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 Mt Isolation 12/23 
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Leg Burner
Leg Burner

Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:40 am
Posts: 59
Location: Thornton
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 Mt Isolation 12/23
This was #24 for Jim L. The 1/2 way point to the NH 4's in Winter.

8 of us gathered between 8 & 8:10am at the trailhead to Rocky Branch on Rt 16. This would also be a first time Winter visit to Isolation for Prof Drew, MEB, Glenn S, & Sherpa John. Steven, Vice Commander Dwyer & I were along for the ride / navigation / trail breaking efforts :)

Except for the first approx. 1 1/2 miles, the trail was unbroken. Al & I had previously discussed gaining the height of land, where the trail crosses Engine Hill, and starting the first bushwhack following the 3100' contour to pick up the Isolation trail. We all took a turn at leading the pack through this bushwhack, and laid a nice track in the process, though we had to reel the very first member of the group who took a crack at it "back in" as he has a penchant for going up matter where up hill might be heading. On this day, we were heading North / North-West, so North / North-East wasn't the tour of the day :oops:

We crossed the 3rd & 4th crossing of the brook without too much difficulty on the way to the summit, but one of our crew did a 20 second foot dipping on the way out :shock: No worries, really, as the day was warm & he relayed that he didn't get cold from the incident - phew.

The trail was easy to follow up to the far end of the former blowdown area, which is almost all the way to the Davis Path junction, and from there we did the "drainage" bushwhack, but with a tweak. There was still standing water in the bottom of the drainage, tho covered by white fluff, so we crossed to the south side, slabbing the minor bump in the terrain in mostly open softwoods, and connected with the Davis Path.

There were no signs of recent use of the Davis Path, but then again, the winds had blown drifts here & there along the last remaining stretch to the Isolation Spur trail. The fog was covering the surrounding vistas, and we couldn't see Mt Isolation in the foreground as we moved closer to it. When we reached the last section, before the trail slabs East to the base of the Spur, I asked Jim if he could "Feel" the 4 thousand footer? Jim had never visited Mt Isolation prior to this trip, so the terrain wasn't even slightly familiar to him. I don't think he believed me when I indicated we were all but there :)

We summited at 3pm, took the celebration pictures for #TWENTY FOUR :!: AND the Winter ascent for MEB, Prof Drew, Glenn & John too.
Ta Da ~

The trip back went very smoothly, except for the aforementioned foot dipping done by Glenn. Once we arrived back at the parking lot, we shared a toast of Apple Cider, and the agreement to hike together sometime again soon.

"It's important to remember that no one falls into a simple set of labels. It's even more important to learn from your mistakes, and to fight for the positive choice."

Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:01 am
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 10:20 am
Posts: 779
Location: Lancaster, NH Avatar: On the trail again
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What a wonderful winter hike and report. It took our group 3 tries last March to finally bag this mtn in the winter. Breaking trail in snow over 4' deep is sure tiring. We bushwhacked it and each of us fell in spruce traps above our heads several times. What fun! My only wish is that ghostdog & I joined you.
See you on the trail.

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Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:38 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:13 pm
Posts: 2026
Location: Mt Lafayette Winter 2009
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Hi Cath,

Congratulations! Isolation looks easy, but what a long slog in the winter (right Magic?).
1/2 way home!

"My feet is my only carriage..." Bob Marley

Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:41 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:36 pm
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Location: Seacoast NH, USA
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Great trip report Cath! I'm always impressed with people who attempt Isolation in the winter, what a challenge!

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Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:13 am
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