were visible tracks (under the unbroken new snow) on most of SPT.

    D.
    Last edited by DougPaul; 01-12-2005 at 01:05 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member hikerfast's Avatar
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    dougpaul, thanks for the info. questions:
    by sizable river crossings, where did you mean exactly. im assuming you meant on shoal pond trail. i would have thought this was a brook not too bad? was it frozen over and under a lot of snow? is it best to wait for good snow cover if that is true? or was it real shallow and easy and frozen anyways? this seems like quite an undertaking, i want to have as much info as possible.
    I wondered if anyone had an idea on the possibility of going thru carrigain notch on the way out for another trip?

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