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 Huge Mounds of Ups and Downs 
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 Huge Mounds of Ups and Downs
I met Chinooktrail at the Stonybrook parking area at 7Am. We were spotting her car in the event we had made it to Moriah. Then we went off to meet the rest of the gang at the Imp North parking lot for another spot then the car pool to our starting point of Wildcat Ski Area. While at the Imp NOrth parking area getting ready.. we saw Arm, Frodo and Yetti getting ready to do the same traverse.

The Cats and the Carters. HUGE Mounds of ups and downs.

We all regathered at the Wildcat Ski area parking area. We watched Frodo and gang depart for their traverse and we were soon to follow. With us was Cath, Mt. Drew, Chinooktrail, Little Sister, Hockeycrew and Gaiaigirl showed up at the very last minute to join us.

After getting everyones snowshoes strapped to our packs, just in case, we finally left the parking area.. and ON TIME! Holy crap! Amazing what can happen when Lendawg isn;t rushing to the trailhead from Lincoln Woods. We took to the Ski Trails and headed straight up Wildcat D. The noreasters from a few weeks ago had wreaked havok on this area of the whites and we had no clue what we were in for with mixed trail reports on "the other site."

As we ascended the ski slopes we watched the pink presidential range turn to white as the sun finally fully crested the horizon over the range we were on. And as we climbed higher.. we watched the sun rise up over the majestic "White Mountain." The wind blew up slope from behind us, and with every step.. the broken snow and ice we kicked up travelled up hill and over the small mounds on the ski slope. Pretty neat to see. We all took turns walking in front and staying behind.. taking time to talk to one another and care for one another. It truly was evident that I was hiking with an ELITE group of friends. The best part about the trip all ready was.. we all did our own thing but very much respected each other and looked after each other.. and words cannot say how enjoyable it was.

As we all reach the summit tower of Wildcat D.. we climbed the stairs and gazed out over the mighty Mount Washington.. pointing out the various ravins and ridges. What a GLORIOUS DAY! Clear blue skies and a soft wind brushed our faces. It was 9 am.. GREAT time. After snacking we left the summit of D we headed for A.. the other Cat the counted.

All along the way of the Wildcat Ridge, Cath, Drew and I all took turns with Saw in hand clearing the trail of various blowdowns. I didn't count them, but I would say maybe 6 or 8 blowdowns of 4 inches or less in diameter were easily sawed and removed by us. There was one HUGE blowdown that cath and I sawed up because we HAD to.. the glissade there in winter is fun and could have been ruined by that tree. But hey.. it's gone now. We did our part in all but clearing that entire ridge. And on Wildcat C.. I took a VERY BRIEF moment to stop and celebrate my legs hiking their 600th WHite Mountain Mile for the calendar year.

We stopped just below "A" for some snacks and such.. I was starving.. and the rest fo the group had carried on in front. As I was finally catching up to them I heard "Oh my!" I knew we were there, and as I walked over the hump and out to the ledge.. we were at "A" looking out over the vast beauty of the Carter Notch. And yes.. as always.. "we have to go down and then up THAT??" Yeah.. someone HAD to say it.

So we scurried down the Wildcat "A" slide towards the notch.. still clearing blowdowns. And as we made it to the notch, we carefully wiggled around the lakes and into the hut where we stopped and ate lunch. It was 11:30. I checked the hut register for my 3 other sign in's of the year.. fond memories of each trip. Once as training.. once as Fitch 46 and the other... Cath and I's hut traverse attempt. I signed the book one more time for the year.. remarking on how we were doing Drew's 48th. YEAH DREW!!

We regathered our belongings and took to the Carter Dome. This trail is never relenting as we slowly made our way to the top. Little sister banged it out like it was cake.. Drew and I took care of some blowdowns.. Cath threw snowballs.. and it took us ALL roughly an hour to make it to Carter Dome. The wind had picked up and you could feel the chill against your skin. Brrrr. We quickly enjoyed the summit.. and took off for Mount Hight.

On Hight.. Little sister and I hunkered down below a small shelter area someone had make with scree rock. The gray jays appeared and I got some great shots of Cath feeding them. (Pictures to come tonight). We all LOVED the view from Hight as always.. and by far.. without a doubt.. the BEST view in the whites. No arguments here. As we all quickly began to shiver a bit.. it was time to move on. "The next group bail point is zeta pass," I yelled. We had been discussing whether or not we could make it to Middle Carter or not. It was getting late in the day.. and I had to boogey as I was meeting Sarah for the UNH v. Maine Hockey Game.

As we all met up at Zeta Pass there was nothing to dicsuss.. we were here and there wasn't much elevation left going over SOuth and Middle Carter. So.. after short conversation.. we all took to the slopes for one last hoorah! We made our way up the ridge line to South Carter.. stopping briefly to recognize that we were there (Poor mountian must get that alot).. then we traversed the final section to Middle. On Middle.. Mt. Drew came up and gave us all a hug "Wouldn't have spent it with another group of friends.. thank you." he excalined as he stood for pictures. I felt bad I had no champagne with me or the patch I usually give (I ran out). But Drew seemed happy none the less.. and we ALL can add Middle Carter as one we had hiked for someones' 48th.

I had to say my goodbyes and leave as I was going to be late for meeting Sarah for the game. It was 3:30 and I needed to be on the road for 4:30 at the latest. With all the mileage left to go down and over North Imp.. I was destined to be late... but was determined to be not TOO late. So I said my goodbyes and took off running. I went over Lethe and down into the col between it and N. Carter. I found the N. Carter trail and followed the few footsteps heading down.. which I knew were Arms and Frodo's... I had no intention of running into them as I knew they were strong and fast hikers.

About 25 feet down the N. Carter Trail.. I stopped as I had recognized a spot. Sarah and I had hiked to this very spot back in January during the VFTT winter gathering. We had stopped from being tired, hungry and cold. Our food and water was frozen... and you should have seen her face last night when I told her we were all but 26 feet from the ridge.

I got a chuckle and carried on. As I was now alone.. I got to thinking of some memories of that weekend in January. It was the first time I had ever met Cath as she was hiking with Tim Seaver. It was the time I met Sherpa K, Seema, Arm and the rest of the VFTT gang on the trip that day. And it was neat passing allof those spots.

As I struggled to navigate the now HUGE blowdowns.. I began to hear voices. I thought it was just me until I looked up and saw Arm and Frodo. I had caught up to them and we exchanged brief conversation. I asked which way they were going down? North or south? Frodo said he wasn;t sure yet and he asked me which way I was going. I told him Cath suggested North as it had less ice and was a quicker trail. I then passed them by and stopped at the Junction of the north south split.

I was having a drink when Arm and frodo reappeared and they were debating which way to go. Frodo asked me which way Cath suggested again and I told him North.. "and I have grown to trust her judgement and knowledge, so thats the way I am going." And thats the way they went as well.

As we said goodbye and what nots.. it was nice running into these guys.. I hurried aloing as fast I could descending the trail. The sun was setting and it was getting dark. the blowdowns were aggrivating. I thought about the Saws Cath and Drew had.. they could have sawed till next week on that trail. It was TERRIBLE! Horendous and any other trashing word you can think of. UGH! Thank god for the footsteps there to follow around over and thru the blowdowns. Someone was good at picking their way thru it all.. and I thank them.

As I made my way to the Imp.. I stopped for one last view.. the sun had set on the horizon and just as it was thie morining.. the sky was pink and orange. Very humbling. From here the blowdowns were few as the forest slowly makes its way to a hardwood. I was going as far as I could without my headlamp.. hurrying for the end as fast as possible. As the sun was gone on one horizon.. my shadow disappeared but was tickled at the fact that my shadow now appeared in front of me in the snow.. thanks in part to a full moon rising from behind. How neat.

As i crossed the last icy stream crossing I knew I was at the end. I mad eit out the rest of the way without a headlamp though I'll be honest in saying I could almost barely see anything let alone the trail ion the last stint of firs before the road. But as I made it to my car.. I stopped one last time and thought again about January and how I was a nobody then.. and it struck me funny as I thought on this day, how things are very much still the same. I was a nobody then.. and I'm a nobody now. But Mt. Drew... he's a member of "The Club." Now THAT's somebody!

I was at the car for 5:15pm. As I took my new koflachs off.. I notcied some deep bruising on my legs from them, mostly from the very fast descent. It was VERY painful and swollen. but I STILL love those boots. I got in the car and called Sarah.. she was a bit mad. They were checkingstudent Id's at the door to the game and wel.. I'm not a UNH student and had a student ticket. But I hurried as fast I could to get there.. arriving at the game for 7:30.. halfway through the 1st Period.

As I got ther i called Sarah after they refused to let me in.. as I walked down main lobby area talking to her about them not letting me in... I saw the media entrance and I started talking on the cell phone like.. "Ya.. I forgot my News 9 lanyard inside.. can you bring it to me???" The girl at the media table heard me asI hoped she would.. and I asked her for a temporary pass to enter the game.. she gave it to me and I got in.
So I went and checked in with the production crew... said hi and saw if they needed help.. they didn;t and we enjoyed UNH beat Maine 4-2. GO CATS!

Anyway... anxious to hear how the rest of the group enjoyed the descent! I'll post pictures tonight for sure. Sarah and I never hiked today, we got in late.. she didn't want to go (no surprise as of late) so we're hanign out on the seacoast. Hope everyone enjoyed Sunday.. I'll be out ALL of next weekend. I'm at 22 for round 3 and have a LOT of work to do.

Maybe I can con Drew into no hunting again.

CONGRATS DREW ON 48!!!!!!!!!!

SJ

Pictures HERE

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Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:33 am
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Hey, I was at that game! Proud season tickets holder. UNH played above their level, it was awesome.

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Thu Nov 17, 2005 4:38 pm
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Pucks and Packs! I love it! especially in the same day.

I did hear it was one of the best games in a couple of years....sorry we don't get much college and AHL hockey in Mass, but I listen to the Morning Buzz and they promote the Monarchs and UNH quite heavily.
Check it out if you get a chance, they're auctioning off some great stuff this week for a number of NH charities. Box seats for the UNH/Dartmouth game in January....with signed jersey's!!!
Bill

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Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:21 pm
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A very well written trip report. Great hiking crew, wished I could have joined you. Love to read 'em and love to hike 'em.

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Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:56 pm
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