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 It aint that far is it? 
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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 It aint that far is it?
A wise man once wrote "You have got to be kidding!!!!" I think this is what many of us were thinking on Saturday as we trudged up the frozen trail to Wildcat A. But first, let us digress......

Russ (McRat) has been ever vigilantly attempting to complete his 4000 footer list. He had planned to save the whole Carter-Moriah-Wildcat Range for a backpacking trip, but eventually chose to start knocking peaks off through daytrips. Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men are usually thwarted when we most feel success in our grasp. So, with cautious ambition we all gathered on this wind swept, frigid morning to join him in his latest attempt to Bag Carter Dome and Wildcat A. Todays cast of charcters would find the following people ready and waiting: Me (New Hampshire), Jen, Doug (Dougeh), 7summits, leaf (Courtney) and of course, the foolish grand master himself, the man of the hour, McRat. We waited around for Bob (Hikerfast) but gave up by 8:45. By then we were all anxious to get into the trees as the wind whipping through the notch was making everything extremly cold. With everyone ready, we headed off into the woods to begin the adventure.

The 19 Mile Brook trail was reported to be well packed, and indeed we found this true. All of us were able to bareboot with little problems at all. Now that we were moving and in the trees, the temperatures started feeling rather nice.....well, as nice as a mid winter day can feel :lol: . We ambled along, enjoying the marvelous landscape, and taking in the white wash that winter had laid down. About half way along the trail we had our first minor glitch of the day. Leaf's hydration bladder tube had frozen solid. She and Doug set it up so that the heat from her back would thaw the hose, and we set off once again. When we came to the trail junction for the hut and the Carter Dome trail we made the decision to head up to the hut first so we could get some hot water in us and to figure out which peak we wanted to hit first. With the decision made we headed along to Carter Notch Hut.....

As we got out to the lakes, the wind that battered us down in the lot were raging ever more so up here. We crossed the frozen lakes, snapping pictures of the clear summits. This notch is pretty impressive with the steep walls of Wildcat and Carter Dome rising on either side. But we did not linger long as the wind was way to brutal to allow us much leisure time here. Across the lake, up the little rise, and Carter Notch hut sat invitingly in front of us.

Inside we found the hut empty. There was water warmed and simmering on the stove, by the caretaker was nowheres in site. We all dropped our gear and started to make ourselves comfy. Russ read off the stats from the weatehr data station, which showed the hut temp at 32 degrees, outside 5 degrees, and a windchill of -12. Ahhhh, nice and balmy! :wink: We all ate lunch and sat around talking. Doug was in his corner stripping off layers while his whole body steamed. A few of us made fine use of the instant coffe and hot water. It was a great time in a neat mountaintop retreat, but sitting here all day was not going to get us our summits. So the plan was made: Russ figured Wildcat A would be the "problem" peak since it appeared it was not broken out. Carter Dome is supposedly well packed. Since he can come up solo on a weekday, he figured it best to leave Carter Dome for last in case Wildcat A wiped us out. At least he could have the "easier" bag when he was alone. With it all worked out we geared back up and headed for the Wildcat Ridge Trail.

Indeed, the Wildcat Ridge trail was not broken out. This was going to be one looooong slog. The sign stated .7 miles to the top of A, but by the end we would all thinking to ourselves "It aint that far is it?" I mean, seven tenths, thats not even 3/4 of a mile, right? How bad could it be? I picked up the tail end of the group, figuring as always I would be the slowest, as well I knew that such an unpacked trail would see me tearing it up with my tiny MSRs. Best to let everyone else just do their thing. Indeed I was correct. It did not take long for the two biggest, heaviest guys to slink to the back of the group. Russ would have only slightly less problems than I and that is to say the least! at one point we hit a real loose patch that saw 7summits keep sliding back after every attempt to move forward. So I sullied up behind her and gave her a few well timed pushes in the pack, butt and leg. With her all set it was my turn. I had a little bit easier a time then her, but only because a lot of the loose snow had been stripped away for me. But being 265 with 25 or so pounds of gear on, and using tiny 22 inch shoes on a poorly packed trail meant only one thing.....postholes and lots of them. I would take a few steps, hit some real loose snow, and drop a foot or more into a hole. Thanfully I had plenty of energy and stamina, but all the postholing was slowing me down. Up ahead I occasionally caught glimpses of Russ and 7summits ahead, Russ poking through the snow just like me. This had to be the LONGEST seven tenths in all our histories, but we pushed on regardless. I think Doug noted it took us a little under two hours to go that whole seven tenths, but in the end we all arrived safely on top. We all scurried about looking for the true summit (I thought...and later it was confirmed by 7summits map) the trail went right over the summit, but we all looked about regardless just to make sure. By now Carter Dome was looking like a no go. So we slowly gathered up ourseleves to return the way we came and head out for the day.

With Russ in the lead we charged off down our freshly made track. With the snow at least packed a little Russ and I had a considerably easier time, but a number of hidden obstructions still made things interesting. At one point I ran into a tree limb that pushed back at me. I grabbed it as I started to slip, and thats when the branch broke. Before I knew it I was laying on my back, my head facing slightly downhill and my legs dangling in the snow precariously close to the edge of a steep drop off. I tried pushing myself back up, but the snow just got pushed off the drop off. Jen needed to literally help me up. Back on my own 2 feet I laughed my butt off and we once again set off. Down near the end of the trail we met an old guy headed up. This guy really steamed me up a bit. He was wearing crampons and he had snowshoes sitting atop his pack. Since the track was still real soft he obviously was postholing the entire way he had come up. WHy he did not put his shoes on, I will never know, but I bit my tounge regardless and let him go along his way.

With everyone safely down at the trail junction we snakced and drank a bit before making the final call that Carter Domw was going to be a no go for sure. By now it was about 3, and heading up would easily have pushed this trip way after dark, and Russ' knee was starting to bother him after a spill he had just taken. With a wave good bye to Dome we once again set off to return back the way we had come earlier in the day. Back on packed trail it was all smooth running as we passed the occasional hiker on their way up to the hut for the night. We gabbed a little with each group before letting them go upon their way. Just as we reached the trail junction from earlier in the day we found a group laid out and talking. It turned out to be Tuco, Rols, Little Bear and the rest of their group who had gone out to do Carter Dome. They confirmed to Russ that the trail was in great shape, so at least he will have a fairly easy go of it when he returns during the week. They also said they ran into Hikerfast, who they said was cuddled up off the side of the trail in a big down jacket sipping scotch! Good ole Bob, never one to forget the important stuff! :lol: After sitting around for about 20 minutes Tuco's group set off, while we were not far behind.

The reast of the walk out was pretty uneventfull. All of us were tired and we were just happy to enjoy the crystal blue skies with the occasional cloud formation above. It felt pretty warm considering, and the wind had cut itself dramatically. With one last hurrah, we emptied out back into the parking lot, which was packed full (which is to be expected for a Saturday night and this being by far the most popular trail to the hut.) We all headed off to warm our vehicles up and strip away the frozen layers from the days adventure.

Congrats to Russ on getting one more (46) for his list attempt. If this were New York he would be done already! :lol: But, alas, he gets to come back at least one more time. Thanks to all who were present for today. Leaf, glad to have met ya, hope to do it again. 7summits, same to you, and hope you have a safe trip in Malaysia. Dougie and Russ, its always a blast. A great day with great people, what more could you ask for!? (Ummmmmmm besides a packed trail, that is :twisted: )

B.


Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:39 pm
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Another great TR but for some reason I kept picturing that little kid in Christmas Story lying in the snow yelling "I can't get up" when I read about your little incident.

Sorry :oops:
Bill

and GPS tracks and pics?????

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Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:05 pm
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I know its a steep trail and deep snow when I set my poles, advance one leg, shift my weight only to experience my pole decending into snow
to the hilt or better,have my weight crush the snow only to return to my starting point (or even lower) WOW! that was some tough going.
The ascent trail is very narrow and drifted in several spots with a few hungy spruce traps. Some of the drifts will overcome the trail with another storm. It will require a lot more packing before it's considered "comfortable". On the flip -there were a few enjoyable
UBS(unplanned butt slides) going down - quite exciting!
I can still hear the howl of the wind. :shock:
A fine day though and nice to see "old" faces and meet some new folks!
2 more Russ!
some pics in a little bit


Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:35 pm
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 windy and snowy for sure
The wind was certainly howling! I drove through Franconia, Carter, and Pinkham notches on the way to the trailhead and the wind gusting through them knocked my car around! I thought to myself, "If the wind can push my car off the road, what will it do to me on the summit!" Luckily, I wasn't blown off the trail. :wink: I was, however, finding myself clinging to the side of the mountain trying to get a good snowshow grip as a saw the snow tumble down the steep slopes! :shock:
I was surprisingly warm despite the -12 wind chill, or was it -9? Because there's a big difference.. 8) My favorite part was taking out my camera and saying to 7summits and dougeh, "Yes, don't be alarmed, it's an actual film camera." being all proud of my old-fashioned camera and then bam! my camera broke. oops! And also "almost having water" was also a memorable moment. :roll: Yah. Thanks for the water guys. :) and Congrat to Russ. I, myself, have 4 more to go! Like I said in the Hut, if I stop climbing the same peaks over and over, maybe I'll actually finish the 48! Hey, it's great no matter what I hike, just love being out there. Thanks guys, I had a good time. :D
Can't wait to see the pics!


Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:47 pm
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Pucknuts61 wrote:
Another great TR but for some reason I kept picturing that little kid in Christmas Story lying in the snow yelling "I can't get up" when I read about your little incident.

Sorry :oops:
Bill

and GPS tracks and pics?????


Hopefully 7summits posts her pics somewheres cuz she actually got one of me in my....akward....position!

I have a few pics myself. Not as many as usual......my photography enthusiasm dropped off greatly at -10 degrees! :lol:

Hey Doug, this ones for you:

Fools Scout surprise! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Leaf, your welcome in any group of mine, any time! I said it before and Ill say it again, good company makes ANY hike (good or bad) fun. This cast of characters is no different.

B.


Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:18 pm
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okay - important stuff first- pichas
if you like snow,rocks,trees and wind. well no wind--but just make
the noise(really loud though)
http://community.webshots.com/album/557862996QoOIKe

Now Brian....what can I say...you are determined!
this is perhaps the most important word on the lyrics page [fade] :lol:


Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:02 pm
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Nice Job! You guys earned that peak for sure.


Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:18 pm
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Although, I don't really think Jen actually hiked Saturday.
It was more like she floated along the snow. I was very
envious! :D


Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:46 pm
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dougeh wrote:
Although, I don't really think Jen actually hiked Saturday.
It was more like she floated along the snow. I was very
envious! :D


Its pretty funny to look at the two of us side by side and think we came from the same parents! :lol: Who would have thunk it! :shock:

My pics are here:

Wildcat A

And 7summits pictures are HERE

Her pics include this classic one of me :lol: :lol: :

Image

B.


Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:10 pm
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 Re: It aint that far is it?
New Hampshire wrote:
At one point I ran into a tree limb that pushed back at me. I grabbed it as I started to slip, and thats when the branch broke. Before I knew it I was laying on my back, my head facing slightly downhill and my legs dangling in the snow precariously close to the edge of a steep drop off.


Damaging trees now.. :lol:

I wish I saw this

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:13 am
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Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New Hampshire wrote:

At one point I ran into a tree limb that pushed back at me. I grabbed it as I started to slip, and thats when the branch broke. Before I knew it I was laying on my back, my head facing slightly downhill and my legs dangling in the snow precariously close to the edge of a steep drop off.



Damaging trees now..





Arboreal Assault!
Guilty!
4 weeks of trail maintenance - in August :lol:


Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:21 am
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dougeh wrote:



Arboreal Assault!
Guilty!
4 weeks of trail maintenance - in August :lol:


Bah, thats it!? Heck, I already VOLUNTEERED a minimum of 3 days a year for no less than 2 years ALREADY! And since my trail has been orphaned for a while I am expecting to easily run 4 weeks just to get her up to code....mud, bugs and rain be damned!!!! :lol: :lol: (of course, there is the little plan I have of manipulating Silentcal into doing all the trailwork while I take the credit....shhhhhhh :wink: .)

B.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:03 pm
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yeah, we gotta figure out our weekends for that.

I don't mind the work, I'll let you fill out the paperwork though. Your great at playing secretary. :lol:


Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:37 pm
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Worst part is, we've all been like that on a winter trip.....it's just that pictures are worth a thousand words...all of em funny ones
like...turtle...or flounder. :wink:

Caught my crampon on my gaiter and went head first down Galehead....poles flew, gear like a yard sale, and a face full of snow. :shock:

BUT I got up before Wildpeaks could get the camera out!

That's the key...don't stay there laughing at yourself too long. :D

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Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:59 pm
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SilentCal wrote:
yeah, we gotta figure out our weekends for that.

I don't mind the work, I'll let you fill out the paperwork though. Your great at playing secretary. :lol:


Lucky me :roll: . You should see the damn forms to fill out recording our work! You would swear the AMC is run by the IRS or something :shock: .

Hey Bill, the only problem with my "accident" was I really could not get up by myself. I really WAS Randy from "A Chrsitmas Story" as he shouted "I CAN"T GET UUUUUP!!!!" :oops: :lol: :lol:

B.


Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:52 pm
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