Bondcliff 4,265′, Bond 4,698′, West Bond 4,540′, South Twin 4,902′, North Twin 4,761′
Lincoln Woods, Bondcliff Tr, West Bond Spur, Twinway, North Twin Tr, Little River Rd Tr.
A long day hike over some of the best mountains in the Whites proves to be a tough but rewarding day. Snow shoes were required for most of the day though the weather was perfect for the sights. Long patches of breaking snow prove exhausting in this pre winter hike.
“I might just leave the dog at home this week.”
I said to Jay over the phone. We were working out the details of the trip I had planned. It was supposed to be fairly nice for Saturday and I wanted to do something big. The original plan was to get the Twins and maybe Zealand, but once I had another car involved a Bonds Twins traverse seemed to be the perfect idea. Now this would be perhaps my longest hike yet, so I wanted to be ready especially when hiking with Jay.
Jason is a grid hiker friend that I met on the trails in ’13. He was slated to complete his grid the very next day. He is no stranger to long days spent hiking. 50 mile weekends are common for Jason so I knew he would handle this hike no problem. I just wonder if I might be getting myself over my head. Only one way to find out.
I got out of work with the help of my amazing co-workers at 8 on friday night. I rushed home and put my things in the car. I had a brief hangout with the folks at the house. I gave Abby a kiss and wished my dogs farewell. I was on the road at 9. I was to meet Jay at the end of Little River rd where I would drop off my car and ride with Jason to Lincoln Woods. I got to sleep around 11:00. I woke up at 4. I was tired, but also excited. I had a thermos full of hot coffee and some egg sandwiches that Abby made me the night before. They were a life saver. After breakfast and the drive and packing our supplies we were ready to hike.
It was 6AM and we were on our way. Lincoln wood went by quickly and the Bondcliff trail was well broken out making barebooting possible until the final ramp to the top of Bondcliff. The sun rising gave us insight to the clarity of the day. Not a cloud to bee seen. I was very excited. Once near the alpine warning signs on the trail we switched over to snowshoes and would leave them on for most of the day. I know there were reports of folks doing this hike earlier in the week but the winds had blown back in snow heavily in some areas. This made for some slow going, but once we summited Bondcliff we were rewarded in kind.
It was a perfect day out the wind was hardly noticeable. We had a quick snack while we took photos and we moved on. The ridge between Bondcliff and Bond was a dream offering wonderful sights as we made way in snowshoes up to the large mountain Bond looking over the whole of the pemigewasset loop.
From Bond we made our way down and to the West Bond spur. West Bond might be my favorite summit. The views and location are amazing. At this point in the day the warm weather had caused a moisture cloud to form at the base of the mountains. This amazing effect would increase in strength all day giving the sights a dreamy kind of look. I loved to experience such a phenomenon while we hiked.
From here we had a very tough 2 miles on the twinway to South twin. The trail was covered with snow and it was slow moving. We had reports of a group doing the Twins today so we hope the trail would be broken out for the end of the hike. We fought hard and finally made the summit of South Twin. It was around 3:30. The trail was in fact broke out from South Twin on, and we could not of been any happier to find this out. We decided to rush to North twin for sunset.
We rushed, but we were just a few minutes short of the summit for sunset. It was still amazing though and we had a short break to take it all in. I changed my base layer for the decent and we had a quick snack before making our way down.
Once we made our way down our time improved. It was a highway all the way down to the little river rd bushwack. We got back to the car around 6:30. We drove to Lincoln campsite and had dinner over a fire that I will not soon forget. I was early to bed though as the plan was to hike Owl’s head the next morning for Jason and Andrews grid completion! It promised to be an exciting time and I could not wait. This trip had been one of my longest, and it took a lot of strength to get through it. It was empowering though to know I am capable of such a feat, and I hope it only get better as I learn more about the terrain and I get stronger. I had no problem falling asleep that night, thats for sure.