One last snow trip from March

4:58 p.m. on May 3, 2017 (EDT)
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This one didn't get written up on my site so there is no long version. I'm really posting this because I feel an obligation to post the video that appears at the end, but I'll toss in a bit of a trip report for context.

DSC00936a.jpgI wanted to take another shot at getting some snow pics on the Baldpates and things lined up for me to get a couple of nights. Flurries turned to heavier snow as I approached the parking lot, but it had been plowed since the last storm. No one else seemed interested in climbing out of the notch in the coming storm so I had the place to myself.

DSC00938a.jpgI was glad to be done driving on the highway and headed across to pick up the AT there. After enjoying a well broken trail last time I was surprised to find only a set of postholes going in either direction following traces of a snowshoe trail. I followed the big holes pretty easily until they took me off the trail heh. I could tell from their pattern that the guy realized he was lost, looked around and then looped back and went down the mountain. Just after looping back I found the place where he missed the turn and continued on following faint wisps of a ski track or snowshow print at times. Other times I made my way by good guessing, but eventually ended up at the shelter campsite.

DSC00944a.jpgThere had been some warm days between storms which created this lovely bit of latrine sculpture.
DSC00946a.jpgThis time I came prepared for melting snow with my Whisperlite. After all the times camping in the Pemi with just my tent in the wilderness having a shelter seems like cheating, but I was happy to use it all the same.

DSC00953a.jpgIn the morning I found a nice fresh blanket of snow over everything. There were some fresh bunny tracks, but everything else was pristine.
DSC00955a.jpgWhat I couldn't find was the mountain. The cloud ceiling was literally just above my head when I first got up and while it lifted slightly the peak was totally lost in the clouds. I waited around in camp all morning in hopes that it would lift, but had no luck on that account. From here to the top was unbroken trail which combined with a cold, wet, whiteout sounded a bit too adventurous for an old fat man. The death up on the Bonds this season seems to have made me err on the side of caution more often this Winter. Hearing about folks dying on some far off mountain seems less personal than hearing about it happening on a trail you know well and travel often.
DSC00968a.jpgAfter about four hours of stomping around camp trying to keep my feet warm I gave up and loaded up to head down the mountain. Shortly after that it began to get brighter, but I already had my downhill momentum. Those winter summit pics will have to wait til next year.

DSC00976a.jpg
Most of the trip down was quite magical. There was deep powder filling in my tracks from the day before, in spots completely. I had a blast getting covered in powder and generally having fun until I started to meet folks postholing their way up the trail. The first two did some damage, but the group of three behind them totally destroyed the trail. I took solace in the fact that once they reached the point I'd stopped for the night they would face unbroken trail as their reward for leaving the snowshoes at home.

Let's end on a happier note than that. Here as promised is the must see video of my winter beard in its natural habitat. Turn up your sound to hear the intro followed by some music.

That beard came off two days later, but at least I have this video to remember it by :)

7:36 p.m. on May 3, 2017 (EDT)
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Lone loved the video great report it just plain makes me smile. I can't wait till the day I get to freeze my butt off on a trip like that. Keep them coming bud.

12:03 a.m. on May 4, 2017 (EDT)
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I really like your writing style and the beard was very winter cool. If you want real snow you need to check out the Sierra, that hut would have been buried to the ridge top.

7:13 a.m. on May 4, 2017 (EDT)
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Very nice brings back memories for me in the 80's in Upstate New York and playing  in the snow....

@Steve you do realize this is shot in Maine DA..

5:53 p.m. on May 4, 2017 (EDT)
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A nice story and beautiful pics-thanks

6:08 p.m. on May 4, 2017 (EDT)
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denis daly said:

@Steve you do realize this is shot in Maine DA..

Even though I am a Cali boy, I was thinking the same thing.  The NE mountains are a crucible responsible for turning out some of America's most accomplished winter mountaineers.  Not tall, nor notorious for deep snow, but the potential for really bad weather and difficult travel more than makes up for that! Nevertheless it does seem Phil was visiting them during a more Pacific weather period.

Ed

9:41 a.m. on May 5, 2017 (EDT)
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I just figured Steve was bragging about the Sierra snow because they finally got some this year. It has been a while since they've had much to brag about out there.

Lived in CA for 25 years but spent my winters surfing and went to the mountains to cool off in the summer so I don't know much about the snow out there other than a bit of skiing. Wisconsin is where most of my snow experience comes from and I can recall jumping out of the second story window one morning to shovel the first floor door so we could get out to milk the cows.

Still, this thread should really be about that beard, not arguing about whose snow is bigger or better. It has been over a month now and I still miss it like a lost pet. Well, except when I'm eating soup ;)

10:42 a.m. on May 5, 2017 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

denis daly said:

@Steve you do realize this is shot in Maine DA..

Even though I am a Cali boy, I was thinking the same thing.  The NE mountains are a crucible responsible for turning out some of America's most accomplished winter mountaineers.  Not tall, nor notorious for deep snow, but the potential for really bad weather and difficult travel more than makes up for that! Nevertheless it does seem Phil was visiting them during a more Pacific weather period.

Ed

 I take it that you are correct Ed...Since I am just a backpacker and know few Mountaineers but you do..So I take that as to what you say about them from the east is true,,But he was comparing apples to oranges..Just two different enviorments and beasts..If I sounded like i was popping off..I was just pointing out LS is one of our most experienced winter backpackers and posts his trips..

11:50 p.m. on May 5, 2017 (EDT)
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denis daly said:

whomeworry said:

denis daly said:

@Steve you do realize this is shot in Maine DA..

Even though I am a Cali boy, I was thinking the same thing.  The NE mountains are a crucible responsible for turning out some of America's most accomplished winter mountaineers.  Not tall, nor notorious for deep snow, but the potential for really bad weather and difficult travel more than makes up for that! Nevertheless it does seem Phil was visiting them during a more Pacific weather period.

Ed

 I take it that you are correct Ed...Since I am just a backpacker and know few Mountaineers but you do..So I take that as to what you say about them from the east is true,,But he was comparing apples to oranges..Just two different enviorments and beasts..If I sounded like i was popping off..I was just pointing out LS is one of our most experienced winter backpackers and posts his trips..

I'm just making noise myself!  And I am positive Steve knows the reputation about the NE.  I just thought your quip made the perfect foil to share some trivia most are unaware of - and in a subtle manner hint that some of those mountains are not to be taken lightly any time of year.

Ed

November 19, 2019
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