July 7+8, 2018. King’s Peak (attempt) Utah via Henry’s Fork.
This hike was done over two days.
Day 1. In via Henry’s Fork Trailhead, past Dollar Lake, and below Gunsight Pass, camping at ~11,400′.
Day 2. Ascent over Gunsight Pass, then up to Anderson Pass. Then headed south to ascend the north shoulder of King’s Peak in summit attempt. Turned back near 13,200′ due to active lightning storm. Returned in the storm to campsite below Gunsight Pass. Slept for an hour. Decided to pack up and walk out.
For more details on this hike…
- Henry’s Fork to Dollar Lake
- Dollar Lake to Campsite
- King’s Peak Summit Attempt
Totals. 31.08 miles and 5,189′ of vert.
July 14. Moosilauke via Glencliff.
This was a quick morning ascent with hiking buddy Eric. We needed to move it along to beat the weather, so we scooted. Glencliff is steep and steady until reaching a shoulder before a last easy push to the summit area. No views in this day, unless you count the inside of a cloud as a view. And we did beat the rain!
This was grid peak #172 for me.
For more details on this hike, check out Eric’s report and also https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2851250174.
Totals. 7.46 miles and 3,258′ vert.
July 21. Tom, Field, Willey, Jackson, Pierce, and Eisenhower.
I am still training for a single day Pemi loop, and needed to up the ante. I was going to be solo since Eric wasn’t available and Summerset was still finishing off the PCT. I wanted a route that would be 20+ miles and 8K+ of vert. I wanted peaks that all counted for my grid. Finally, I wanted easy bailout options if something went badly.
Therefore, I opted to use the AMC Highland Center as a hub site and went after the Willey Range plus the southern Presis. With Crawford Notch in the middle of the two sections, I had everything I needed to feel comfortable going for it.
And go for it I did. For the Willey Range, I ascended via Avalon up to A-Z trail, then hit the Mt. Tom spur. Then, up Willey Range Trail to Field. Near the Field summit at the Avalon junction, I ran into a hiker that was turned around and struggling to make sense of his map. I helped him get sort things out, and we headed to Field and then over to Willey together, swapping hiking stories of the past and our bucket lists for the future.
At the Willey summit, we went our separate ways for the day. I was feeling good, so I hit the gas, and retraced my steps exactly the way I’d come up. I purposely skipped the descent from Field down to Mt. Avalon. That section of Avalon Trail is aggressively steep and rocky in sections, and it’s hard to make good time without taking a knee pounding.
I felt great through the entire Tom/Field/Willey hike, running in little bursts when the trail and my confidence allowed, and making good (for me) time.
After popping back out at the train station, I walked up to the Highland Center, ate lunch, cameled up, and took a break. Roughly an hour later, I walked back down the 302 to the Webster-Jackson trailhead, where I’d been in June for a night hike.
The ascent up to Jackson was a grind. It was challenging to regain all of that elevation back up to 4K+ range. I did okay with it, leap frogging a Japanese tourist family. The little kids would burst ahead until they ran themselves out of breath. Then I’d walk by them, and maybe take a break if I needed one, where they’d pass me back. We traded lots of smiles.
Near the summit in the ledgy area, I left the tourists behind, pushed onto the summit, snapped a photo, then left as quickly as I could. Crowded summit, and I didn’t feel like a conversation.
The trail section between Jackson summit and Mizpah Hut was new to me, and rough off the back side of Jackson–ledgy and steep, just like the front side of it. The alpine bog section was unusual, walking along an elevated bog bridge. I can’t think of anything else like it that I’ve been over in the Whites. Bog bridges? Many. Elevated bog bridges? No others I can think of.
I took a water and snack break at Mizpah, then hammered up the steep bit to Pierce’s shoulder. Then over to the Pierce summit, which offered a good look at Eisenhower, the last peak of the day. I was tired, and to be honest, I wasn’t feeling that last climb up to Ike.
But as they say, “Suck it up, Buttercup!” And so I did. I got myself on up to the Ike summit, took a moment to savor the sixth peak of the day, then headed down the hill. I was a tiny bit apprehensive about the descent via Crawford Path. I had a bad memory of CP from a few years back, when my first (and only thus far) Presi traverse had gone somewhat roughly, with a rooty, trenched, nasty descent.
However, CP has been seeing a lot of trail work, and it was nothing like I remembered. Once past the junction with the Pierce summit spur, I was able to fly down CP over fantastic trail, with great rock work inspiring confident steps all the way out. I was able to finish strong, which made me happy.
This hike about killed what was left of my Altra Lone Peak 3.5s, however. I’m a heavy hiker, and the Whites are hard on shoes anyway. With the busted seams, torn away toecaps, and crushed foam, I called ’em dead at about 250 miles.
Totals for “Sixbagger Saturday.” 20.16 miles and 7,717′ vert. I also racked up grid peaks 173-178.
Miscellaneous. Urban Hiking in Montreal.
During this month, I also did some urban hiking in the Montreal area, as I was swept into that area by travel. I didn’t formally track the walking I did with my Garmin Fenix 3 GPS watch. But according to my daily Garmin activity tracker (a Vivosmart HR), I covered about 30 miles of walking during the visit to our French-speaking neighbors to the north.
One of the hikes was in Mount Royal Park. Mount Royal overlooks the city and features a dramatic lit cross as a landmark at the summit. There are also well-known outlook points in different parts of the park.
This was a short ascent. Once I got from the city streets to the park, I found trails and just kept going up until I reached the top. The area is criss-crossed with narrow woodland trails and wide multi-use trails, so getting lost would be tough. Apple Maps and basic instinct got me around with no trouble.
On the way back down to the city streets, I followed a multi-use trail for a good distance. I was passed by a whooping, helmeted toddler on a teeny-tiny wooden bike, being followed closely by a trail-running Dad. About 30 feet past me, the toddler took a tumble, and went from joyful whooping to tearful wailing. Poor Dad had to pull up mid-stride, pick up the poor little guy, and give him comfort. A moment in the life! 🙂
Totals. ~30 miles and…uh…some vert. There were hills and stuff. And curbs..so many curbs. Surely they count as vert, too.
Summary For July 2018.
88.7 miles and 16,164′ vert. I think I can pull off the Pemi Loop in a day now. I have a lot of travel keeping me out of the Whites in August, but I’m committed to miles and cardio so that I don’t lose much capacity.
With the demise of the Altra Lone Peak 3.5’s, I’ve got a pair of lightly used Altra Timp Trails on order from REI’s used gear store. I hear the Timps are great trail shoes but the foam doesn’t last long, so I didn’t want to pay full $130 (I think) list for them unless I know I really love them while I wait for the Lone Peak 4.0’s to come out. Slightly used Timps in my size and color for $72.50 including shipping seemed like a good way to go. If I can get 200 miles or so out of them, I’ll feel pretty good about the purchase.
I’m officially on the grid train now. I want to get this done, and find myself thinking in terms of stringing together long days and lots of peaks. Gridiot? Not sure yet. I’ll let you know when it’s raining and I decide to go peakbagging anyway.