Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boys' Night Out

Here was the plan.

Hike into the Great Gulf, camp out, climb up the Great Gulf to the summit of Mt. Washington (NH), slap on the boards & ski down the auto road (~ 6 mile run), then a pint of the good stuff.

Saturday morning: it's real cold.

Mistake no. 1: we have no snowshoes or skins for the boards (we were young & poor).

Lots of snow on the trail. We don't make it to the Great Gulf. We set up the tent along the trail and get into our sleeping bags.

Sunday morning : very cold. The thermometer says - 40 F. Plus the winds are gusting up to 100+ mph.

Mistake no. 2: we head towards the summit/auto road via a steep & seldom used trail (hey, we were young & dumb).

So here how the day goes: walk 5 feet, then sink up to your waist; walk 5 more feet, then get knock down by a 100+ mph gust of wind.

It's now 4 pm. We are still way below the auto road. Decision time - keep going or bivy out.

4:01 pm: We are digging into a snow drift.

The local news station reports that tonight will be a rough one. Our lady friends are worried since we were supposed to home hours ago.

Monday morning: it's a bit warming & no wind. We pack up and make it to the auto road by noon time. The boards are on & pointed down hill. About 2 hours later, 3 of us are eating 2 large pizza pies.

Traveling lighter and snowshoes would have been key.

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