by Carrie McMillen
Our 2011 hiking schedule has been posted!
Last year, we had many unknowns and challenges as we started out on this grand adventure. Our experiences were vast – we dealt with a few (luckily, minor) injuries on the trail, we made a decision not to summit a certain 4K due to timing and safety, we camped in the backcountry and we were part of the Flags on the 48 atop Mt Liberty. We had ups and downs, physically and emotionally, and I think we can all agree that it was the culmination of all these experiences that has left us feeling richer and more comfortable with what is to come.
So what exactly is to come this season? If you check out the schedule on our hiking home page at http://www.2020visionquest.com/hiking-the-48.html, you’ll see that our goals this year are BIG. This year we’re dusting off the training wheels and going for the gusto!
Our 2011 plan is to summit 16 4K summits by the time snow flies next winter. Yes, we may be a bit ambitious and perhaps even a tad crazy (we did five in 2010). However, we are starting the season much earlier and increasing our efficiency with multiple day trips, allowing us to summit several peaks on a weekend. Here are a few of the highlights we are looking forward to:
Owl’s Head in mid-May – Our first hike of the season will test those camping skills not to mention some stream crossing doozies, as the spring runoff season will have peaked. It’s a good thing Quinn likes water and Randy has those gaitors and Teva water shoes.
Partial Pemi Loop – This will be Randy’s longest overnight backpack trip this year, but will be supported by hut accommodations. Last year, he climbed a few of the Pemi mountains with a UNH group and faced some of the hottest temperatures on record and it proved to be a few of the most grueling days of his life. We are hoping for much more manageable weather this year!
Adams and Madison – For anyone familiar with the Northern Presidentials, you’ll know that Mt Adams is an enormous pile of jumbled rocks at the top and Quinn will not like it one bit! For the sighted, this mountain is a challenge because you are boulder hopping on slanty rocks and it’s easy to slip. For the 2020 group, this will mean some slow, careful hiking supplemented with human guides (I think I might also try to sneak in some kneepads into Randy’s pack).
Carter Range – This hike will be another 3-day trip (like Adams/Madison) taking advantage of the AMC hut system we love. The concerns here are trying to summit 3 mountains over the course of one weekend along with some incredibly steep terrain. I hope that since this trip is later in the season, we’ll be faster, more efficient and better versed in the terrain.
So feel free to follow along via our website and via the Spot GPS as we hike throughout this summer – we plan to have information on each hike, both before and after the trips. Moreover, as we move into summer, we’ll also be asking the community for any terrain advice for our upcoming trips. Stay tuned!