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Thread: Wanderings from Appalachia lot 7/25

  1. #1
    Senior Member ctsparrow's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Wanderings from Appalachia lot 7/25

    So I got up at 5am for a 530 departure to head up to the whites on a predicted cool, sunny non-stifling day out and about. My plan was to go check out the rebuilt Maddy Hut. Original thoughts were to revisit Airline after 30 years, do the cutoff, chk out the hut, maybe Maddy summit then out valley way. Well as they say, ' the best laid plans...' In the back of my head I had the voice of loathing for Airline, even from decades ago. I realized my main plan was to get above treeline, take in the day, enjoy the breeze, if I had time for the hut then so be it. Summits? Been there -done that and I swore off day hikes of the northern presi's after that original Airline to Adams hike. My knees are far worse than that day when they first spoke to me after that descent.

    So I pulled out my map and WM guide and decided how I wanted to wander to the treeline. I followed VW to Scar to Airline, down Upper Bruin back to VW (I considered diverting to Lower Bruin to Brookside, but decided to put Brookside to Bruin rock on another day.) My goal these days as I struggle with the challenges age brings in conflict of my love of the Whites has brought me to seeking and hiking trails i havent been on thru my peakbagging goal driven trips.

    Valley way is valley way, not much to say, but I REALLY enjoyed Scar, took the loop over the top of the boulder, held on for dear life, ok prob wasn't that life threatening-totally dry, a couple steps and hugs and it was done, but I still reminded my self I was solo hiking and to be careful. The views were nice.
    One note, decent views can be had from upper junction of the loop without having to do the full loop/boulder. Blueberry bushes bountiful, starting to ripen so figured I would make sufficient noise in case there were any black furry foragers, no scat etc but you never know. Comfortable, soft pine needled trail, WONDERFUL break from rocks and ruts. WMguide states this trail avoids rough steep section of Airline, (via valley way to airline) I highly recommend . Once on Airline it was a quick trip above treeline and the junction of Upper Bruin. I chose this area as my hangout spot. Took in view of King Ravine, ribbon waterfall across the way whose sound drifted on the breeze to our ridge, and the 'lesser' Adam'es across the way, Madison's northern and western slopes over my shoulder. Good day, good moments.

    Not knowing much about Upper Bruin I checked out my map-one of the 10 essentials of course, saw its short length, and estimated topo drop of prob 300', figured I m in the mountains to go where I haven't gone before, haha, so down I went...piece o cake and mostly pine needles also, yay, one section that would be very interesting in winter/spring snow bridge fail issues.

    Back on Valley Way which is what it is, but , it always hits me when I hit a spot that I clearly remember from hikes years to decades ago. (July 4th was on KRT from tramway, thought i hadn't done it before, ugh, remembered suddenly at ski trail switchbacks i had indeed been there before! YIKES )Noticed the newer crosshatched rock cuts by the amazing trail crews on the flat rocks with a small cascade on the left as u descend, very dry right now but I totally know why those crosscuts were added.

    Long drive home ahead I ended my day, my heart always sinks just a little as I leave the Whites in my rearview mirror.....til next visit. BTW parking lot was overflowing as expected, but it was amazing that it never felt crowded, prob helps I wasn't summiting and took alternate trails.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctsparrow View Post

    Long drive home ahead I ended my day, my heart always sinks just a little as I leave the Whites in my rearview mirror.....til next visit. BTW parking lot was overflowing as expected, but it was amazing that it never felt crowded, prob helps I wasn't summiting and took alternate trails.

    I know this feeling. When I came by the lot last evening around 5:30, for the first time ever in my memory, the lot was EMPTY. Even when there were parking bans, I would see a lone car or two. But with the lashing rain and the winds, there were no (fool)hardy souls about.

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