Last weekend several CSU Jrs. banged off eleven White Mountain Summits on the second of what seems to be turning into an annual hiking event. This started last year with a two day Presidential Traverse because Evan Doucett and Hilary and Jackson Rich are working toward climbing all the 4000 footers. Besides, its a great way to train!
The weekend started on Saturday with the Riches hosting the group for a classic rollerski up and down the access road to Waterville in cloudy, windy and decided fall-like cool conditions. I crashed, breaking a pole, but got some spares from John Rich for the double pole back down the road. The planned swim at the Eddy turned into a mighty short dip by only a few of us given the brisk conditions, but all were sufficiently warmed up in the jacouzzi or sauna to ready our appetites for a big dinner followed by S'mores around the fire in the evening.
Sunday morning we arose early so we could get an early start on a long day of hiking. Have you ever tried to wake Ben Haydock up at 5:30? Not possible.... After spotting cars we drove to the start and began the hike at 8:15 with a fairly leisurely pace down the Wilderness trail. Once we got above treeline on Bondcliff we made a hasty move for our hats, gloves, pants and coats as it was more like October than August. However, the conditions improved throughout the rest of the day as we knocked off Bond, West Bond, Guyot and the Twins before arriving in bright sunshine at Galehead Hut after at least 15 miles of hiking. Dinner was excellent (split pea soup, salad and stuffed shells, fudge for dessert) and after cards and Trivial Pursuit no one complained much about going to bed early.
On Monday we arose to a perfect hiking day....bright sun, cool temperatures and no wind. After fueling up at breakfast we left our packs for the short trip up Galehead Mt, then donned the packs and headed toward Garfield. On the summit we soaked up the sunshine and took in the magnificent views. Unfortunately, we needed to get a move on if we were to finish the day. Lafayette was next and it was a party on top! I've never seen so many people up there. We then finished up with Lincoln and Little Haystack and decended the Falling Water Trail on very tired legs having done 12 miles for the day. A quick stop for ice cream and then dinner at the Tilton Diner made a great end to a great weekend. Tentative plans for next year are for the Carter/Wildcat Ridge. Stay tuned!
Pictures are at: http://picasaweb.google.com/jdoucett3/CSUHike2007