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Thread: Mt.Madison 12/5/2014

  1. #1
    Member Wendellator's Avatar
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    Mt.Madison 12/5/2014

    After checking the weather report for the higher summits for Thurs the 5th, we were not expecting our plan of completing the Presidential Traverse in one day to happen.
    Winds 70-80 with 100 mph gusts. But we figured we would give it a try just in case the forecast was wrong,(it wasn't).
    Starting from the Appalachia TH at 8:00am we made great time up the Valleyway trail, just a little snow on the ground left snowshoes in truck.We arrived at the Watson Path junction around 9am and figured we could shave a mile off the trip by going up WP breaking trail.There was some ice on Duck falls but other then that it was snow covering some roots.A few times on the hands and knees.We could hear and feel the winds slowly picking up by the cracking of the trees. It was a little slow going since nobody wanted to fall. When we reached the Alpine Zone,the winds were rocking, this was around 11:00.
    We put our shells on and decided to summit Mt.Madison, the winds were relentless i found out later that they were gusting to 90ish around 12:30-13:00. We had to yell to hear each other, after enjoying the brisk day we decided that it would be safer just to call it and not try the traverse.
    We took the Howker Ridge trail,(that sucker is steep,)had to break trail most of the way. There was some postholing, and some real slow going,but we were out of the wind and on our way to the truck. It was getting late and with the steepness of the trail we arrived at the intersection of Pine Lick and decided it would be better to take that to Dolly Copp and hike the road, then finish Howker Ridge with head lights.So a nice steady pace we arrived at Dolly Copp around 16:45.Enjoyed a full moon and took a nice stroll back to our truck.
    Another note the only other people we saw all day were some guys with Ice Climbing gear in the parking lot.
    Will upload pictures when i get them from my buddy.
    Last edited by Wendellator; 02-19-2015 at 04:35 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Nice job getting home, sounds like you made the right decision. That wind can be menacing. In addition to it physically beating you down, it wears you out mentally. I know that feeling once you've turned around, once you get out of the worst of it, even if it's slow going you feel so much better psychologically. Congrats on your adventure.
    Sure. Why not.

  3. #3
    Member Wendellator's Avatar
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    Thanks, my one buddy who i mtnbike and rock climb with this was his first Mountain trip,before hand i told him it is 40%physical and 60% mental. At the end of the trip he told me " I understand the mental part is harder then physical".You can work thru body pain but the relentless ups, downs and wind wear you out.
    He wants to go on another one.

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