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 Starr King/Waumbek.....winter 4k #1! 
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 Starr King/Waumbek.....winter 4k #1!
Well, persistance by Magic and Bill (Pucknuts) would not allow me to watch this winter fall to the wayside. So for weeks I had been accumilating a collection of essentials for Jen and I to start. So when everything was finaly a go, Magic gathered a nice group of some old faces as well as new to make this one special.

First we had the familiar faces in the group. MtnMagic (the fearless leader), Pucknuts, and SilentCal (who I was surprised to find was ALSO on his first official winter 4k!) The new faces were a spunky gal nammed Freddi, and a humerous gent named Dave. And of course, this hike would not be complete without the 2 mascots of the group, Ghostdog and Maggie Luck, my rubber duckie.

We all met at the Star King Trailhead (which was driveable, but slippery.) Cal had parked down on the road. After cordialities and introductions of the new faces we geared up and set off. A group of older hikers (looked to be late 50's and 60's crowd) set off before us, and we would pass each other many times on this day. The walk up the trail went at a surprisingly brisk pace despite the numerous patches of ice. There was only about a half inch of new cover, but it was enough to hide many of those patches of ice. We all barebooted to the top, but traction devices would be a good idea to anyone else going up. About half way to Starr King I slipped on one of these hidden patches and, while sticking my arm out to stop my fall, I whacked my elbow into my side temporarily knocking the wind out of me. Few quick huffs and puffs and I troopered on. This would be Boo Boo number one of three for me on this day. By now we had passed the previous group who had set out and were steadily leaving them far behind. Sometime around this point Cal managed to break his shoelace, so he had to bubba it good enough to keep going. And it worked pretty well as he did not have to switch shoes later on (he brought Cathies boots since she was sick and could not make the trip.)

The temps were pretty chilly, and when we hit the offside of the mountian the temps got even colder. A few toes were chilled on a number of us, but we kept moving for the most part and that kept us warm. We hit the summit of Starr King with clear, bright blue skies and nice views. It was also here the Gray Jays were out....three to be precise. Freddie and Jen got to have their first "hands on" with these plump little fellows. Holding their hands filled with Cheeze-its high up over their heads the birds would swoop in, snatch a snack and fly off to stach it before returning. All told they made off with some good bootie (including Cashews from Bill :wink: .)

Leaving Starr King we moved on to the main goal of the Day...Waumbek. Not to long after leaving Starr King we became confused by a number of sriss crossing trails someone had made. Who ever this person/s were they made a mess. It took a few minutes before we found blazes again and were set back on the proper trail. Again we kept on. At the last steep pitch before the summit of Waumbek I had boo boo numer 2. My thigh cramped up real bad and slowed me up to the summit. I had lost site of the group as I kept working the knot out of my muscle. It loosened up pretty good and would only give me hints of a reminder as the rest of the day went on.

Oat the summit of Waumbek we broke for a fine lunch of grand scale. Dave had his sandwich he bought, Jen and I munched on half frozen Granola bars, and Bill passed around his new magic concoction of tea. We enjoyed some nice "tea and crackers" fit for royalty :lol: . It appeared Waumbek was the mountain of choice for many people today as many people began arriving on the trail to head up to this summit.

After about 15 minutes we geared back up and returned on. Jen and I tried out our crampons to see how they worked out. Jen had no problem, enjoying a fine, slip free walk back to the car. I, however, had serious gear malfunctions. Bill and I pulled up the rear and had to stop a few times trying to readjust my crampon straps to get them to stay on. But unfortunately my summer hiking boots are just too soft and I would literayl walk out of my crampons not too long after re-adjusting. I got fed up and just took them off for good. We caught back up with the group up ahead and pressed on. Cal and I enjoyed a few hairy moments of slipping and sliding. Bill, Freddi and Dave had all brought traction devices, and Magic used his "Mountain Magic" to avoid having any problems (Ok, maybe its just the many years on trail :P .) It was almost near the end I hit boo boo number three. My calf muscle spasmed and locked up like a vault. It hurt like a son of a gun and it took me a few seconds before I could get it moving again. This thing would bother me all the way back home.

We hit the end of trail around 3ish. There was some excitement as it appears a woman in one of the other groups had injured her arm and had it slung up. We all enjoyed some more random conversation before all parting ways. Magic Had wanted to go on to Prospect Mountain for another quick hike. But Bill, Freddi and Dave were all anxious to beat the snowstorm home since they all ahd to travel to Mass. And, of course, I was still feeling the hurt from my calf muscle.

So it was with handshakes and farewells we parted ways. Jen and I returned back to 115a and could not help but stop next to an open field to take some pictures of the snow capped presidential range (thats what we were doing in case you were wondering Bill :wink: :lol: .) These would be the only pictures of the day since....um.....Jen...yeah jJen....forgot the camera in the car for our hike. Its all her fault and no one elses, especially not mine. Im innocent I tell ya......... :twisted: .

And there you have it. Winter 48 numer 1!

Brian

P.S. Hopefully Bill will post his pics for ya!


Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:10 pm
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A wonderful day with great company.

and yes, I stopped a little further down the road to grab some pictures when I saw what you were looking at. Excellent shots of the Prezzies!

Great trip report, now you only have 47 more to write.

and I'm glad you and Jen had such fantastic weather for a first winter hike,

Great spunk from these 2, so watch for them on the trails soon.

Bill

PS Brian, I'll send you some pictures, PM your email account

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Sat Feb 11, 2006 9:04 pm
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Wow, finally a winter hike for you and Jen. It was a long time coming! So glad you guys enjoyed it. You are most welcome to join us every Saturday for some further hiking. Nice hiking and a super trip report!

Btw: the woman in the group lead by Nancy S., fell, broke her wrist and was driven to the hospital. She took it in stride and is a trouper. The Temps started at 0* in the am and rose to a comfortable 32*. A very fine day indeed.

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Last edited by MtnMagic on Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:31 pm
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Hope this link to my pictures works.
Please ffel free to check out any of the albums

<a href="http://spaces.msn.com/pucknuts61/PersonalSpace.aspx?_c11_PhotoAlbum_spaHandler=TWljcm9zb2Z0LlNwYWNlcy5XZWIuUGFydHMuUGhvdG9BbGJ1bS5FZGl0TW9kZUNvbnRyb2xsZXI%24&_c11_PhotoAlbum_albumid=&_c11_PhotoAlbum_spaReturnToFull=0&_c=PhotoAlbum&_c02_owner=1">Pics Click Here</a>

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Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:33 pm
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It sure was fun. Of course Jen and I sure felt it today. My legs are yelling to high heck, and Jens knees are in rough shape :wink: . But it was a surreal thing to be up there in all that snow. And what a day for views, even though the mountains we did were not blessed with many.

Great pics too, Bill.

Waiting till next time!
Brian


Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:42 pm
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The link works perfectly Pucknuts. Thankfully, we only have to click on it and not spell it! Great shots. Your wonderful pix will always bring back fond memories of this hike. I also enjoyed pucks & packs!

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Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:08 pm
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Another good trip! I'm going to keep an eye out for some clearance bargains for crampons and stabilizers.


Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:22 pm
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And some snowshoes too!

Around the end of March the winter gear bargains start. Maybe most will last into the late spring or even into summer.

See what great joy most are missing on winter hikes. Cheers!

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Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:38 pm
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Cal,

I just got Jens snowshoes in. Yukon Charlie 8"x25". I paid $79 on the Sports Authority website. With Shipping it was something like $85 I think.

Also, I dont know if you are on the REI mailing list or not. If you are not they offer a discount coupon to new e-mail members (I think its 10%). This is how I got mine and Jens Black Diamond Contact strap crampons. They were $100, so I got them for $90. But EMS also is always running 20% and 30% sales. Good to keep an eye out there.

Brian


Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:07 pm
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Gear up. Sweet!

You could have shopped around, paid $10 less and bought at least 2 smoothies. How much better can *that* be!

NH, you and Jen joining us for Tom, Field, Willey 2.18, and then Liberty-Flume 2.20?!

Anyone on this site enjoy hiking?!
:D

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Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:38 pm
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Hey Magic, I cant make it Saturday. Had something come up. So instead it looks like Im going to do Willey/Field with McRat and Possibly Hikerfast. I wwasnt about to let this nice long weekend go by without hiking AT ALL. But at least I get to meet Russ, who Ive been wanting to for a while.
Brian


Fri Feb 17, 2006 7:05 am
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Folks ~ Be careful out there this weekend :!: :!: :!:

Check out the Mt Washington Ob's site before you go

www.mountwashington.org & click on Higher Summits Forecast

(especially for THIS weekend)

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Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:55 am
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-70 whoa--or should i say whoet :?


Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:31 am
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Glad I remained home today. Conditions as of Friday, February 17, 11:58 a.m. est at the Mount Washington Observatory:
Outside Air Temperature: 31.5°F
Windspeed: 72 MPH
15 Minute Gust: 92 MPH
Wind Direction: 238° (SW)
Wind Chill: 14°F

Tomorrow's another day with less wind and temperatures in the single numbers. The weather observatory reads: By Saturday night temperatures on the summit could be -30 °F. Wind chill values could be as low as -70 °F by Friday evening and be as cold or colder through much of the weekend! Needless to say, any travel above treeling is strongly discouraged this weekend, as the combination of arctic temperatures, hurricane force winds, and white out conditions due to falling snow and blowing snow will make for life threatening conditions!

Here right now at just under 2000' elevation, the house is creaking in the wind with the trees whipping around and threatening to snap. I expect the power & phone to cut off at any moment. It feels and sounds like a hurricane.

I very much realize to climb the mountains on my terms not the mountain's. We'll see how the conditons are in the a.m.

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Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:49 pm
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