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Thread: Mt Isolation NH 48 Finish on saturday 11/9/13

  1. #1
    Junior Member Chicaandinista's Avatar
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    Mt Isolation NH 48 Finish on saturday 11/9/13

    So, this is my first post here on VFTT. Looks like I'm saying hello to everyone with a exciting 48 finish story!
    My 48 journey really only began around April last year when my friend who was aiming to complete her 48 that year, asked me how many of the high peaks I had done. I didn't even know up until that point. I hadn’t been interested in ‘bagging’ peaks so I had never looked but her question started to intrigue me and so I finally decided to count them and found out that I had already done 25 peaks! Well!! With that many peaks already done, how could I not want to finish? I decided it would be an adventure, a reason to explore trails and mountains I may never have otherwise decided to visit. I am very glad I did!
    Most people then ask, what is going to be your last peak or how did you choose your last peak? Honestly, other than not wanting to finish on a view-less peak, I didn’t really care. I chose to hike and trail run mountains that I felt I could do on my own and easily, as most of the time I ventured out alone. I finished with my friend for her 48 finish on Carrigain and loved that mountain! In the end, the mountains got whittled down to doing either Passaconway or Isolation. The choice then, was easy!

    I ended up with 6 dedicated friends (including VFTT peeps Dangergirl and ADKWalrus), including my husband, to accompany me on my final 48 trek. Five of us split a local condo and so were able to get up early and rally together to get us all to the Glen Ellis Falls trailhead by 8am where we would meet my friend, Kristina, who was driving up to meet us. The weather looked promising for the day, although it had been a little nerve-racking as the summits were just starting to relax after a few days of over 70 mph winds! We were lucky enough to have mild winds near the David Path junction and otherwise calm, albeit chilly conditions. We set out by 8:10am and began a long slow climb up the Glen Boulder trail with a very thin snow cover, about ¼ inch of snow and some easily avoided ice patches. No traction devices were needed although we all had them with us. It was my first time on this trail and so I was excited to see the famed Glen Boulder and was also hoping for some good views from the above-treeline section of the trail. After many small slightly icey stream crossings and some steep hiking we got to what one of my friends likes to call the ‘Hillary Step’. There was about an inch of snow in some of the creases and pockets on the rock but not enough to make scrambling it any more difficult than when it was dry. It took a few minutes to access the best way up but then we were all able to safely scramble up and over. Shortly we came to the huge Glen Boulder, which was pretty cool to see up close! A few pictures later and we were off. As we got up along the ridge the trees and ground were white and covered in rime ice and snow. It was magical! We finally got to the Davis Path junction at what seemed like the cloud line. It also seemed to take forever to get there and I was really hoping to speed us all up for the remainder of the day as I was a little nervous about the clouds either getting lower and reducing visibility or darkness setting in and making navigating difficult.

    We all hunkered down into our balaclavas and zipped up jackets for the trek across what looked like a very windy and exposed upper Davis Path. It wasn’t bad at all and we made good time to below treeline. Some of the lower sections of the Davis Path had ice in the middle of the trail and would have been easy to travel on with microspikes we chose to keep up the pace and hop around the sides of the trail. At the Rocky Branch trail junction we ran into the first people of the day, a group of 9 and a group of 2, both had schwacked a lower section to avoid the river crossings. It was strange to see so many people so quickly! We shortly got to the turn off for Isolation summit and quickly passed another group. It was still breezy and a bit chilly so we decided to celebrate my 48 finish quickly with some pictures and hugs and then headed out to stop below treeline. Just before we left, we snapped a few pictures for other hikers and chatted a moment before leaving. After warming up with some hot chocolate and food we re-layered, donned microspikes for the first time that day for easier travel on the ice on Davis Path and started our trek back up to the ridge. I felt much better about the time at this point and my heart even lightened more when I saw the cloud ceiling had lifted, making for nice clear travel to the junction and good sunset views. It was perfect! The hike out went quickly and easily and we were able to take some beautiful sunset pictures in the frosty late afternoon sky. The only people we saw after we left Isolation summit is a group of about 10, what we thought were Scouts, head up to the Davis Path junction (rather late in the day) saying they were aiming for Rocky Branch shelter. They still had a ways to go! They had big overnight packs so I’m sure they were well prepared. The last little concern had been the Hillary Step but after I got myself down I guided the foot placement of the next and then we each spotted each other through and had no problems. We made quick work of the rest of the trail and got back to the trailhead right at dusk, after about an 8 hour day. It was so fun to have spent the day hiking in the beautiful mountains of NH, finishing a goal, and being able to celebrate it with good friends. Couldn’t have been any better.
    Can't figure out how to insert pics yet...need some sort of uploader? You can check out my pics though that are public on https://www.facebook.com/chicaandinista . May need to scroll down a little to find original upload group.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    "The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn-out, shouting, 'Holy sh*t! What a ride!'"
    - Unknown

    "You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sunshine Chris's Avatar
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    Great story! Congratulations on your 48 finish and it's so great to share it with friends. I found the pics. Love the summit finish photo.
    A walk through the forest, a hike to a summit, a meander along the brooks: Communing with the natural world helps me find an inner peace that soothes my soul.
    NH 48/48
    working on 2nd and 3rd time summits of the NH 48's and the NH winter 48
    NY Adirondacks 2/46
    NH Winter 17/48

    http://s1343.photobucket.com/albums/...stalCreek7760/

  3. #3
    Junior Member AdkWalrus's Avatar
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    46/46, 12/48, 58/115
    46-R #6866

  4. #4
    Junior Member Chicaandinista's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! =)
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    "The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn-out, shouting, 'Holy sh*t! What a ride!'"
    - Unknown

    "You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Colchester, CT
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    Congratulations!
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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