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 2014-10-02 Zealand and The Bonds 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 2014-10-02 Zealand and The Bonds
So this started a few weeks back after I hiked a few dump truck peaks like Cabot and Waumbek and saw a few really cool places like The Horn and Unknown Pond. To be honest, Cabot wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that great either. I would have been disappointed if my trip ended there and headed back down Bunnell Notch Trail. The goal was to finish the 48 this year. I hit up Granite Guy since he seemed really interested in heading out towards the Bonds and I was going out that way to get the photo op on Bondcliff. The following Saturday was a complete fail. Clouds everywhere. He scampered from peak to peak looking for anything with a view, and I hit up Sandwich Dome for my new quest of the 52 with absolutely no chance of a view. Two weeks later, a few stars aligned (but not all of them).

5AM rolled around at the Linwoods Trailhead to spot the first car. With a thick cloud deck and no moon or stars, this place was dark. They also turn the bathroom lights off at this time of day as a forewarning, so any light here is from what you bring. An hour later we were off and running at the Zealand trailhead. It was just light out enough to not need headlamps. It was at this point that i realized I was carrying my DSLR with lenses, however, no battery. Yeah, that happened. So you get to enjoy glorious photos from my cell phone. The clouds were starting to lift and the day did look much brighter.


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After much complaining about not seeing wildlife like moose around, we came upon this one.

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Still with me? This must be one of the most beautiful "flat" trails around. Swamps, trees and wildlife.

We did see a beaver patrolling back and forth infront of his lodge. But who am I kidding, he would have looked like a blob on my phone. We stopped at the hut for a bit. Relaxing waiting for the clouds to burn off. The trail up to Zeacliff wasn't that bad. A bit steep but it goes by quickly. Zeacliff was about 30 feet too low for undercast. We could see the blue sky but not much else. After a quick snack break, it was upward and onward. towards the less steep sections of the day.

I hiked 4 something miles and all I got was this silly sign. #45
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The pleasant hike through the Twinway reavealed what the weather was going to do for the day. High pressure was going to move in!


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At Guyot the Pemi Started to open up.


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The clouds threatened to encroach but the Twins and Zealand were holding them back on W. Bond #46

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The best view anywhere? I think so. This is the middle of the Pemi!
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At this point I thought the ascent out of W. Bond was the toughest part. It was short but it seemed steeper than it was. Going up to Bond was fairly easy. Just kept on plowing through the treed trail. Up on bond was another view spectacular. 68 degrees and the ever so slight occasional breeze made this a dream.

#48
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With Zealand and Zeacliff off to the right, We have come a long way. the backside of WTF looks so much more epic from here. The Presis were finally clearing out.

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The end in sight. (with Mt. Dink right to the left)

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The Boncliff trail coming off Bond is quite a rugged rock hop. Reminded me of some N. Presi Trails. Going up Bondcliff wasn't all that bad, fairly moderate.

hey look! We even managed to get a rainbow
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After touching all three large Cairns up there I called it a day. GG and I spent an hour and a half up there. Throwing rocks, dangling feet off the edge, searching for a benchmark, and eating. Half an hour of it was waiting for these dudes which will be known as "dinks on the 48" to pack up shop on the cliff. Sure, lay out your yoga pad on the famous cliff. Get a tan. Talk about armoirs and renting boats near Ossipee. or just hang near the other square mile of rock face while we take pictures of you =)

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After they left, there was no real reason to leave one of the most remote areas of the WMNF. I'm not going to spoil the day and mention the bondcliff/wildreness trail/ Lincoln woods trail. No one want's to hear that garbage.
This is the first "Big list" I have completed. Did it change my life? Yeah. It gave me a goal and incentive to get back out there. I remember seeing those trails that went off to nowhere as a kid being brought out to Sabbaday falls and wondering what was out there. My Parents weren't the ones to bringme down them. But they did plant a seed. I'd spend my teenage years biking through my local woods. Why? I couldn't tell you. Its just a great place to be. On bike, on foot, or in a tent. This site (the people on board) was a huge help. The trip reports to places I have never realized were there. Iv'e met some cool people on the way. To spend the day with a like minded individual you can have a conversation with in what is in my opinion, the Most impressive area of the Whites is just incredible. Take it all in. Check it out. That's why we are here.

There it is, now I can go hike not Waumbek #48
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Queue GG's photos :D


Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:06 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Congrats!! What a great way to end it. And the photos were beautiful even without the fancy pants camera :)

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Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:55 am
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Nice pics! Looks the foliage was still in tact. Any reason why you didn't just ask the dinks* to move for a few minutes so you could get the requisite bonds shot? I do believe GG was a bouncer in his previous life he could have done his thing :P Seriously though it appears you get that it is about the journey and not the destination. Very cool. A great way to end your trip and the weather gods complied. Congratulations !


Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:10 am
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Congrats one more time and thanks for having me along for the very grand finale. The cell phone did an admirable job but I'll be happy to head back any time you like with a battery, I still haven't hiked them in winter but it's out and back from Zealand next time! :D I'll have my step by step photo flip book up this afternoon after I'm done weeding it out to a manageable number of pics. I think I took as many on this one hike as I do on a summer vacation! :D

hiking lady wrote:
Any reason why you didn't just ask the dinks* to move for a few minutes so you could get the requisite bonds shot? I do believe GG was a bouncer in his previous life he could have done his thing :P


My center of mass seems to have shifted from upper body to middle in the last 8 years. :( Not sure the old "you don't have to go home fellas but you can't stay here" would have the same effect. :D

It actually got comical after a bit. We determined they were either completely clueless that they were monopolizing the greatest photo op in the Whites or just a bunch of dinks. We showed up and they had shirts drying in the sun. OK we'll have lunch and they'll move right? Nope, they'll take off all their boots and spread those out. OK, they won't stay long right because other hikers are nearby eyeing the spot like a hawk right? Nope they're taking out their ground pads and laying down for half an hour. OK, they're saying daylight is burning so they'll leave soon right and say sorry we hogged the spot so long. Nope, hanging out talking about wanting a cabin or shed in Ossipee and changing clothes for a bit. Have a great day guys. :roll: But we were in no rush and had it to ourselves for an hour after that, so no real harm done. There's worse places to wait one's turn!


Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:57 am
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Congratulations! At first I thought you just copied Matt's report with the clouds moving out on Guyot and all. :wink: It seems every else has visited the Bonds this fall, maybe I'll have to be next. Sounds like the 52WAV is your next list, any thoughts on the W48?

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Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:57 am
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Peak Bagger
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Congrats! Nice report and pictures.
When I was up there with my son last month, there were two teenage girls monopolizing the cliff. They had left Guyot about 30 minutes before us, they were on the cliff when we got there, and they were still there 30 minutes later. They were doing "Mad Libs" of all things. Finally I went over and asked if they would move for just a few minutes so that we could take some pictures. They were very nice and moved right away.


Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:21 am
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Congrats Gib, like Dingo that's a big-time finish!

Pics really do look pretty impressive. The clouds behind the Twins is awesome, it's not that often that I say "Owl's Head looks fantastic!" and I still don't have a moose pic as good as yours.

hophiker -- heh -- madlibs on Bondcliff, I love it! I *almost* actually literally lol'd.


Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:25 am
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Peak Bagger
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A big congrats to you. You got some awsome pics, even with the cell phone. Guess you were too excited to get out there. Who needs batteries anyway? Sounds like you two had a great day and the weather, OMG. I love hiking on clear days. I have not been there but can't wait. Want a great spot to finish your 48. What's next?


Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:57 pm
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Congrats, and nicely done leaving the best part of the whites to finish. Great pics, esp bond ridge with the foliage.


Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:36 pm
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This hike seems vaguely familiar! :D Congratulations on the big finish!

You hiked about 5.6 miles to reach the Zealand sign. ;) And the moose sighting is a nice bonus...


Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:24 pm
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 Re: 2014-10-02 Zealand and The Bonds
thegibba wrote:
Queue GG's photos :D


Alright here's things from my perspective with an itchy trigger finger. This is the abridged version here in HDR. For the walk-a-long version there's an album here with a lot more. A LOT more. If you hit the "next" button fast enough it will probably play like an old film strip. You've been warned! :D

The Complete Set
https://www.flickr.com/photos/104458316@N08/sets/72157647956457909/

Moose getting breakfast
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Beaver pond...
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...complete with beaver
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One of the finest views in the Whites :?
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Zeacliff Pond
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Things opening up on Guyot
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West Bond summit views
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Bond Summit view
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Three Bonds
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Headed for #48
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Final piece of the puzzle
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Ahhhhhhhh.......
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Hellgate foliage
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The traditional summit cliff was just too darn wide for him
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Although eventually when the dinks moved he went there too
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Long way down
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Bondcliff summit view
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Summit foliage
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Leaving the world above treeline behind as we head towards dink mountain
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The long leafy stroll out to make it official
Image[/url]


Last edited by Granite Guy on Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:33 pm
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Sweet pics!


Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:25 pm
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Thanks everyone for the congratulations. It's much appreciated!

Mike Z
"Who needs batteries anyway?"

Seriously. The memories of being out there that day, regardless of a 48 Finish far outweighs any photo.

Grindboy

"it's not that often that I say "Owl's Head looks fantastic!""

You are right! It looks like a 6 legged dead elephant from this angle :D

Hiking Lady
"it is about the journey and not the destination"

Life is about movement and change. This is simply a fantastic vista on the voyage.

IQuest
"At first I thought you just copied Matt's report with the clouds moving out on Guyot and all. Wink It seems every else has visited the Bonds this fall, maybe I'll have to be next. Sounds like the 52WAV is your next list, any thoughts on the W48?"

I reviewed Matt's photo album and yeah. It was the same day two weeks later. Some of his photos were so similar! The 52 seems like a natural progression. It will come in time, your report from the dry river wilderness has got my gears turning! The W48.... ehh... I have a few of the harder ones done already like Carrigain and Jefferson. A free day and a great peak on a great day in winter sounds like it should also naturally come about eventually. But to intentionally head out on a winters day 4 hour drive to visit the summit cairn on Waumbek seems like a stretch at the moment. Unless i had a few left... :wink:


Granite Guy
" but I'll be happy to head back any time you like with a battery, I still haven't hiked them in winter but it's out and back from Zealand next time!"

Twist my arm why don't ya! :D My hip flexors are already hurting. I'm not redlining or anything like that but there is a big thick red line along the Bondcliff/Linconln Woods trail in my book! And really, thanks again for accompanying me. (not that I had to twist your arm either) This was the most spectacular hike I have done yet. The Northern Presis get all the fame however, have nothing on the Bonds.


Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:28 pm
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Looks like the foliage was still good! I think it had peaked last weekend. Beautiful area up there, very breathtaking photos. How fortunate to have a photographer in tow! Lucky it finally cleared out for you. That would have stunk if the whole day was pea soup. Still in awe of hiking 21 miles I soo ooh could not do that.


Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:44 am
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Also congrats Gibba. Good catch on that moose. Great shots!

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Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:52 am
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