Thursday, June 16, 2011

#41,# 42,# 43 The Bonds

#41, 42 and 43 The Bonds - Mt. Bond, Bondcliff, West Bond via Twinway, Bondcliff and West Bond trails July 24, 2010.

Mileage: 11.5 miles RT

Elevation gain: 4,492'

Trailhead:  Trailhead is on Gale River Loop Rd, Bethlehem - Turn off NH Rt 3 opposite the intersection with Trudeau Road at Five Corners. Follow the Gale River Loop Rd 1.6 miles until you reach the parking area on your left. You will need a WMNF parking sticker and the road is gated in winter.
Note:  There is no water source once on the ridge.  Much of this hike is above treeline, be aware of weather forecast.

Hiked with Sandy, Joe, Rich and Louise. Peaks bagged were South Twin (twice), Bond (twice), Bondcliff and West Bond.

#41 Mount Bond  via Twinway July 24, 2010.  We spent the night at Galehead  hut and in the morning took Twinway over South Twin to Bondcliff trail.  The first part of our hike  - South Twin to Mt. Bond - was socked in with fog but the weather was improving when we summitted Mt. Bond.     

Weather started out foggy on South Twin.

A stone wall was built close to the Mt. Bond summit and I found a pickax in the bushes – I guess someone was maintaining the trail. Once the fog cleared, the view of the Bondcliff trail up to Bondcliff is amazing. Heading to the summit of Bondcliff, we started on a very steep descent down to that trail (and very steep ascent when heading back).

View of Bondcliff from Bond. Weather was clearing.

#42 Bondcliff, July 24, 2010 via Bondcliff trail. On the summit of Bondcliff we were treated to a breathtaking 360° view.  People were already there, drinking vodka and sunning themselves. We think they were staying at Guyot campground.

When at the summit of Bondcliff, get someone to take a photo of you standing on the cliff.

#43 West Bond July 24. 2010 via Bondcliff trail to West Bond trail. The slog from Bondcliff back to Bond and over to West Bond seemed long and unexciting, and we were getting tired. A bit of reward once we got to West Bond - the view is beautiful. We stayed a few minutes but wanted to get back to Galehead hut in time for dinner.
Next time I climb the Bonds I'll hut hop; starting at Zealand hut with a traverse over to Galehead hut, rather than hiking to and from Galehead hut.  The stay at Galehead was wonderful but hiking there out to Bondcliff and back is more elevation gain and mileage than a point-to-point. This is definitely a place to revisit!

#28 Mt. Adams

Mt. Adams (5,799) #28 via Airline, Gulfside, Scar and Valley Way trails, July 28, 2009.

Mileage: 8.6 miles RT

Elevation gain: 4500'

Trailhead: Appalachia trailhead is on Route 2, approximately one mile east of Lowe's Store.  This trailhead offers access to Airline, Valley Way and many other trails.  A WMNF parking pass is not needed here.

Some say Mt. Adams is the hardest hike in the Whites with impressive elevation gain, a rough, steep trail and even rougher summit cone. I would not argue that. The Airline trail hike is listed on the Terrifying 25 (a list I am not working on but you may be!).

Hiked with Eileen and Norm. We met a hiker named Joe at the summit; Joe wound up hiking down with us and later joining us for dinner at Mr. Pizza in Gorham.  It was warm that day, with clear blue skies.  We followed the Airline trail to the summit, then Airline, Scar (which was mossy and buggy) and Valley Way trails back to the car.  

There is a small knife edge portion of the trail and several steep ravines nearby.

The "knife edge" of the Airline trail. 

Airline trail is steep in places, though not as steep as the cone of Adams' rocky summit.  Our hike today is similar to the Mt. Madison hike (done a few weeks ago (see Mt. Madison post). The mountains are separated by a col, with Madison Spring Hut nestled in between.  The glacial rocks are big and rough and difficult to navigate around and over.  Mt. Adams seems to have more of a trail to the summit than Madison.  There's a sign on the summit; we did not see a USGS marker (didn't really look).  The views are breathtaking.

Mt. Adams summit cone.

We had lunch on the summit, then the four of us headed back to our cars and to dinner.

I learned much later that Mt. Adams is one of only a handful of places on earth with healing spiritual energy (see The Aetherius Society).  I hiked Mt. Adams again July 2011 (see later posting).