Thursday, February 17, 2011

Final Backpacking Trip of the Year

Kaitlin and I needed closure as the hiking season came to an end, so we decided to do one last backpacking trip in the Whites. We planned to drive up north of the Pemigewasset Wilderness and to hike down into it via the Twin Mountains back to Guyot Campsite while also summiting West Bond, which we had missed previously due to rainy conditions over the summer. We set out on a chilly and gray day with about 8 miles ahead of us. Our guidebook mentioned 3 stream crossings, none of which were supposed to be too difficult. At the first, we had to take off our socks and boots and wade through the freezing cold water while air temperatures were still pretty cold too!

The second stream crossing required us to jump long distances on slick rocks, not fun. At least we had out trekking poles to catch us a bit! At the third stream crossing, things got a little bit ridiculous as there was NO reasonable way across, the water was too deep and rocks were too far apart. We decided that the only way was to use the natural bridge, a downed tree about 6 inches across. Bear in mind we had full packs on and wet shoes while we crossed this thing...

As we reached the summit of North Twin, we had to walk through mist and clouds that covered the tops of the mountains. We made it to the shelter in the early afternoon, hung out for a bit and then went to summit West Bond without our packs. WOW, I have never stood in wind like that before. Visibility was about 50 feet and we had some play time leaning into the wind and letting it hold us up, feeling the power of Mother Nature!!
We spent a cozy night in Guyot Shelter as temperatures dropped near freezing. Luckily we were the only ones at the shelter so we got to spread out. We arose the next morning to rain rain and more rain and were off by about 7:30 to head home. This was our first time hiking in steady, cold rain and it was a great character builder and a good lesson in the importance of good gear! Great experience for the AT!!


  1. Found your blog via the Traveling Circus. Look forward to reading your adventures on the AT this year!

    Misti/Ridley AT '10

  2. Found your blog through the Traveling Circus (like Misti -- and actually, I followed Misti & Chris's successful thru hike last year).

    My husband Justin & I live in Concord NH and are attempting a thru hike this year (SB), so hopefully we'll see you on the trail! Looking forward to following your journey.