SATURDAY: Zealand 4,260′, West Bond 4,540′, Bond 4,698′, Bond Cliff 4,265′
Roadwalk, Zealand trail, Twinway, West Bond spur, Bond Cliff trail, Wilderness trail, Lincoln woods
SUNDAY: North Tripyrimid 4,180′, Middle Tripyrimid 4,140′
Pine Bend Brook, Scar Ridge Trail, Mt Tripyrimid Trail, Sabbaday Brook Trail
In our attempt to close the gap on our single season Winter 48 Lucy and I travel to Zealand road to start out our hike over Zealand mountain and to the Bonds. Sunday brings us from Hancock campground down the Kanc to finish off our weekend on the Tripyrimids. It was a full weekend of big miles with great trail conditions and continuing cold temperatures. Winter is well underway and Lucy and I are loving every moment of it.
My alarm was set for 3 and when it started to chime I was quick to get out of bed. Everything was packed so we just had to load it up and go. Abby was coming along as well to help support the hike and to spend the weekend with Patton in the mountains. So with the car all packed up and ready we set off. I had to pick Jason up at Lincoln woods before driving to Zealand Rd parking lot. I had to be there for 6. We picked up Jason and made it just in time. Now Lucy and I were invited on this hike to celebrate Tims’ dog Gryffin and his completion of the 48. We were among a group of 10 people and 4 dogs. It was the largest group I had ever hiked with.
We started out just after 6 with our headlamps equipped we hiked up Zealand road towards the Zealand trailhead.
The hike started well and we traveled quickly. Past all of the falls to the hut. We did not stay long. We all switched to snowshoes here and would not take them off again until below treeline in the Bondcliff trail. After a snack we kept moving. Once we got to Zealand Cliff we settled down for a moment to take a couple of pictures.
As it was starting to get cold Lucy and I had to keep moving. Onward up to the summit. The hike was lovely over the ridge though with limited views. We reached Zealand and we had another short break taking some pictures and earing a snack.
From here we climbed over Guyot. One of my favorite parts of this hike is when you reach the crest of Guyot and the whole of the Pemi loop opens right up to you. It is always stunning as long as you are not in the clouds.
As the Twinway bends right to follow a couple miles to South Twin we went left down the Bondcliff trail towards the West Bond spur. At this point I noticed that the ice build up in Lucys paw was causing it to bleed. It did not seem to be bothering her though as she trotted along. We reached the spur and dropped our bags to make the 1 mile out and back to West Bond. Perhaps one of my favorite view points around.
Looking in the distance we could see the snow coming towards us. The peaks were in the clouds as we climbed mount Bond. It was fairly cold on the summit and Lucy and I wasted no time to start our hike down the ridge to Bondcliff. This hike is always a lot of fun. When we got to the cliff we had our photo shoot but Lucy would have no part in it as she was terrified of the ice and the long drop off of the cliff. We got a shot of us slightly off the cliff though. My poor little girl was so scared.
With this peak Gryffin reached his 48 New Hampshire 4000 footer. Congratulations! We all got settled in for the long hike out. Once below treeline we stopped for a moment at the water crossing. I had a flask of whiskey that I shared shared with Jason. My new friend Ian joined us as well. His dog Marley was a beautiful girl. She was part Boxer-Shepard. I think Lucy was jealous though as she would bark every time she saw her making it hard to converse with Ian throughout the day. The whiskey was warming and helped the walk out substantially.
We finished the hike around 5:30. In total the it took us around 11 hours to complete the 21 or so miles of the hike. We grabbed 4 4000 footers off the list. It was a pleasure to hike with Tim, Jason, Mark, Matt, Ian, Chris, Steve, and everyone else who I can not remember. Thank you for the wonderful experience.
Abby was waiting in the parking lot to pick Lucy and I up. She had a camp set up at Hancock campground. We regrouped and went out to eat with Jason. Everything was packed on a Saturday just around dinner. We ended up going to Exit 32 Pizza and Beer. It was a nice place to get some warm food before going back to the camp site. Once there we enjoyed a few beers before easily falling asleep. Abby and I were using our new tent the Easton Mountain Torrent P2 4 season tent. Check out the write up in the gear section soon.
Waking up in the tent we were surprisingly warm. It had snowed a bit during the night. I dusted the doorway off of the fresh snow as I exited to use the bathroom. Once dressed we decided to go to Lincoln and grab coffee. I also got a tea in my thermos and put it in my bag for later. Abby dropped up off at Pine Bend Brook around 8:30. Lucy was ready to go as ever. She is such an amazing girl!
It was a bit colder than the previous day, but our hike was much shorter. On the climb up North Tripyrimid my snow shoes heel elevator broke and came dislodged. This made the rest of my hike slightly difficult. All my weight had to transfer to my toes climbing the steep grade of the mountain. As we reached the summit I was happy to take a short break from the climb.
On the ridge we were lucky and the winds were calm. After a short hike past the Sabbaday junction up the steep section to Middle Tripyrimid. We were on the summit with little trouble. It was a lovely sight as I tried to fix my snowshoe, with no success. I put Lucy to a tree and fed her. I enjoyed the sights pulling salami and cheese off in sections with my knife. It ended up being a lovely day.
From the summit we back tracked to the Sabbaday trail and started to descend the steep trail. Once at the base you start a series of water crossings that I would not recommend for a novice hiker this time if year. Though beautiful along the trail it proves to be dangerous. We made slower time going through this section. There were some folks at the falls but no one past them on the trail.
We reached Sabbaday falls parking to a welcoming party of Abby and Patton. It was 2:30. We finished the hike in 6 hours. These two peaks count towards our goal of a single winter season 48 bringing our total to 6 on the weekend and 28 total since the start of the winter. I bid Jason farewell and we made our way home. I called EMS on the way home. They told me to stop in with my snowshoes. When I did on the way home they were very helpful. I told them of how they let go of me on the hike and they let me exchange them for the lightning accents paying the difference. I was more than happy with that. They said i should test gear for MSR, I chuckled. So though I had a hard day without the full capabilities of my snowshoe I ended upgrading with a huge snowstorm on the way! Big thanks to EMS Concord!
It was a fantastic weekend outside. I hope you all had a blast. I also hope you like the new way I am writing up my stories. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think. See you next week!