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 Dorset Peak, VT- 1/24/2016 
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Peak Bagger
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:40 pm
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Location: Brutasaur on Franconia Ridge
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 Re: Dorset Peak, VT- 1/24/2016
I did another round of the NEHH as a friend wanted to get them again to complete an "Over 70" list. It took us 3 years (he's now 73) and finished on the Bigelows last October - I think he's the 1st to have done them over the age of 70. Not that you'll hear him talking about that accomplishment except to his hiking buds. It was great fun, and several of them I'd only done once before, and that was many years ago. Some routes were mostly unchanged, but some were entirely different, or we took an entirely different route up.

Dorset was one of those routes entirely different. My brother-in-law, who lives in VT, showed us the route. Once you know where it is, it would be easy to find again, but it's off some town roads and starts near a corn field. Follows an old road to the ridge, and then it's the usual floundering around looking for the doorknob, tie, old grill, etc until you get your bearings again. PATN was entirely different - if that herd path that incensed Gene Daniells so many years ago existed we sure didn't find it, either on the ascent or descent. That was one peak I'm very glad to have had the GPS on. And Scar Ridge - I thought that the winter route from the Kanc would be doable since the water was low a year ago last fall, but ... we did manage to cross the river twice (was really tough going back, as we had a steep climb up the bank) but it was difficult - very, very steep pencil woods, and steep ridges with nearly sheer cliff bands to thread out down between. Didn't get to our vehicles until 6:30PM. It was humbling. Do take the herd path over from the Loon Ski area - I understand it's nearly a well-beaten path.

The biggest surprise were the Maine trailless peaks, as the roads are now in great shape, and mostly plowed, even in the winter. I think the forest products demand (pulp, paper, chips, pellets and possible European markets) may account for the condition of the roads. We did several of those peaks 2 falls ago, and saw more deer hunters with VT plates than ME... Several of those peaks are very much shorter, and easier treks, than they were in the past. One big difference is few people sneak into Canada to get Boundary. I'm not going to divulge the various ways I've done Boundary in the past, but this time I did Spaulding and Sugarloaf from the CVR on day one, overnighted at the Spillover in Stratton, and went home on day two via Quebec to pick up Boundary. I really love driving thru the Eastern Townships, as you feel you're in a foreign country (which of course you are, but most know what I mean). My friend has already done these 3 peaks, so I enjoyed two days of solitude which may have helped me to spot a rutting moose couple crashing about just off the CVR road not too far from the gate.

All of the VT, NH and most of the ME peaks we did as dayhikes. For the ME peaks, I created a spreadsheet with the driving distance from the E17 Park and Ride (our meeting place) to the trallhead using the NH DOT's website NH Rideshare, which is a terrific resource incorporating Google Maps to compute driving distances. I then made an estimate of our hiking time, and added it to the projected totals. In practice we needed another hour or so for various stops. Mostly it was a good approximation, although one time we realized we'd stretched it when we found ourselves in Bangor at 9PM trying to find sandwiches at a gas station. That was a long day. But hey, if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

If there's any interest in the spreadsheet, let me know and I'll post the template.

Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:18 pm
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