glad to hear you've moved past "hiking for checkmarks" and are now onto
"hiking for fun"

(flame shield up)

sounds like a real fun day to be out and about, and oh how I wish I could
have joined ya!


On Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 2:25 PM, Matthew Kulas <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Having finished working on the 116 4,000 footers in the Northeast last
> August, I am now working on another list, one that I've been eagerly
> anticipating for the last several years.  It is called simply, the "To-do
> List," and it currently occupies one side of a sheet from a yellow legal
> pad, though it is threatening to expand to a second page.  On it are the
> names mountains, notches, trails and locales, from all over the Northeast,
> that have struck my fancy over the years, since I first came down with my
> peak-bagging affliction.  Some of the goals include: Percy Peaks, the Adam's
> Slide Trail, Sawtooths 1 & 2, Whitewall Mountain, the Great Slide on Grace,
> Klondike Notch, completing the Triangle Trail, the Traveler Loop, Hawthorne
> Falls, and a Pemi back-pack.
> * * *
> At 10:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, Jeff S. returned my call, saying that he
> was game for a hike.  I threw out a couple of suggestions and asked if he
> had anything in mind.  It turned out that he did.  There is a cluster of
> 3,000 footers in the southeast end of the Presidential Range, that make up
> the southern end of the Montalban Ridge, including Mts. Crawford, Stairs,
> Resolution, and Parker.  All but Parker are just off the Davis Path, one of
> the items on my To-do List, so I was vaguely familiar with them and game.
> I pulled in late to the Davis Path trailhead, at 9:30 AM, on Sunday
> morning, Jeff already there and ready to hike.  First, we dropped my car
> down in Bartlett, at the trailhead for the Mt. Langdon Trail, then we headed
> back to the Davis Path.  Along the way, Jeff informed me not only were four
> 3,000 footers the objective today, but there was also a bushwhack to a NH
> 200 Highest peak that he hoped to do, too.  That sounded good to me.
> Sunday was sunny and warm, and with the Davis Path's steep initial climb
> out of Notchland, we were soon breaking a good sweat.  Shortly after gaining
> the ridge extending between Crawford and Hope, we reached the unmarked spur
> to Crawford's summit, which starts up a steep, open slab of rock.  The
> summit isn't far off of the Davis Path.  Ledgey, it is almost entirely open
> and it afford us astounding views of the Rockpile, the Dry River Wilderness,
> the Southern Presidentials, Crawford Notch, the Sandwich Range, and the
> Pemi--including mighty Carrigain, the Bonds, Guyot, the Twins, Zealand,
> Zeacliff, Hale, Willey, Nancy, Bemis, Lowell, and even far-off Lincoln.  It
> is quite simply one of the more stunning viewpoints in the East.
> Astounding as it was, we eventually had to move on, so we made our way up
> the Davis Path on towards Stairs Mountain, stopping along the way to visit
> the soon-to-be removed Resolution Shelter and top off our water from the
> small trickle that was Sleeper Brook.
> Stairs Mountain, so called be cause it's eastern ledges look like a giant's
> stairs, was off on another unmarked spur from the Davis Path.  Again, we
> feasted on remarkable views from the east lookout, careful not to get too
> close to the precipitous edge.  On our way back to the trail we used up some
> time trying making sure that we stood exactly on the very highest point.
> Like I said, peak bagging is an affliction, it makes us do rather odd
> things.
> Back on the Path, we backtracked South to Stairs Col and descended the
> Stairs Col Trail.  Near the base of one particularly big cliff, we began our
> bushwhack over to East Stairs, which at 2,967', is one of the 200 highest
> peaks in New Hampshire.  I like to think that I'm no slouch at bushwhacking,
> but Jeff is a master of the art and compass-in-hand, he led the way.
> Once in the saddle between Stairs and East Stairs, we discovered a nice,
> small meadow and a ridiculous abundance of moose shit, some of it rather
> recent and some already covered moss.  The moose had opened some spots up,
> others were on the thick side.  Somewhere around 4 PM, I think, we reached
> the summit, and after some searching, we found the canister.  The previous
> two visits were by the same fellow from Quebec, the first  of which--from
> early last fall--said that he was just scoping it out for a winter bid,
> which gave us a good chuckle.  He returned in January.  The summit was
> wooded, and though some one had cut out a small clearing, there were
> virtually no views.
> Rolls of thunder chased us off the summit and we took a more direct, but
> steeper route down back to the Stairs Col Trail, which meant that we had a
> bigger climb back up to the Davis Path.  Fortunately, while we still heard
> thunder, it didn't seem to be approaching us, and by the time we were back
> at the Path, it had dissipated.
> Across the Davis Path from the spur to the Resolution Shelter was the
> junction with the Mt. Parker Trail, which we headed South on towards Mt.
> Resolution.  Upon reaching the bare ledges on the western edge of the summit
> plateau, we ventured off trail again, for the short, but thick bushwhack
> over to the true summit.  Again we found the canister and were treated to
> marvelous views.  By the time we'd returned to the trail, it must have been
> around 6 or 7 PM and it was apparent that we would be returning to our
> spotted car a little later than we'd expected.  Still, Jeff guessed that
> we'd finish without having to use our headlamps.
> Onward to Mt. Parker!  The Mt. Parker trail south of Resolution sees very
> little use and has a delightfully soft and unscarred treadway.  We reached
> the summit of Mt. Parker just before sunset, and as with all the other
> summits but East Sleeper, were treated with extraordinary sights.  Not only
> could we see peaks as far of as Lincoln, Liberty, & Flume, but we had an
> outstanding perspective of the Carter Range and the Baldplates, both of
> which basked in alpenglow.  It was a special gift to be there at that
> moment.
> Following the steep descent off the south-side of Parker, we eventually
> reached the Mt. Langdon Trail and began the final descent back to the car in
> the quickly fading light.  By the time we reached the old logging road
> section, it was all but pitch black, still the lights remained in our pack.
> At 9:30 PM, we finally reached my car, parked at the small trailhead,
> bringing to a close another outstanding day in the mountains.  And, Jeff was
> right, we finished before needing headlamps.
> --Matt K.
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