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:  Gale River Loop Rd - 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.

Lessons learned: 

1. Make sure everyone has enough water and never EVER let anyone pour their water out thinking they will not need it. There are no water sources on this hike. 

2. Know your fellow hikers. It could be the difference between a prepared and enjoyable hike, and a day spent trying to lug one of your companions out of the woods.
3. Use poles, especially when you are tired and there are mudpuddles!

4. Check the weather before trekking up Bondcliff.  If t-storms threaten, save that hike for another time.

Peaks bagged were South Twin (twice), Bond (twice), Bondcliff and West Bond.

#41 Mount Bond  via Twinway July 24, 2010.  Hiked with Sandy, Joe, Rich and Louise. Twinway from Galehead Hut to Bondcliff trail.  The hike over 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. Amazing view of the Bondcliff trail up to Bondcliff, and 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. Weather cleared giving way to a breathtaking 360° view.  Many people were up 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. Seemed long and unexciting after the thrill of Bondcliff, though the view was beautiful. We were tired and wanting to get back for dinner at the hut.
When I climb these peaks again I will most likely hut hop, one night at Zealand hut and 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 hike I would do again!

#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.  Access to Airline, Valley Way and many other trails.  A WMNF parking pass is not needed here.

Lesson learned: Mt. Adams summit is worth the hard work and annoying glacial boulders. 

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 and we met a hiker, Joe, on top, who hiked down with us and joined us for dinner at Mr. Pizza in Gorham.  Weather was warm with clear blue skies.  Hiked Airline trail to the summit, then Airline, Scar (which was mossy and buggy) and Valley trails down to the car, about 9 miles total.  

There was a small knife edge portion of the trail and many steep ravines nearby.

Norm and Eileen hiking the "knife edge" of the Airline trail. Piece of cake!

Airline trail was steep in places but very doable, especially when compared to the rocky cone summit.  This hike was very much like the Mt. Madison hike (done a few weeks ago, the mountains are separated by a col that has the Madison Spring Hut nestled in it).  The rocks are big and rough and difficult to navigate around.  Mt. Adams seemed to have more of a trail to the summit than Madison.  Summit contained a sign – did not see a USGS marker (did not really look).  Views were breathtaking.
Mt. Adams summit cone
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).