A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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No Tom Foolery
06 Aug
By 2020
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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.

Tom and Field from Jackson

Mts. Willey, Tom, and Field from Jackson, Mount Washington Observatory Photo

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.

4 responses to “No Tom Foolery”

  1. Cooperhill says:

    Sounds great. Have fun. It’s a great area. I did trail work on Mt. Willard last year. Bear bagging is a must. Not sure about Crawford but Pinkham Notch has had a lot of bear incidents. http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/



  2. John Swenson says:

    This will be a great trip. I did these many years ago and really enjoyed this hike. I have done some hiking in Crawford Notch this summer and from what I have heard, there has been bear activity in the area, so hang all that food and enjoy. You’ll have a great hike!

  3. Randy says:

    Thanks for the pointers and I agree on the bear hanging completely. I’m surprised to have learned things like toothpaste are bear attractors. It should be a great trip any points out there anyone thinks are particularly good for consideration on our choice of a tent site?

  4. Teresa says:

    Have a blast! It looks beautiful up there. Just hope the bears stay away. Back in my hiking days, I always enjoyed seeing a glimpse of one from a long way away, like while driving to the trail head.

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