Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 Intentions

Well its been awhile since I last made a post. Blogging hasn't been a priority in my life lately due to many personal reasons and I haven't had the resources to post.

2012 looks like it will be a good year for adventures. So far the weather has been too nice to snowshoe. There simply isn't any snow in my neck of the woods. But this is Vermont so I'm sure I'll log a few miles before spring gets here. Ive been doing a lot of walking. Pretty much every day and logging my miles over at Overly Ambitious Me in Sonja's 1000 miles challenge. 

Climbing Mt Madison
My friend Jim and I are planning a return trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to do a Presidential Hut to Hut traverse in July which will be the highlight of the summer.

 In September, I intend to thru-hike Vermont's historic Long Trail. In the interim, I'll do a bunch of day hikes and a few unscheduled backpacking trips. I hope 2012 is an adventurous year for all of you :)
Happy Trails
Jobiwan :~)

Friday, October 7, 2011


It's been awhile since I last posted so I thought I would give and update. My last post announced that I had to postpone my Long Trail thru-hike due to personal reasons. Not too long after that post the state of Vermont was visited by Tropical Storm Irene which would have cancelled it out any way. The Green Mountain National Forest was closed down to hikers for about 3 weeks. So In the stead I started to walk. A lot. Every morning (or just about) I wake at 4:00 am, shake the cobwebs out of my head, strap on my walking shoes and swiftly walk on a city street for an hour (about 2.5 miles). The days walk does not end there. I've been without a vehicle for the past month and a half so my day comprises of walking just to do every day tasks. I am walking 5 or more miles a day on the average. I'm starting to hike again now that the trails have opened back up but the LT/AT in Division 5 has an 18 mile section that is still closed. The Green Mountain Club reports parts of it impassible. 

The Autumn looks like a few hikes will be done and one last backpacking trip before the Winter sets in. I still plan on waking early and doing my early morning walks. They are quite peaceful, quiet, invigorating and a great way to get the blood moving and the mind working.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pittsford Ice Caves

July 29, 2011

I first heard of the Pittsford Ice caves when I was a teen and had always wanted to explore them. In January of 2008 my lifelong friend Jeff and I set out to find them with a GPS and a Geo-cache coordinate. We followed a straight line only to find ourselves 100 feet above the ravine that they lay in. We ended up meandering around and located the entrance. Unfortunately that day there was too much ice covering the access ladder that brings you down into the main rooms. Since then, I have been to these caves many times in different conditions. This recent trip was the second time this year that I visited them. The first time this year the caves were not quite explorable due to ice. This was in May... specifically Mothers Day.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

LT Thru-hike: Postponed

Life is a series of moments and events that although even with the best planning, routines etc, can change unexpectedly. These moments need to be prioritized. Being ready and with 12 days to go before my scheduled LT thru-hike I regretfully have to announce that due to some recent personal events in my life that need to be taken care of as a top priority, I have no choice but to postpone it some. It sucks because I have been planning and training for over a year and I'm ready to go but something came up that I need to take care of before I can do this glorious hike. I am hoping that it wont be postponed for too long... a few weeks maybe? I'm really unsure at this moment but I will not start the hike after October 1st either... It will have to wait until next year. The trail will still be there and so will I.

I will have some time to do some day hiking in the stead and possibly a night or two out but I can't go on a thru-hike for a month's time until I know I can go comfortably and know that all is taken care of. What's the saying? "C'est la vie"


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Southern Presidentials: Mt Washington to Crawford Notch

August 12, 2011

Tuckerman Ravine engulfed in clouds
This was a continuation completion of a Presidential mountain range traverse that my friend Jim and I started in June but ended with a bail out. We decide to do this in a day hike by starting out at Mt Washington and hike to Crawford Notch while bagging what peaks we could along the way. Our hiking friends Kathi and Deb joined us. 

We took a shuttle up the Auto Road to the summit of Washington to start our days journey.  The weather at the summit was completely different than in the valley. It was socked in with clouds, visibility was down to 30 yards, the winds were steady at 33 miles per hour, the temperature was 44 degrees with a wind chill of 30. But this was only at the summit. I was almost sure that once we dropped 1000 feet then we would be out of the clouds and be able to get some nice views. That wasn't the case.

Coming off Mt Washington
After an informative shuttle ride to the summit we strapped on our packs, donned our rain and wind shells and started our trek down Crawford Path: The oldest continuously-used mountain trail in America. It was 12:00pm.

As soon as we started, Jim slipped. Nothing major but he pointed out that there were some icy spots that weren't quite visible. It was going to be a slow day. It really didn't take us too long before we reached the junction of Westside trail. It seems we would average about a mile an hour. We continued on southerly as the clouds shifted.

They got thick then thinnd out some only to get thick again. I asked a north bound day hiker when we would be out of the clouds. His response was "the parking lot".  We journeyed on and before we knew it, we were at Lakes of the Clouds hut. This is the only hut that is above 5000 feet.

Lakes of the Clouds
Lakes of the Clouds hut
We took a short break at the hut so we could strip some layers in a dry environment. We had already descended 1200 feet so it was much warmer. The place was packed. We trekked along to our next junction that would lead us to Mt Monroe. This loop trail meanders up a rocky steep cairn to cairn path to a false summit the over to the peak. At 1:16pm we bagged our highest mountain of the day: Mt Monroe 5372 feet above sea level.

Mt Monroe
We didn't stay too long because we still had a long journey ahead of us and within a few minutes we were at 5001 foot, Mt Franklin. Although part of the Presidential range it was named after Benjamin Franklin and with a prominence of 49 feet it is not considered a 5000 footer. We continued on towards our next mountain with no signs of the clouds lifting or dissipating. Even though the temps were warmer the wind was still stiff and the viability was low. Soon we were at the Eisenhower loop trail. I love this loop trail. It is rugged, steep and loaded with switchbacks.

Climbing Mt Eisenhower
At 2:53pm, we got to the 4760 foot top and were greeted by a large cairn and a few others who were day hiking. It was windy and cloudy. This summit is not like the other Presidents. It is round and doesn't have a pointy prominence.

Mt Eisenhower
At 3 hours in and less than half way to go for the day we continued on towards our next mountain. We trekked down Eisenhower Loop trail to the junction of Crawford Path where we took a short break. The clouds were not as thick and it was getting warmer. Once we hiked on we finally got a glimpse of blue sky and the trail kept descending. As a bonus we were still in an alpine zone well above the tree line. Mt Pierce could be seen in the distance.

Mt Pierce

As we descended more, it got much clearer. The views were amazing but the wind was still up there. I looked back and could see our hour past engulfed in clouds. 

Mt Eisenhower. The Crawford Path meanders along this ridge.

 Between Mt's Pierce and Eisenhower

The views were awesome

We finally were out of the clouds and took a short break to get rid of our shells and refuel some before dropping below the tree line. It didn't take us too long and we were at the junction to Mitzpah hut trail. which leads to the summit of Mt Pierce. Jim and Kathi decided to bag it while Deb and I continued descending down Crawford Path and entering the trees. I chose not to bag this peek due to the intimidation of the trail. It scrambled up and I was getting tired and sore. I will bag it next year. Within 15 minutes Jim and Kathi caught up to us. I didn't realize that it was such a short distance to the summit and regret not bagging it.

Kathi and Jim coming down Crawford Path
The rest of the hike was on familiar terrain as we descended down towards Crawford Notch. Classic roots and rocks that we were all too fond of. We made pretty good time stopping at Gibbs Falls along the way.

Gibbs Falls

From the falls it was a 15 minute jaunt to the Mt Clinton parking lot where we parked. After 8.1 miles and 6 hours and 42 minutes later, our day was over.

The end of the day

This trip was awesome. Although we were in the clouds for most of the high stuff we were lucky enough to get some good views. Jim and I both agreed that this hike was much easier than our adventure in June due to the fact we weren't carrying backpacks. My first Presidential Traverse is now complete even though it was done in two trips. Congratulations to Kathi and Deb who got the opportunity to bag their first 5000 footer and trek above the trees. I'm already looking forward to next years hut to hut traverse with Jim.