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 The Bonds in a day...a spectacular day! 
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 The Bonds in a day...a spectacular day!
4 AM came early. The alarm didn’t go off it’s just that I hadn’t slept too much in eager anticipation of this hike. It has been many years since I had done The Bonds and I have never been on West Bond. I knew it was going to be a long day but was excited to bag #47 (W Bond). I had emailed a few people earlier in the week and was psyched that Quint was willing to go with me on this one (he had no idea what he signed up for!). Then Freddi, Julie, and Diane also emailed me to say they wanted to go too. Freddi needed Zealand, W Bond, and Bond for her 48 list, so we decided to go in from Zealand rather than Lin-Wood.
With the plans all set, I picked up Brian at 5 AM and then Freddi at 5:20 and off we went in order to be at the trailhead by 8 AM to meet the others.
When we arrived a little before 8, Diane and Julie were already there and gearing up. The day was looking very nice and despite it being the middle on November we only needed some light layers for most of the day. Freddie, Quint, and I geared up and the 5 of us started on our day long adventure.
We had high hopes of seeing some moose due to the number of ponds in the area and how early in the morning it was but unfortunately we only found tracks and scat. However, this was the only disappointment of the day!
We made it to Zealand Hut by 9. This hut is open year round and makes for a great place to stop, grab a quick bite, and to tank up on water. During the winter months the pumps and filter are shut off but the Zealand Falls are next to the hut so there is always a ready supply of water.
After a quick rest we started the ascent to the Twinway. This section isn’t too bad in terms of elevation and steepness but we did encounter our first signs of winter with patches of snow along the trail. Crampons and/or Stablicers were not needed nor were they needed for any part of the day but we were all prepared for winter conditions none the less.
Soon we reached the Twinway and the beautiful views along this exposed section of trail. Zealpond and Zealcliffs are in the area and make for a great and somewhat easy day hike. The Twinway was in its typical condition…mud, water, snow, and ice….and plenty of it! Footing wasn’t too bad but good waterproof boots and gaiters are highly recommended for this section.
We finally hit the ladder and made it up to the small outcrop before heading back into the trees to Zealand. About ¾ of a mile after the outcrop we hit the intersection of Zealand Mountain and made the quick tenth of a mile hike to the oasis that is Zealand summit. #1 of 3 for the day was done and Freddi and Quint were psyched to have hit this one for their first time.
We took a quick break and then started the journey to Guyot where we planned our lunch stop.
I thought this was about a mile and a half hike to Guyot but it seemed to go on forever. Then the clearing came up and the entire Pemi was laid out before us!!!! It was impressive to say the least with Garfield looking so ominous in the distance and South Twin taking up a huge chuck on the landscape. We worked our way down to the Bondliff trail staring at the Franconia Ridge and Owlshead the whole way. This part of the trail isn’t difficult but where you need to get to Mt Guyot that’s right in front of you, the trail turns West/NorthWest and seems strange that you have to go this way and then cut back South to where you want to go. Eventually we hit the cairn that marks Mt Guyot and moved down to the intersection of the Guyot Campsite. There is water at the spring there but after heading down towards the shelter, we decided it wasn’t worth it and turned around before we even saw it.
Here we stopped for a bite to eat and to enjoy some interesting Russian chocolate that Julie brought. Very nice for an energy boost! It was a little after 1 now and both Diane (Creek Crittter) and Julie (both of who have already completed their 48) needed to head back. We said our fond farewells, then Freddi, Quint, and I headed for West Bond. The sign said it was only .7 miles to Mt Bond and while we were all excited to get these, we were also getting a little tired. The intersection to W Bond is easy to find and is only a few feet from the campsite intersection. If you’re coming down from Mt Bond, it might not be so easy to find because the lone small sign tacked to a tree faces the opposite direction. We made the 1 mile trek out to the summit and were rewarded with one of the most amazing views of the Pemi! The entire Franconia ridge was visible as were Garfield, Carrigain, and South Twin with the most impressive views being to Mt Bond and the Bondcliffs. Simply breathe taking!!!! We took a few pictures and soaked in the views before heading back to the intersection to head up to Mt Bond.
It certainly seemed like the longest 7 tenths of a mile ever but eventually we topped out to another clear summit and enjoyed the views to the Presidential Range with Mt Washington all streaked in white caps.
We had a long hike in front of us and knew it was fairly late in the day, so we said our goodbyes to the views and started our trek back.
By the time we hit the summit of Mt Guyot again, the sun was setting over the Franconia Ridge. I had hopes that we’d be closer to Zealand by the time the sun set but such was our luck. Instead we got a killer sunset to enjoy where as if we were at Zealand we’d only see trees. I guess this was a good thing then.
Being tired after a great day and knowing how many miles are still in front of us proved to be a challenge in keeping our spirits up. The weather had been great all day, there was no rain like had been predicted earlier in the week, and even the wind wasn’t a factor, but we were ready for the car and still had 5+ miles ahead of us.
By the time we made it back to the intersection of Mt Zealand we were in need of our headlamps. The woods get pretty dark quickly and what seemed like midnight turned out to be 6 PM. The trip down from here to the hut was the most taxing. It isn’t blazed that well but we had very few problems in finding the trail at night. Still the length of day, the dark, and the sore feet & legs were all weighing on us until the oasis of the hut. What a relief the hut was!!!!! We stopped on the porch to grab a bite to eat and to check out the few stars that were out when the caretaker came out and asked us if we were part of “the group”. Apparently an AMC group of 36 had booked the hut and then didn’t show up. What a waste! But he had boiled a lot of water and was willing to share it with us. We spent a few minutes inside chilling with the 3 people that were there taking in as much water as we could. Soon we decided it was time to finish this hike and said our thanks and goodbyes before leaving the hut behind us. The 2 ½ miles back to the car were uneventful and it’s as easy a hike as there is in the Whites but we were just so tired that it seemed to take a lot longer than the 1 hour it took to get there earlier that day.
We finally got to the car, changed as quick as possible and were relieved just to sit down.
According to my GPS we had hiked almost 17 miles but there was a short time doing West Bond that it had turned off, so it could be closer to 18+ miles and almost exactly 12 hours.
Thanks to Quint, who I can’t believe went with me again after doing 11 miles on Cabot just 2 weeks earlier: Freddi for keeping us so excited about this hike and to cross 3 more off her list: and Diane and Julie for coming along and helping us on such a long day.

47 down...just 1 to go!

Pictures are here with my favorite being the sunset on Guyot (the last shot)

http://pucknuts61.spaces.live.com/

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Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:37 pm
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Nice trip report and congrats on #47. I may have see you drive by on your way to the trailhead as I was at the Halebrook Trailhead around 7:45 and did see several cars drive by in that time.

Chet


Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:39 pm
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Not bad for a Bruins Fan! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Those Bonds are something special. If West Bond is not the greatest place to just sit and let your mind wander, I'd don't know where it would be. Glad you had a good trip! Way to go Quint!!!!!


Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:07 pm
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Congrats to you Bill, and to Brian for snagging 3 more! What a peakbagger he has become.....and in just a few months. Reminds me of myself..... sniff....I think Im going to cry :cry: :lol: :wink: .

And your right, Im sure he had no idea what he was getting into.......his wife either, judging by the frantic voice mail message I got Saturday night wondering why Brian was not home yet :lol: . Brian, you should not scare the poor woman like that :P .

So when we doing Hale good buddy?!

B.


Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:11 pm
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Hey Chet,

I must have looked your way too knowing it was my last and just scoping out the trailhead.
Wasn't it a great day to be in the hills?!?!

SC, Yes a Bruins fan....but I've started to wear a bag hiking instead of a balaclava!

and Brian....it's looking more and more like a Saturday. I was hoping for the Friday after Thanksgiving but I'm hearing that some might be traveling that weekend.
It could be as early as this Saturday.

All will be invited though!
Bill

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Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:38 pm
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Pucknuts61 wrote:
and Brian....it's looking more and more like a Saturday. I was hoping for the Friday after Thanksgiving but I'm hearing that some might be traveling that weekend.
It could be as early as this Saturday.



Ugggh, and reluctantly I admit I will be WORKING the Friday after Thanksgiving. My company seems to feel that reparing for inventory on this day is a smart thing.....yeah, I do not work for smart employers :roll: :lol: . Saturdays are just fine now anyways. Fising is done for the year, and taking time off from the hunting grind is just fine by me for such a momentus occasion :wink: .

B.


Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:05 am
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