2 parts of Triple Crown list a hiker would not want to be on


Help Support vftt.org:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Super Moderator
Staff member
VFTT Supporter
Sep 3, 2003
Reaction score
Gorham NH
2022 Winter Rescue in Maine https://bangordailynews.com/2022/01...t8Ul_NO_3ufqYpPE_ejZBgj8Nm1vMv4O8nf8TZiNL7sac

2018 Winter Rescue in NH https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1625834630841659&id=197746700317133

The older hiker, Wayne Gage, has two out of the three Northern New England States checked off for needing winter rescues, I wonder when he is going to go for Vermont?

My speculation, a couple of "motiviated" (obsessed) winter peakbaggers out to bag a few new summits?.

It is interesting that the NHF&G article from 2018 said he was well equipped during his Falling Water rescue (but did note lacking unspecified 10 essentials) while the latest rescue in Maine stated both were not. It does confuse me that on what presumably a fast and light hike that they elected to start at 8 AM, rather late for major winter hike. They were lucky on cell coverage, the north side of that ridge has minimal in any cell coverage.

Some press reports indicated that they may have been doing Abraham in addition to Spaulding and Sugarloaf. That means an extra 5 miles of hiking over and back to Abraham. That would have added a lot of mileage to already long hike.
I am confused by all this. The article states that the intended summits were Sugarloaf, Spaulding and Abraham. From where the AT crosses the CVR, it is about 7 or so miles to Abraham. 14 miles RT. That agrees with the stated 15 miles in the article. But the trailhead for the AT on the CVR is about 4.5 miles from ME 27. I haven't been on that road in years, but it was pretty sketchy in summer. Did they actually drive up to the trailhead? Maybe they climbed Abraham first via the Firewarden's Trail and then headed north on the AT to the shelter? But, that trip would be about 10 miles each way if they went all the way to Sugarloaf:confused:

Update: the hikers were rescued from the CVR by the Rangers, but still can't find out the hikers actual route.
Last edited:
Or, how about this guy who set off an EPIRB not once, but twice in the Adirondacks?


Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) are carried on boats/maritime vessels. A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is carried by and individual, such as Carl Skalak. Not only did Skalak use his PLB twice, but they were the first two uses of PLBs by the general public, they were within three weeks of each other and from at least approximately the same location.

P.s. Here's the second half of the article.
Nice find peakbagger, in VT, since you could get up to the top of four of them by walking up or near the ski area on those 4,000'ers. Now, if he goes up by some other route, they would be in the running.

I'm thinking they did not start on the CVR which I'm thinking would be unplowed in winter unless they are logging on it. If we learn more details, that would be nice. Thinking if you were doing these as day-hike(s); I'd get an Alpine start and do Sugarloaf and Spaulding and then on another day do Abraham from the other side. (I did the three together in the summer from the ski area as CVR was not drivable from very close to the main road that year)
I'm guessing there's a lot of nuance and intrigue that isn't shared in the article. Gage has now been rescued twice. This time he was with a much younger and apparently very experienced hiker who is described in other articles as 'someone who guides others to summits,' whatever that means. The 'guide' apparently is very experienced in the Catskills. Perhaps Gage has some odd personality quirks that get him into these situations, and the friend (Jake Haisley) for some reason wasn't able to overcome those quirks? Strong personalities can be very challenging. The article doesn't say they were missing headlamps or snowshoes or other gear. Maybe they (Gage) just got too tired? Almost exactly a decade ago I offered to help my father-in-law and his friend do a presi-traverse backpack (summer trip), mostly because I could see they had no idea what they were doing and I felt some responsibility to help. My FIL was a tough old bastard (he was 72 at the time), but he was lagging big time on day two as we came over Jefferson and across Clay. I could see the writing on the wall. In fact, I saw that coming well before we got on the trail, which is why I had a lot of bailout options in my head, and we executed on one of those contingencies without incident. Maybe the situation surprised Haisley somehow and he wasn't psychologically prepared to enforce the bail. Maybe maybe maybe. Who knows. Anyway, I hope it's snowing up north right now. It's gross here in MA.
I wonder what pace they envisioned maintaining on this hike.

In winter I assume that 1 mph pace over the course of the hike is realistic. This accounts for horsing around with gear, possibly using snowshoes, losing the trail now and again and resting once in a while.

For me a 15 mile hike begun at 8 AM would conclude at 11 PM, well after my bedtime. An impossibly long day for this hiker in his 70s.

But maybe Gage is in better shape than I am.
Does not take much strength to dial a cell phone;)

From my mapping program, its 6 miles via a combination of the AT and the Abraham spur from the summit of Sugarloaf to summit of Abraham. There is about 2100 feet of elevation change along the combined trails. If they started from CVR and ascended Sugarloaf add in 2 1/4 miles and 1900 feet of elevation. An out and back would about 14 miles and close to 6000 feet of cumulative (up and down) elevation change. That is about the minimum out and back trip and a long day breaking trail. I have done the out and back from CVR to Sugarloaf Spaulding as a day hike from Gorham NH (long drive). Add in 4 miles out and back to Abraham, it is a longer day. To someone staying locally a long day but doable in summer but add in snow and it is an aggressive hike. If they started from the Barnjum area, its a big unknown, there are active logging roads that originate in Barnjum that get quite close to the AT. It is about 3 miles from Barnjum to the AT, if the roads were plowed for logging and not gated this could vary the out and back by 6 miles, it's doubtful folks from outside the area would have such detailed local info but maybe they were lucky. CVR was not routinely plowed unless there was active logging. So that could add in a few miles. The rescue access from CVR makes sense, the maintainers approach the Spaulding shelter from the CVR and the CVR is an active snowmachine route.

In general, they must have assumed a fast and light hike without overnight bivy gear and far better trail conditions.
Last edited: