Sunday, April 5, 2015

Our NH 48 4K Journey: Chapter 1 continued...

Jason & Scott's NH 48 4K Journey: Chapter 1 "The Beginning" continued...

Jason on Shortline Trail
Two weeks had passed after our failed attempt on Mt. Carrigain that nearly cost us our lives and the possibility of Scott ever trying another hike with me again. But somehow he was intrigued, crazy or just trusted me that it could be so much more enjoyable and worth it. I set my sight's on the four thousand footer I first hiked and fell in love with. Mt. Adam's would be my redemption peak! We would hike some of my favorite trails in the Presidential's the King Ravine and Great Gully Trails up and Airline for the descent.

Scott on Shortline Trail

The conditions this day June 10, 2007 were a far cry from our Carrigain hike! Skies were partly sunny, a light wind and 70 degree temperatures. We began our hike at 10:00am at the Appalachia parking lot. I don't recall anything from the start of our hike other that we were in good spirits and rather enjoying the start of the hike. Once on King Ravine trail the hike became more difficult and we saw no one for the remainder of the climb. The floor of the ravine is known for it's massive rocks that fell or where plucked from the side of the mountain and came to rest here. You climb around and through them and one section called the ice caves there was ice still (as there generally is through the early summer). 

This section of the hike really takes a lot out of you. A full body work-out is what you will get on this
Jason on Great Gully Trail above the boulder field
trail! We arrived at the Great Gully trail which would begin a steep, rough hike up the ravine head wall through a narrow trough so-to-speak. We took it slow and steady, stopping often to enjoy the view and nice day. So far the hike was shaping up to be what I had hoped it would! We finally made it to the top of the ravine wall and could see the "summit" ahead of us. Here another mistake was made in my early days of learning the mountains and their trails! 

Scott on Great Gully Trail

We thought what we saw ahead was the summit of Mt. Adam's. The trail however continued straight up to the right side and away from the peak. Scott questioned this and I assured him it was just because it joins the summit trail at a junction. He stated "couldn't we just head straight for the summit and take a short cut?" We were both pretty tired at this point and after I questioned this request I finally agreed with his assessment and we decided to not bother with the trail and take a "short cut". This is as most probably know a dangerous thing and not recommended. While on a day like this and in this particular area it could be considered generally safe, things aren't always what they appear in the mountains!

We climbed to this peak we thought was the summit only to find there was another beyond it that was
Scott above Mt. Madison and Star Lake
out of sight. A little disappointed we sighed and continued on. We finally reached the top of this peak only to find the true summit was way further up to our right! We were on one of Adam's many sub-peaks and looking down on Star Lake and Madison Spring hut. Ahh the classic false summit syndrome! We had enough climbing and were ready for a break and our lunch so we gave up on our endeavor for the summit. So lesson learned, do not stray from the trail even if you think you can see your destination! Unless you REALLY know where you are going!

Jason with Mt. Washington's North East ridge in background
After our lunch we began our hike down to the Airline trail. It was now that my knee's were really bothering me. I remember putting as much weight on my poles as I could, and the awful pain that I had felt like the previous hike. I struggled through it as one can really only do up on a mountain. And we enjoyed the beautiful serrated ridge that Airline trail follows. There are views over to Mt. Madison and the cabin, then back up from the giant stone pile of Adam's from which we jsut came. And ahead their were views down over the ridge into King Ravine that we had climbed earlier and across over to Craig Cabin sitting on the ravine wall on the other side. It was the amazing, magnificent and majestic place I remembered from the hikes with my mother on these same trails.

We returned to the parking lot at 7:00pm. Ready to end the day and excited for the next hike. Yes I re-ignited my love for these mountains and lit a spark in Scott to continue hiking with me. The next couple weeks we went out and purchased a back pack and proper clothing for him and we began planning our next hike. Hmmm, maybe a 2 day hike with an overnight camp-out on the mountain...we were seasoned hikers now...right!? be continued!

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