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 Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln 
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 Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
Recently I posted a question here about a recently implemented hiker safety program. In my initial post I declared I was not interested in debating the merits of the policy, and stated my "firm and unchanging" opinion on the politics of the situation. However, a certain ambassador of this website took issue with my opinion, and led the community on a five page dissertation on personal responsibility. Towards the end, it became apparent that his supremely right-wing philosophy of "every man for himself" was unrealistic. In a Democratic Capitalist society, the government has a responsibility to cultivate a robust economy.

And ever since losing that debate, a certain ambassador has had it in for me. In one recent thread, I posted one harmless hyperbolic comment that was clearly in jest, and suddenly I found myself being ridiculed for my inferior hiking abilities. I find the concept of "hiking abilities" to be a little laughable to begin with, and when I suggested that it's pretty much walking while carrying an extra jacket, I was challenged

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So, off I went to do a loop over Mt Lafayette and Lincoln. Within five feet of the parking lot, I saw this.

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WTF??? Well, if nothing else, this sign settles the debate from the previous thread. The sign seems to clearly spell out what constitutes negligent behavior. If you don't bring a jacket, if you don't put fresh batteries in your pacemaker....in other words, if you're complete and utter nincompoop, you might get a bill.

What's more interesting here is that nothing on this sign refers to the HikeSafe program. I would think that if the government's goal is to raise money by selling cards, THIS would be the spot to advertise. Listen people, invoking "personal responsibility" will not erase the ineptitude of your government. Think it through.

But that's a converstation for a another thread.

On to the helmet-less mountaineering (Or "hiking" if you want to be a dick about it).

As I've stated previously, most of what's needed to hike can be learned at a very early age. And back in my formative years I remember watching TV ads where a man would bite into a piece of candy and be teleported to the top of a wintry mountain.

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FYI, it doesn't work in real life. So I had to turn to Plan B, and just walked up the trail instead.

Traction-wise, I barebooted about 3/4 of the way up. I usually try to put off donning my hillsounds as long as possible because I find that my feet get more fatigued. Eventually though, the steepness of the trail combined with the smoothness of the snow (sledders came through earlier), forced me to strap on my spikes. After that, I had more than adequate traction to navigate anything and everything the ridge threw at me.

Despite non-extreme conditions, I saw a few folks wearing full blown crampons. I probably saw three or four sets of crampons, all worn by young-ish fit-looking guys. Conversely, I saw dozens of sets of microspikes, many worn by folks over 50.

So consider this a public service fashion announcement. Wearing crampons without also having a rope attached to you, makes you look like a douchebag showoff.

Moving on....

After the hut things got steep, and rocky. The summit was in sight, but I was definitely feeling more exposed than I had below treeline. I had read online about how scary and intimidating it is to hike above treeline. I had heard the fearsome stories from the jaded, grizzled, veteran mountaineers who had come before me. At this point, I was paralyzed with fear, but got going again when I realized that I was prepared. I had done the necessary research, and I was fully armed with the information needed to navigate this hazard.

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Here's the summit. It was windy, and since I didn't spend any time on Tecumseh refining my winter hiking skills, I found myself faced with another daunting challenge. Again, I thought long and hard. I remember thinking that at sea level, if you want to get out of the wind, you put something in between you and the air gusts. I wasn't sure, but was hopeful that the same tactic would work a mile up in the air. I looked around but all I saw were gigantic boulders. With no other options, I dove for a crevice in between two of these mammoth rocks and found that they did indeed divert the wind.

Crisis averted.

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Then I ate a Subway sandwich.

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Yes folks, that's right, you can eat the same food on top of a mountain, as you can at the bottom. You just gotta carry it up. Virtually every person who passed me was like "OOOH subway! I'm jealous!" Well pal, if you didn't spend all your money on worthless crampons, maybe you'd have the $8.71 needed to get yourself a footlong turkey torpedo to enjoy at the summit.

I actually suggested to a pair of hikers that we put the wilderness hut system out for competitive bids. Then maybe instead of a boarded up shack in the woods, we would have all just hiked past a Chick-fil-A. The idea seemed to garner some support. Spread the word.

After eating, I realized that my hands were a little cold. My thin wool gloves weren't doing the job. Damn these unforeseen conditions!!! For a moment, I thought about chewing off my own fingers to spare myself the pain of frostbite. But before I did anything drastic, I tried to calm myself, and think about how an experienced mountaineer might handle this situation.

Holding fast to my conviction that everything I needed to know about hiking, I learned when I was a little kid, I scanned my memory banks for any information that might be useful.

If only I had decided to hike Tecumseh today, I might have learned some expert tactic to configure my hands into one powerful heat generator that harnesses the combined powers of all five individual fingers.

Wait...that's the answer....and it IS something I learned 30 years ago......Five is more than one!

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By harnessing the combined power of my fingers, I could generate more heat. I plunged my hand into a mitten and nearly wept with joy when my fingers became warm again. I was smart enough to bring TWO mittens, so I could keep both of my hands warm at the same time. And I did it all without practicing on Tecumseh first.

Anyway, not too many more hiking pics to show here. You've all seen snowy trees, you've all seen frozen waterfalls, you've all seen white capped shots of Mt Washington. Skies were pretty crappy (thanks for nothing mountain-forecast.com) so none of the shots I got were particularly noteworthy. They will simply serve as a personal log of my own memories. Here's a few just to prove to the ambassador that I was there.

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And that concludes my first two winter summits on the NH 48. It's a lot like hiking in the summer, except you need a jacket.

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I realize I'm not a popular person here, and I accept that. I've crossed the show's host, and he has spent 6000+ posts building goodwill in the community that I can't compete with. I don't expect to catch up, so you won't find me posting very much, if at all, anymore. I've got all the information I need for the time being. But I will leave you with some food for thought. I've said this before, but there really is an air of superiority among some in the hiking community, particularly online, and it's ugly.

Once, on Cannon, I set my pack down and rested on a rock after a steep and rugged section of trail. Another guy comes up the trail behind me and sees me. Immediately he asks "Are you ok? Everything alright? Are you just taking a break?"

What the hell is that? I admit I'm not in the greatest cardio shape, but I wasn't puking or anything. It would be nice if a guy could challenge himself without being treated like a baby. How about next time you lead with "Hello, how's it going?"

And that's just one in a series of similar incidents where a stranger has talked to me like a clueless noob. Maybe it's something about me specifically. Maybe I just have a look like "city-boy who doesn't belong here", and if that's the case, keep it to yourselves folks.

If you see me slowly grinding my way up to the ridge, don't say "you're doing good!". Firstly, use correct syntax. Superman "does good", I'm doing well. More importantly though, you're not my personal trainer. I'm not trying to impress you. Folks would give that kind of encouragement to my 6 year old daughter last summer when she made her summit push up Monadnock. I'm not a 6 year old girl, don't talk to me like one. Just say "Hello, lovely weather we're having"

In text, those might sound somewhat innocuous, but you can tell alot from people's expressions and tone. I can tell when someone is being pleasant, and when someone is being a turd.

And that condescension is multiplied by a hundred on the web. I'm sure someone will dig up my old posts where I expressed trepidation and hesitation in regards to winter hiking. But that's only because every post, trip report, and website out there makes it sound like winter hiking is an epic face-off against death. Now I know better. It's not.

Just once I'd like to read "It was ten degrees outside, but we were fine. Didn't see many people on the trail, I wish folks weren't so scared of the cold!" But I doubt that will ever happen. It's more fun to say "I was a zero-degree badass, wimps should stay home!"

I realize many of you are just trying to help, and don't have any negative intentions at all. Bad stuff does happen, and preparation is never a bad thing. However, as a parting thought, I would recommend that you all look internally and assess yourself critically.

Are you seeking to self-validate your own accomplishments as "more difficult" by pushing easier suggestions and sterner advice on to the less experienced? Hmmm? Be honest? If you are offended, or don't see the humor in this post, then you're probably part of the problem.

I plan on doing some "bigger" hikes in fairer weather, but after listening to some of the horror stories out there, I think I should just stay home. I always thought that Katahdin looked like a fun trip, but yesterday I overhead two guys reminisce as they passed me on the ridge.

Apparently, according to one of these guys, there is a section on Katahdin that goes up 4000 feet in ONE MILE!! Also, special caution should be used because the mountain is made of a rare form of granite that can wear out a set of rugged hiking boots in a single trip. No hyperbole here. Those words actually came out of someone's mouth. I'm imagining that Baxter State Park looks like this:

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Can anyone suggest a layering scheme for those conditions? Or is it possible that there are some people in the hiking community whose egos compel them to exaggerate the difficulties of higher summits?


Last edited by BrianL on Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:37 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
Oh man! I just scrolled through and read the pile of memes. Im probably going to die of laughter when I get to this properly.


Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:04 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
Ah-righty, then. I honestly have no dog in this race. Things are what they are. But methinks people are taking things too seriously. As a friend once said "it's just walking uphill." So all I have to say is this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syV2LkGpQB0

:D


Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:07 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
thegibba wrote:
Oh man! I just scrolled through and read the pile of memes. Im probably going to die of laughter when I get to this properly.


I hope so

Well, I hope you laugh. I don't hope you die from it.


Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:08 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
Thank you for coming back here after your hike and posting a trip report - I hope Granite Guy likes it, otherwise your trip would've been a waste.

You make some good points about interactions with others on the trail... and is largely why I avoid talking to people when hiking.

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Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:48 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
But did you have a good time? I sure did, reading this! Looking forward to the next one!


Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:09 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
On "concerned others" asking if you're o.k. Doesn't bother me much, I take it in the spirit that it's given. We met two ladies coming down the Owl's Head Slide while we were ascending. They asked if it was a little late in the day. I thanked them and told them about how we each have 3 lamps a piece, minimum.

Other people asking stuff. My daughter Prema is 30, looks like she's 14. Sometimes she is about 5 minutes ahead of me and folks will ask if she's alone.

Everyone is entitled to their own reactions and feelings about this. Mine is usually humorous or touched that people care.


Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:45 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
I hope so

Well, I hope you laugh. I don't hope you die from it.


well at least we are off to a good start here. :lol:

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The site doesn't work well with pics above that width of a resolution so on mobile browsers the text gets cut off.

you make a decent point with the sign and advertising the hike safe card. however the part you missed was the big bold "YOU WILL PAY THE COSTS". Not a "might get a bill".

And that concludes my first two winter summits on the NH 48. It's a lot like hiking in the summer, except you need a jacket.


perhaps this winter. we are scratching our heads this year trying to find a decent snow pack. last year we were asking "how much do we have to break out?"

regarding other people asking if you are OK. You could also reciprocate the kindness and just say "hey, i'm doing just great! Isn't this weather awesome?" Kindness should beget kindness. Perhaps you would rather them lambaste you with "toughen up cupcake!"?

I'm not sure about the Katahdin area. But the rocks around the Northern Presis sure will ground down a soft compound boot sole. The glaciers never made it up that high so the rocks weren't polished smooth and are similar to a low grit sandpaper. I have experienced this myself. I have however never had my soles worn through to my sock so a certain amount of hyperbole was experienced. Have you ever spoke with someone who fishes?

a fun report to read, I haven't had so many laughs in a while. Good on you bringing the subway up. If we could keep the meatball subs warm for a few hours id be all in. At that point however, Id rather bring a local cheesesteak up there.

Looked like a pretty damned good day up there really. I like a few clouds in my pictures. It gives some sort of definition to the sky.

Just keep in mind that ever winter is different and that can add to the fun factor or the scare factor dependent on who you are.

this was last year. Probably quite a bit different than what you experienced last weekend. Same mountain, different weather pattern.

Image


Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:16 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
iagreewithjamie wrote:
You make some good points about interactions with others on the trail... and is largely why I avoid talking to people when hiking.


Amen to that. It's fun to make friends, but some of us head outdoors for the solitude.

Beckie and Prema wrote:
But did you have a good time? I sure did, reading this! Looking forward to the next one!


If I'm being honest, it wasn't the most fun hike I've ever been on. I'm finding that I'm kind of a summit-whore, and I was a little disappointed that I couldn't enjoy more time on the ridge. Even hiking Mt Pemi two weeks ago, with temps in the 20's, I was able to sit on the ledge, leisurely eat lunch, read a chapter of my book, and enjoy the fresh air. This hike was move-or-die the whole time.

Beckie and Prema wrote:
......I take it in the spirit that it's given. We met two ladies.......They asked if it was a little late in the day.


I envy you. I wish I wasn't burdened with this much cynicism, but I'm afraid that my instant reaction to that question would be to start thinking of all of the assumptions a stranger would have to make about me in order to make such an inquiry. Do they think that I don't know the difference between light and dark? Do they think I can't hike fast enough? Do they think I'm lost? Who's this King of the God Damn forest and why is he giving me a curfew?

Beckie and Prema wrote:
Other people asking stuff. My daughter Prema is 30, looks like she's 14. Sometimes she is about 5 minutes ahead of me and folks will ask if she's alone.


That's sexism. No other way to describe it. We're not talking about overt discrimination, but let's look at the facts. All Prema is doing is hiking, in a public recreation area, probably in the daytime. If someone judges her as inferior or vulnerable based solely on the fact that she is a female, that's a bad thing.

When that same guy sees Prema in a job interview, makes a gender-based assumption about her weakness, and then offers her 75 percent of what he would offer a man to do the same job, you won't think it's humorous.

thegibba wrote:
you make a decent point with the sign and advertising the hike safe card. however the part you missed was the big bold "YOU WILL PAY THE COSTS". Not a "might get a bill".


Only if you answer "NO" to one of those five vague and ambiguous questions.

thegibba wrote:
perhaps this winter. we are scratching our heads this year trying to find a decent snow pack. last year we were asking "how much do we have to break out?"


I'm well aware of the varying degrees of winter. Not playing that game with you bro. If you think your hike last year was tougher than average, then congrats on being fitter than average.

thegibba wrote:
regarding other people asking if you are OK. ......would rather them lambaste you with "toughen up cupcake!"?


Actually yeah. Anything worth doing, is worth doing well. If someone is going to self-appoint himself as my personal trainer, shouldn't he provide a quality service? Otherwise, shut up.

thegibba wrote:
Good on you bringing the subway up. If we could keep the meatball subs warm for a few hours id be all in.


+1 for hot subs. Actually, one thing that kept me warm on the ridge was my white-hot rage at the AMC monopoly that is preventing the Greenleaf Hut from becoming a Pizza Hut. In a truly free marketplace, I could have been eating a Hot Chicken Teriyaki sub with melted cheese fresh from the oven. Instead I was stuck with that garbage turkey breast, and my pack smells like onions.

thegibba wrote:
Looked like a pretty damned good day up there really.


Eh, I give it a 7


Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:57 am
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
Image

Any humor is buried and lost in a miasma of smug, feculent, sneering superciliousness. And any interest I would or could or do have in hiking, after reading this report as a new hiker, would be killed. I would have zero interest interacting with an *butthead* like you on the trail. I guess you're the Captain now.
Mods, why is this guy still allowed to post? Has anyone talked to him about his attitude? About the trolling? The constant state of aggressive behavior. It's so contrary to what this broad usually offers. It's laid-back, helpful, chill attitude was why I gravitated towards it over other more hardcore sites.

Meh.

Good for you for hiking a thing, BrianL. Hope you enjoy your time on the trail. Maybe you'll post some stuff that's bit more friendly and helpful.


Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:55 am
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
You mad bro?

Pirr wrote:
Any humor is buried and lost in a miasma of smug, feculent, sneering superciliousness.


^Is that sentence part of the miasma? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Pirr wrote:
And any interest I would or could or do have in hiking, after reading this report as a new hiker, would be killed.


Good. It's winter in the white mountains. It's not for noobs. You stay in while the big boys play in the snow.

Pirr wrote:
I would have zero interest interacting with an *butthead* like you on the trail.


First of all, I'm not a butthead, I'm not a butt-hole, I'm a dick. We established that in an earlier thread. And thank you for not interacting with me on the trail. Was I not clear about my desire for solitude in the outdoors? But why do you have so much interest in interacting with me here?

Pirr wrote:
I guess you're the Captain now. Mods, why is this guy still allowed to post?


Captain? Me? Far from it. Actually, for the mods information, this thread only exists because it was specifically requested by the actual Captain.


Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:34 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
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Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:41 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
Amen to that. It's fun to make friends, but some of us head outdoors for the solitude.

Image

This hike was move-or-die the whole time.

Sounds like you are admitting that you have to answer "no" to question number one on the sign.


Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:50 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
Gotta fix that meme man. I don't hike "just" for solitude. And are there olives on that sandwich? Careful man, that kind of sh-t will get you pushed off a ledge.

thegibba wrote:
Sounds like you are admitting that you have to answer "no" to question number one on the sign.


Disagree.


Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:55 pm
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 Re: Spite-Hike on Lafayette and Lincoln
Was I not clear about my desire for solitude in the outdoors?

I don't hike "just" for solitude.

hmm....you didn't get the memo obviously since it clearly said "I don't always hike for solitude"

Careful man, that kind of sh-t will get you pushed off a ledge.


I've already been threatened to get pushed off a cliff when I suggested West Bond for our flags on the 48 hike last year.

thegibba wrote:
Sounds like you are admitting that you have to answer "no" to question number one on the sign.


Disagree.



how can you?


Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:13 pm
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