by Randy Pierce
We have announced the next hike in our schedule, and it’s a double-your-pleasure adventure. We intend to hike not just one 4000 footer but two: Mt. Tom and Mt. Field. This is our first 2020 Vision Quest backcountry experience, as we’ll be loading tents into our packs and planning to stay out in the wilderness overnight.
As if doubling the summit attempt wasn’t enough, we’ve added one of my most anticipated non-4K hikes to the mix. We will hike up Mt. Avalon, giving us three mountains to summit during our two-day trek. Some have suggested that we add Willey also, but Quinn informs me that that’s crazy talk!
In reality, I’m looking forward to the freedom and camaraderie of spending a night in a remote wilderness with good friends. I got a bit of this in my Pemigewasset excursion with UNH, but it definitely feels different undertaking this as part of the 2020 project. One difference is that there will be less of us to carry the larger amount of gear, as tents replace tarps in the approach to this hike. Bear hangs, however, will be a repeated practice from the Pemi trip, along with many tips and tricks from the training of Sherpa John and Brent Bell.
I also have great confidence in our Tom/Field hiking leaders, Carrie and Kara. We’ve already received our trip plan from them, and it has a good bit of information about our mountains and trails. I relish the way I feel after reading the trip plans, as it allows me to focus on my part of the experience ahead. Trust in the team, much like my trust in Quinn, is an essential part of approaching all hikes, but this trust is particularly important for hikes with new experiences – such as this trip.
While in the same region as Mt. Hale and hopefully with similar successful results, there’s a completely new set of people, trails, and experiences ahead. I’d love to hear anyone else’s comments about what we may find on our upcoming journey. I have just over one week to prepare and I’m eager to see if we can follow up our last success with an even larger accomplishment.