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 To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-) 
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
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 To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
JustJoe wrote:
Maybe someone should start a "To Grid or not To Grid" thread here like they did on VFTT. I don't want to be the evil one though. :wink:


I'll be the face of evil for this discussion! :twisted: To Grid or not to Grid, that is the question! :D My answer is easy, not in a million years, as long as there's new sights to be seen, do I want to see the summit of Middle Carter a dozen times.

I'll start by saying I'm very much a proponent of hike your own hike. Hike with whoever, whatever, wherever, whenever and whyever you want to. Are those all words?? But, when it comes to the grid, I'm lost. I don't get it. I don't get the purpose or the reason people do it. Re-hiking the best and favorites every so often I get. I have some I visit almost annually for the last 20 years. A seasonal grid (when the seasons actually look like four different seasons) I also get. The spring greens, autumn color, winter white. Nice to we the favorites like that. What I don't get is re-hiking the same 48 peaks over and over when there is so much more out there. 48 out of thousands of unique and great spots all over the northeast where we live, and about half those 48 are barely worthy of one visit. It's not like out west where differnt places can be a day's drive away. Everything is a matter of a few hours one way or another and as a bonus gas is cheap at the moment.

So, why does one decide to just see the same old stuff over and over with a whole world of hiking out there to explore from the coastal hikes of Acadia to the remote and rugged peaks of the Adirondacks and eveything in between at our doorstep? Things do not necessarily look any different July 30th to August 15th to september 1st. Year to year in the same month seems to be much more different than in consecutive months but years apart. There are far more exciting, scenic and challenging hikes out there on non-4k's or non NH peaks than most of the 48 too. I don't get why it started, I don't get why anyone thought it looked like fun and I don't get why people are putting all that trail time, travel, time away from family and other interests and effort into hiking the same 48 lumps over and over and over. How can you drive up route 16 and resist the urge to hike Chocorua as you head for some wooded hump because the summit is 500 feet higher? Not jerk the wheel Into the Evans notch region just becaus the peaks don't hit the 4000 foot mark?

I've posted this before, but to me this clip from Forrest Gump sums the grid up perfectly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgnJ8GpsBG8&app=desktop

I know there's people on these boards that hike almost exclusively the NH4K's and some working on the grid whether they admit it or not. I don't get it. Make me get it, most of all make me get WHY?? I'm fully in agreement with hiking lady that this forum is great and interesting to me because of the variety of reports people post for the reasons she listed, from the conservation areas to the whackers, to all the northeast and lists from guide books etc etc and the grid is a small part of that, so I want to understand why.

So there, I'm the A-hole now. I'm not trying to put anyone's hiking style down or say one is better than the rest, but really I'm curious and since it was brought up let's discuss it if anyone wants to.


Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:50 am
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Sovereign Woodsman

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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
Yeah I would really love to understand it as well. Also why do people do it more than once? I'm of the opposing force of not liking to hike the same summit more than 1x, but with age I've loosened up on that and have been doing repeats. But didn't for years because I just wanted to experience different things, hence my confusion over the grid.


Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:45 am
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
When I first discovered the Grid I was like "Wow that's hardcore!" and there were only 15 finishers. Now I'm more like "OK, this boils down to having enough time rather than anything else." and there are almost 50 finishers. I had already completed several rounds by helping friends, and Marlie complete thier any season 48. When I filled in the blanks, I was nearly halfway done, so why not make an effort.

I agree that there are more and better sights to see. Personally, I look forward to completing the WMNF Redlining more than The Grid since it will be a little bit of newness each time out. What I don't understand is why people keep hiking the same routes to the summit every time the check off a new month, especially in snow free months.

I've been hiking regularly for the last 15 years and have plenty of years left to finish it. Once my son is a little older we will probably shift more towards redlining and get to some of those awesome smaller peaks then hopefully his 48 which I will try to fit into my grid. I guess if you love the NH 4Ks then you love the NH 4Ks. :roll: FWIW, the ledges on Middle Carter aren't that bad. :D

I'll be curious to hear other's responses.

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Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:45 pm
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
As someone who is working on the grid I can tell you how I feel about it. When I first started the 48 list I was a much different person than I am today. Once I was done the regular list I was wondering what I could do. Knowing that I would still want to hike and loving the challenge it put my body through I decided to do them again.
Now I am interested in all of the New Hampshire and many other hiking achievements but the grid seemed like the monster to me so I put it in the forefront. I hope to do my NE67 and other challenges such as the single season winter 48 that I am working on now. While doing this I am keeping in mind my red line, and when I can connect a peak for the Trail Wright 72 then I do it. I plan to fly out to Colorado yearly to work on my 14ers. New Hampshire hiking is a passion of mine, but I also like playing games. The grid is the game I am playing right now. And I am having a blast.

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NH 4K 48/48 03/01/14
2nd round 48/48 11/01/14
3rd Round 48/48 03/15/15
NH 4k Single winter season 14'-15'
NE 67 58/67
Grid 198/576
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Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:26 pm
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
Of course I'm not gridding or anything close and don't ever expect to, or anything close.

But I kind of get it, I think.

I've done a TON that I never set out to do and initially thought was ridiculous. Such as the 48, even. And I'm certainly not redlining, but I AM having fun charting my progress, and adding a bump to my "accomplishment" adds a small something to any hike where I tread new trail. And I guess if I somehow managed to bump up around 80% or so in the future, maybe I'd make it a point to finish (although again I doubt this would happen).

So many/most of us have done the 48. And most of us kept on hiking! It's a terribly low priority, but I'd kind of like to have a 2nd look at the 48, although I'm only at 10 right now. And as you (GG) admit, a seasonal grid makes a certain amount of sense and would be fun. And then you realize that you're kind of doing it already, and you still love to hike, so if you can get out AND put a satisfying X in a spreadsheet, well that WOULD add an element of satisfaction to your day, right?

A couple specific things. For one, you've mention S Carter specifically as a peak you'd hate to revisit many times, and that "about half of those 48 are barely worthy of one visit." I know you'd admit to some hyperbole there yourself, but IMO the overstatement there is above and beyond (no altitude pun intended). Of course like Zealand and Galehead and E Osceola are weak but they're small side trips on good hikes. Even S Carter, while not a highlight itself, I liked the hike along the ridge of the CMT well enough and look forward to going back sometime, or tack it onto C Dome/Hight, not a big deal. Tecumseh's pretty good now, Starr King has a nice outlook and I guess there's a view I missed just past Waumbek (heck yeah I'll go back for that!), I enjoyed Owl's Head in a unique way, really Hale is the only one that I really didn't care for. So while I 100% agree that there are TONS of sweet sub-4k spots and peaks, IMO almost all 4k's have at least some repeat value.

The other thing is I know for myself and probably others, places like Acadia or the Adk's are just too far for day trips and kind of off the radar. And specifically something like the Adk's -- geez, I'd just SO feel like I was starting all over. I know nothing about the peaks, the trails, the roads, the everything. Absolute ground zero, and it would feel like starting over completely. To some people or even myself on some days, that might sounds exciting! But a lot of the time it just sounds tiring. Hiking itself is enough work!

All that said, I agree with a lot of your thoughts. I remember the "where have you NOT been" thread, and was absolutely shocked to see how many hadn't been to the Baldfaces, or Chocorua, or what. Almost every time I drive up 16 I'm a little bit temped to say "screw the plan, here I come, Chocorua!" And much like yourself I get psyched for new places more than repeats. But at the same time, I kind of get it.

And in the final analysis, I'm suspicious that it's simply a personality type/trait that drives some people to do things like the grid and others to disdain even the idea. Which probably means that, if you're not "that guy," you will never really understand.


Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:35 pm
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
Grind boy wrote:
[/qote]and in the final analysis, I'm suspicious that it's simply a personality type/trait that drives some people to do things like the grid and others to disdain even the idea. Which probably means that, if you're not "that guy," you will never really understand.[/quote]

This I agree with and your right we probably won't ever understand.


Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:42 pm
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
A few years ago, there were two threads on VFTT ("You know you are a peakbagger", "You know you aren't a peakbagger") which probably explains this as well as can be explained. If you are goal oriented or a collector, then peakbagging appeals to you, and perhaps by extension the grid appeals to the uber goal-oriented or collectors. My story on the grid is "I'm not not doing it" in that I keep track but it doesn't drive every hike I've done. I've got 303 peaks of 576 but 350 total peaks on the NH 48 list.

I am nibbling away at the NH 3Ks and 52WAV and TW72.

With other obligations, the ADKs and Acadia are just too far - I get maybe 1 hiking trip per year, and I've used that for the NE67/NEHH.

Tim

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Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:02 pm
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
Nope. Not for me. Its way too monotonous. I like the randomness that I take to my hiking now. If I see something I want to hike/bushwhack, ill do it. Yes i am still tied to a list in some sort or fashion but im not doing the same few trails over and over again. Could I do the Grid? Sure i could. Anyone can. I just don't see the point.

Im generally in the camp that "what works for one, doesn't necessarily work for another."

Greg

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Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:16 pm
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
hiking lady wrote:
Grind boy wrote:
[/qote]and in the final analysis, I'm suspicious that it's simply a personality type/trait that drives some people to do things like the grid and others to disdain even the idea. Which probably means that, if you're not "that guy," you will never really understand.


This I agree with and your right we probably won't ever understand.[/quote]

I think I'll have to jump on that train too. I am a collector and goal oriented so I don't think its that simple. I have and still do collect a lot of things, which is what peakbagging and redlining in general seem like to me, and I do consider myself a peakkbagger. Gridding seems more like that hoarding disorder you see shows about, just piling up a lot of the same stuff. The things I've "collected" in life I do try and get a lot of different ones and just a few of the favorites that get multiples. Maybe it's just different collecting styles. But I think the personality trait is on to something. I like to try a lot of different beers for example when I'm traveling as opposed to just always drinking the same old standby whatever it happens to be. I would guess Gridders like the same few beers no matter where they are or what's being serves. Probably haunt the same restaurants and stops along the way too. Maybe none of that holds true, but I think the collector vs hoarder thing is more accurate than collector vs non-collector.


Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:49 pm
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Mountain Maestro
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
I'm doing it because there's a patch, duh.


Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:50 pm
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
If I had unlimited time, I would consider doing it for the shock value. Just to see the look on people's faces who know how lazy and cold-phobic I am. I would love to hang a photo on the time clock of myself in full winter regalia 10 miles from the nearest road for all my co-workers to see!

All kidding aside, I am the type of person who doesn't want to miss out on any of the good stuff. Which is why I want to redline. And if I spend time in June trying to score a lot of peaks for the Grid, I may miss the Alpine Garden for the millionth time (unless I'm doing Washington that day).

And some days ya just wanna go swimming in Vermont or the covered bridge in Bath/Swiftwater.


Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:30 am
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
I guess what has me perplexed is: what is the point? Don't you get sick of hiking the same peak over and over again? Don't you get bored? Don't you find it monotonous?? Doesn't it take away from other areas of your life like spouse, kids, friends, other pursuits? Do family complain your never around (if u have one) and that your hiking is more important than them? It strikes me as an addiction/obsession for some, particularly with the repeat gridders. Not to mention that it seems like the gridders also do a lot of other 4k lists simultaneously, which I realize you can kill 2 birds with one stone, but that just multiplies the pain of more repeats when you can't do a concurrent list. I should say for me personally that I don't get how people can hike week after week, even if they are not gridding, it is similar in my mind. By fall, after hiking all summer I am ready for a change. I have alot of hobbies and feel like there is never enough time to do them all.

I also felt like the thread on vftt didn't really answer it for me since it appeared it was more about comparing notes on where people were at, hence I gave up reading it.

Just my thoughts....


Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:58 am
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
The same could be said about the AT or any long trek or endurance challenge. Some folks can't wrap their minds around such large undertakings. If you can not see how the grid is a New Hampshire mountain marathon then I suppose it would seem dull and repetitive. Either way I enjoy the challenge of it and applaud anyone who is attempting it.

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NH 4K 48/48 03/01/14
2nd round 48/48 11/01/14
3rd Round 48/48 03/15/15
NH 4k Single winter season 14'-15'
NE 67 58/67
Grid 198/576
http://www.viewsoftheshire.com


Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:44 am
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
hiking lady wrote:
I guess what has me perplexed is: what is the point? Don't you get sick of hiking the same peak over and over again? Don't you get bored? Don't you find it monotonous?? Doesn't it take away from other areas of your life like spouse, kids, friends, other pursuits? Do family complain your never around (if u have one) and that your hiking is more important than them?


Do you get sick of the same spouse? Kids? Friends? You've undoubtedly gridded lots of things in your life - your house, your job, your favorite restaurants, stores, etc. It's not really that different, is it? You probably drive the same way to your job, the kid's school, restaurants, etc., too. Do you get sick of that? Do you change it up?

Either you get it or you don't. If you don't, it can't be explained. I don't get NASCAR, for example, and no amount of explaining will make me get it. But, I get other things and can understand how you might get NASCAR.

As a personal note, we always go on the same vacation every year - because my wife loves the place - and while it's a nice place, I'd prefer to have a little variety myself.

In the end, gridiots are generally in pretty good shape and take pretty good care of themselves and keep the average cost of health insurance lower than the smokers and couch potatoes. There are vastly worse hobbies one could have ...

Tim

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Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:32 am
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 Re: To Grid or not to Grid?? That is the question! ;-)
dasein wrote:
The same could be said about the AT or any long trek or endurance challenge. Some folks can't wrap their minds around such large undertakings. If you can not see how the grid is a New Hampshire mountain marathon then I suppose it would seem dull and repetitive. Either way I enjoy the challenge of it and applaud anyone who is attempting it.


I am glad you enjoy it. Hike your own hike, but what exactly is the challenge of it if you don't mind me asking? It's just repeating hikes that just about anyone who wants to can do and has done is it not? The AT is at least a long, varied challenge that every step is new and different. I don't see the two equating one bit. Running a 5K every weekend is not the same as running a marathon. I'd put the Hut to Hut and Pemi Loops on par with a marathon, but not the grid. Just my .02

bikehikeskifish wrote:
Do you get sick of the same spouse? Kids? Friends? You've undoubtedly gridded lots of things in your life - your house, your job, your favorite restaurants, stores, etc. It's not really that different, is it? You probably drive the same way to your job, the kid's school, restaurants, etc., too. Do you get sick of that? Do you change it up?


Ummmm, YES!! Yes, you do, or I do, get sick of many of those things. I don't always eat at the same place, or have the same meal every night or even week, or shop at the same stores or buy the same car every time I get a new one. I don't always grab the same bottle of wine, or leave my house the exact same decor or keep only the same friends and never make new ones. Yes there's always some favorites but it's always great to try new things and find new interests in life. I'm not still collecting baseball cards and putting stereos in my cars like I did 20 years ago. Love and commitment to wife and kids are a whole other deal IMO and not something you have the option to just swap out even if you wanted to, but definitely variety and doing different things with the same people you love is kind of a necessity to keeping life new and fresh and interesting is it not?


Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:29 am
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