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#6911 - 10/06/02 03:22 AM Looking for a Winter Adventure...
GymClimbingPoser Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 285
Loc: Logan, UT
Alright, I need to do something exciting over winter break, or I'm going to loose it. I have a lot of time, anything up to two weeks is cool. Anywhere between VT/NH and north of NC is an easy drive for me. I'm thinking about going up North and doing something winter oriented. I have all the camping gear and winter camping know-how that I need. I'm also looking into buying a pair of snowshoes. I want to go packpacking somewhere and maybe bag a few peaks. What's a good area for this? I know this is general as hell, but I'm really open to anything. I don't know how to ice-climb and don't have any experience on terrain where I may be in need of a slef arrest. Other than that I'm very fit and able to cover a good deal of terrain in a week and can withstand any weather I may face. Also, are people still rock climbing down around Seneca or the NRG during late December? Maybe I'll do to two road trips...
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#6912 - 10/06/02 01:33 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
Anonymous
Unregistered


go up to adirondaks and climb mt marcy...you only need snowshoes..and wintercamping know how
if i were you, i'd learn how to ice climb

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#6913 - 10/07/02 12:29 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
intrepid02 Offline
Snarky Bastard

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1421
Loc: Boulder
I second the marcy comment. I'm basically in the same boat as you and my plan is to hike into Marcy Dam w/ about a week's worth of gear and make it my basecamp for peak bagging in the area.

One thought though. You might want crampons. I hiked up there during late winter last year w/ just snowshoes and basically couldn't go above tree line cuz it was all ice (the bulletproof kind).

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#6914 - 10/07/02 01:41 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
1) marcy
2) presidentials traverse in North Conway
3) screw it, drive to southern utah, enjoy. I mean you have two weeks...

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#6915 - 10/07/02 04:30 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: crackers]
Anonymous
Unregistered


the presidential traverse is a serious undertaking...

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#6916 - 10/07/02 04:35 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure...
d-elvis Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
I second that - very demanding
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#6917 - 10/07/02 05:21 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: d-elvis]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
...and the record time is under 10 hours for a winter jaunt.

while the record is obviously rather fast, there is little need for technical climbing skill, and if you are fit, you can do it in a looong day, as long as you are prepared to bail if things get crappy.

Personally, I don't understand how or why anybody takes three days to walk 18 miles.

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#6918 - 10/07/02 05:26 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: crackers]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Remind me, crackhead.....what's the total elevation change on that little 18 mile jaunt ?

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#6919 - 10/07/02 05:40 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: crackers]
d-elvis Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
two words - Hugh Herr
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#6920 - 10/07/02 05:50 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: d-elvis]
GymClimbingPoser Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 285
Loc: Logan, UT
Thanks for all the advice everybody, I'll look into those; and also start posting in the climbing gear section as to which crampons/ice axes etc. I'm going to need. Mt. Marcy looks promising, thats very close to me. And I just got off the phone with my friend who lives in Boston, she said she'd be interested in going up to the Pres.s. Getting psyched up already! Maybe even enough to get me through fall semester.
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#6921 - 10/07/02 06:22 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: strat]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
depending on whether you hit every peak or skirt them, you're looking at about 9,000 feet change going from the boy scout camp parking lot in the north to the hut in the south.

c'mon, whats 9k in 18 hours? You can doo eeeit!

So shall we do it in early december as a warm up for Mexico?

In one day of course...

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#6922 - 10/07/02 07:40 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: crackers]
GymClimbingPoser Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 285
Loc: Logan, UT
Oh the gear headaches! I want to do this, but am I safe to assume that this is going to require some major renting of gear. I have a 0 degree synthetic bag and three-season mountaineering boots (LaSport Eiger). From what I'm readin it looks like I'm going to need a -20 bag and insulated (plastic?) boots. What a pain in the ass... Are the presidentials going to be much colder than the Dacks? Or is there that much of a difference. I don't feel like buying a down jacket, I'd like to get away with the synthetic one I already have. Maybe I will just make the drive to UT.
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#6923 - 10/07/02 08:37 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: crackers]
CaptainNoPro Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Northern VT
Whoa!
Slow down man. You don't want to get yourself on the traverse without some serious
training and some serious gear. That's some major commitment, especially between
grey knob cabin and lakes of the clouds. An ice axe is really important for the traverse
as well as full conditions clothing, 4 season tent plastic boats, crampons, -20 bag
etc. Think 7 miles with full exposure to the weather and difficult escapes from the ridge.

I would suggest staying in franconia notch to start and climb the kinsmans followed by
liberty and the flume and finish out your time by climbing the bridal path to lafayette.
This trail doesn't require an axe if you don't attempt to traverse to lincoln and you
can get by with the crampons affixed to your snowshoes. Also commitment is low,
since you can escape rapidly back to treeline by way of greenleaf hut.
The weather can be absolutely horrendous above treeline in the winter in the whites
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE IT!!!

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#6924 - 10/08/02 12:31 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
intrepid02 Offline
Snarky Bastard

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1421
Loc: Boulder
For the prez traverse, you will need to be prepared for "full-on" conditions. This is, however, less so for the Daks. All of the peaks have relatively easy retreats to tree line. I spent a lot of time up there last winter with leather/gore-tex hiking boots, snowshoes, a down jacket, and a 0 degree bag. (Though sometimes it ices over and requires an axe and crampons.) You don't even need a tent necessarily as you can stay in the MANY shelters.

I tried to do the prez traverse in a day last summer and it almost killed me (literally). Though, granted that was because I made a lot of really stupid mistakes. I just want to re-iterate that te prez traverse is a very serious undertaking.

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#6925 - 10/08/02 03:59 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: crackers]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Have you ever walked in whiteout ,freezing fog conditions with wind ove 60 MPH for 18 miles? It aint the Gunks cairage road.

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#6926 - 10/08/02 04:10 PM Re: presidental traverse [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
Anonymous
Unregistered


unless your just out for the day,you want plastic double boots.I've done multi day trips with my leather ice climbing boots,and it sucks.You'll eiter have wet boots in your bag,or frozen boots in the morning. ,You might be better off using ski poles ,with a self arrest pick,than an axe,depending on what route you take. Remember your sleeping bag IS your last line of defense,don't skimp. I've climbed in a fleece t-shirt in feb.,and been hypothermic in freezing sleet in may. Weather up there is Very unpredictable. You also might want to think about not doing this alone.Have fun.

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#6927 - 10/08/02 05:45 PM Re: presidental traverse
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
yes. its not really that big of a deal.

in fact, i thought that it was a rather fun jaunt. We had about 20 foot visibility once we got onto the ridge of (adams? i forget...) till we stumbled back into the treeline about ~10 hours later.

i used uninsulated leather boots with footwarmer beds, and generally light and fast gear. I lugged a bunch of garbage with me because i was expecting more full on conditions, but there wasnt really that much snow or ice. I attempted the route in november two years ago and did it in january two years ago. Oh, and the reason for turning around the first time was that my partner got food poisoning and was puking his guts out on the first hill.

I think that when i do it this time i will use my insulated leathers, but i cant justify in any way using plastics on such a small route. For me, i dont see the point of plastics till its really cold and i wil be there for a few days. I mean below 25 below Fahrenheit by really cold.

(incidentally, i recently traipsed onto the carriage road in full-dark conditions and suddenly understood why those mythical climbers of days passed who rapped onto the road stayed there, tied in for the night.)

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#6928 - 10/08/02 05:46 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow?
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
why do you want to do the traverse in more than one day? i don't understand.

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#6929 - 10/08/02 05:51 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
Anonymous
Unregistered


You might want to consider the Lake Colden/Avalanche Lake area in the Adirondacks. The area is beautiful, there are numerous lean-to shelters, and you'll have five high peaks to choose from, each of which has at least one non-technical route. You can approach from Upper works through Flowed Land, or from the north, by way of Adirondack Loj. You might enjoy a trip through Indian Pass, as well; Wallface Mountain is spectacular in the winter.

While either of these options is far less committing than the Presidential traverse, I would still recommend a pair of double boots and a good winter bag. If you are going to be in snowshoes the entire time, however, you don't necessarily need to drop $250 on mountaineering boots; a pair of good, double snowboots will keep you just as warm, and cost you half as much. If you already have a zero degree bag, buy a good liner or stick your lightweight summer bag inside the winter one.


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#6930 - 10/08/02 05:54 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: crackers]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Because it might be too much for someone in a day. I'm not sure I could pull it off as a day trip. I am quite sure I would NOT want to do it multi-day. Who wants to lug all that shit up and down those freekin mountains. No fun!

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#6931 - 10/08/02 06:01 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: strat]
d-elvis Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
Hike into the Havard Cabin and spend the night!
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#6932 - 10/08/02 06:03 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: d-elvis]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
What good does that do you on the traverse? the walk from Pinkham to Harvard Cabin takes like an hour and involves fairly minimal elevation change.

I stayed at the Harvard Cabin two new year's ago to do the winter lion's head.

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#6933 - 10/08/02 06:05 PM Re: presidental traverse: so slow? [Re: strat]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
how about a reservation at the observatory?

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#6934 - 10/08/02 06:09 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: crackers]
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you get the weather on your side and snow conditions are right the traverese can and is done in a day.Can't count on the conditions to be right.Me and a partner once climbe Washington up and down in 3 hrs 45 minutes.The snow was perfect,everything was whited out above Lions head,but we made time coming down .Glissaded agood part of the cone,all the lions head,then for some reason ran down the cattle trail[ I think to get away from the goofers].I've also spent 8 hrs to go from a camp partway up Madison,to the summit and back to camp.Low snow and wind up to 110mph made things slow going. Bivy gear,if you carry it you will use it,if you don't you might need it.

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#6935 - 10/08/02 06:11 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: strat]
d-elvis Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
mmm... wasn't specific enough. If the traverse is too much, a stay at the Harvard Cabin is fun, and then do a summit push, hike the Lion's head's trail, etc etc etc.
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#6936 - 10/08/02 06:12 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: strat]
Anonymous
Unregistered


it builds character. Mountaineering,the art of suffering.

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#6937 - 10/08/02 06:15 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: d-elvis]
Anonymous
Unregistered


stayed there once.I thought I was in Boston. Rather slep out in the snow.Thins out the crowd.

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#6938 - 10/08/02 10:13 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow?
LFCfanofNJ Offline
member

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 148
Loc: back in the GUNKS!
I had a nice night at harvard cabin (no not that kind). I would go back.
I would also consider sleeping down in the valley and tagging some peaks from a base camp. Above the tree line in Nh and the dacks is (multi day) serious stuff and may be more than you would want to handle if this is your first winter trip. And I would not go alone or with someone who is even less experienced.
If the weather gets bad while you are above the tree line you could be in serious trouble, thus my suggestion that you camp in the valley (or someplace below tree line) and hit some peaks, weather providing. Be careful, people die every year during winter in NH.

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#6939 - 10/09/02 06:23 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
Climer Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/13/00
Posts: 348
The Whites are nice. The Traverse, depending on your skills might not be a good idea. There is tons of hiking/peak baggin to do up there. Weather will dictate what you do but even if it is crap, there are still tons of things to do.

Climer

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#6940 - 10/09/02 06:38 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: Climer]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
attached pic from my last Whites trip.


Attachments
59930-snowy tent.jpg (171 downloads)


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#6941 - 10/09/02 07:25 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: Mike Rawdon]
d-elvis Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
Ditto

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#6942 - 10/10/02 01:29 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: d-elvis]
LFCfanofNJ Offline
member

Registered: 05/08/02
Posts: 148
Loc: back in the GUNKS!
Those are, without a doubt, the coolest photos I have ever seen here. I love winter camping, what can I say.

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#6943 - 10/12/02 05:56 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: LFCfanofNJ]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
I love you people. You guys keep me in lots of overtime $$!!! None of the peaks mentioned here should be climbed without crampons, an ice axe, complete confidence in map and compass ability, and extra gear for one day. Especially if you are alone. These peaks kill people who thought just as you do...every winter. Have fun, but be prepared. Northeast mountains are very finicky and peculiar. What is a walk in the park one day turns into a mighmarish skate session on verglased rock and freezing rain the next, to 4 feet of wet snow the next, to sunny 40 degree temps the next. Be prepared.

RangerRob

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#6944 - 10/13/02 12:44 AM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: RangerRob]
Anonymous
Unregistered


AAhh,Rob, I may be taking that " you people" comment out of context,but you are coming off a wee bit sanctimonious there.Your accurate advice therehas been stated previously. Winter camping CAN be cool, and dangerous at the sametime.Like I said ,maybe I'm taking your post in thewrong context.I know one thing ,I've had more bad times from listening to rangers,and those with some authority than I have listening to my own judgment.

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#6945 - 10/15/02 07:48 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure...
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
Did the winter Lion's Head last year r/t in 3:15 (we also ran down the cattle trail). It was snowing and visibility was limited, but not too, too bad. On our first attempt the day prior, we encountered 90 mph winds and about 20 feet of visibility. Serious shit. Couldn't even stand up. Wouldn't advise an inexperienced mountaineer to undertake the Traverse given the weather possibilities.
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#6946 - 10/16/02 09:29 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: nerdom]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow, 3 hrs 15 min to summit and back?

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#6947 - 10/16/02 09:53 PM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure...
tico Offline
addict

Registered: 12/12/00
Posts: 416
Loc: Gardiner, NY
yeah, we didn't even really push it, neither. I've gotten down from the summit to parking lot in about 45 minutes before, with lots of glissading and running. i've also soloed up O'dells right side to the summit in about 2 hours from the parking lot.

But like Les and Rob say, and maybe Crackers doesn't get, it's easy to go fast in the whites when the conditions are good. but it's easy to die when the conditions are bad.

-tico

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#6948 - 10/17/02 01:59 AM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: tico]
merlin Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/31/99
Posts: 1352
yeah, we didn't even really push it, neither

pushed it harder than i could that weekend....

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#6949 - 10/17/02 02:59 AM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: crackers]
Edgy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 393
hey cracky,

Why do they want to take more than one day to traverse the Prezzy's???

I see two reasons...

1) Tradition....They read it in the AMC Guide, so it's the way it MUST be done... or maybe John Long just put out a new book "How to Winter Hike" published by Falcon Press.

2) Not only are they "gym climbing posers" but most of them are also "all kinds of climbing posers..."

Sure, a traverse of the Prezzy's could be be an epic of a Shackleton proportion, but if you're fit, and have real "Sound Mountaineeering Judgement (tm)" it can be easily done in a long day. (By the way, I know people who are trying to break that 10 hour record... they are sick, sick, demented people...)

A lot depends on the weather, if it's good....you can literally run the whole thing in your five tennie's... if it's bad, well....

That's where the "Sound Mountaineeering Judgement(tm)" comes into play....you have to know when to go on and when to bail. We had to wallow down the Great Gulf on one attempt(we left the snow shoes in the car to save weight)... the real crux was hitch-hiking back to the car ( I wish I had read Eddie's "Hitch-hiking Hints.")

As for the equiptment one would need....You know what they say about the imfamous "10 Essentials?" If you have 'em...you'll need 'em.

For someone with limited NewEngland winter experience, I'd reccommend hiking up to either Crag Camp or Gray Knob in the Norther Presidentials, and staying over night for a couple of days and do some long day hikes from there. You can have the full on "winter experience" but sleep (and cook) in an unheated hut.

What would I do if I had 2 weeks off in the dead of winter and enough cash? I'd be looking for cheap airfares to Spain...

If I had 2 weeks off and not a lot of cash? Maybe drive to Hueco.... or I'd bet you could have some really nice climbing in Tennesse at that time of the year.

edgy

ps. Graham, I may be down that way in a couple of weeks... maybe you could drag me up a couple of classics....



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#6950 - 10/18/02 01:49 AM Re: Looking for a Winter Adventure... [Re: tico]
Anonymous
Unregistered


nice , we would have gone faster but it was completly fogged in above lions head.We got a little disoriented a few times up high,this is where we last some time.Of course I ussually try to milk my time above tree line as far as I can. Theres a reason some people might want to take mor than a day doing the traverse. It's good training for bigger places.

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#6951 - 10/18/02 02:14 AM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: Edgy]
GymClimbingPoser Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 285
Loc: Logan, UT
Alright, since this thread has gone all to shit to the usual bickering, I figure I may as well start slinging. Why would I do it in more than one day? Because I want to spend more than one day outside. Doing a bunch of day hikes is a hell of a way to get used to camping in winter conditions. Maybe I should have stated that I already do have a fair deal of experience winter camping in the new england area, and mountaineering experience (three season). Now I want to combine the two. Driving someplace warm isn't what I'm looking for. As of now I have a couple people lined up and it looks like we're going to be headin to the presidentials. Maybe I'll see some of you out there.
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#6952 - 10/18/02 02:14 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
Edgy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 393
Dear GPC,

Oh, don't worry too much about the yipping and whining from the rabble... it's what we do best.

If you do decide on a Prezzy traverse, you'll have fun... I thought the hardest part was the Jefferson area, that seemed to me to be the windiest part of the range. You can drop down below tree line there to camp.

Some more unsolicited advice...

If things get a lttle too "exciting" there is a "rat hole" bivy under the Lake of the Clouds hut.

If the approach trails up (Lowe's, Airline) and the descent (Websters) down are tracked out, you might not need snow shoes. Both ends are popular with day hikers so it's a good bet they will be, but you never can tell. Hint, go after a holiday...

Have fun.

Bring a lot of high fat, high calore food... Try to find water, melting snow takes a long time when your cold.

Don't do any thing too stupid...if that little voice in the back of you head asks, "Is this a good idea?" It probably isn't.

Have fun.

Remember most (but not all) of the people who get into trouble up there are doing really stupid things.... like crashing their plane, getting lost or looking for some other boneheads who got lost.... so do everyone a favor....avoid being a bonehead.

good luck, and let us know how it turns out....

ed

ps, I still don't see why anyone would chose Gorham, NH over Spain...

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#6953 - 10/18/02 02:44 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: Edgy]
RAF Offline
site supporter

Registered: 04/12/02
Posts: 793
Loc: Colorado (!)
Edgy gives good advice, e.g., going after a holiday so the trails are beaten down.

I strongly recommend going up to one of the cabins in the northern part of the range and daytripping Madison and Adams from there. Then do an alpine start and sail over the rest of the range in a day; it's a serious mountaineering project worthy of serious mountaineering tactics. Tank up on hot liquids before you leave and carry a thermos.

If you have the luxury of time, hang out at Gray Knob in order to pick your day. Many winters have successions of little storms every three or so days, with two-day settled periods in between. Get in position during marginal weather and do the traverse in good weather. Bailing out to the east may be fewer miles to civilization but potentially a lot of loose snow and avalanche danger. Stay close together and frequently check one another's faces for frostnip.

And as Edgy says, if you have to wonder whether something is a good idea or not, you already know the answer.

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#6954 - 10/18/02 05:35 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: RAF]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
that reminds me, on the day when tico, merlin and I got turned back by 90mph winds, we had to break trail all the way from the groomed snowcat trail to treeline -- in thigh to waist deep snow! Arduous, to say the least. Next day, a sufficient number of people had made it to treeline behind us (nobody summited that day!) so the trail was pretty well beaten down when Tico and I cranked it out.

As for someone's suggestion about Tennessee, T-Wall is a fantastic winter cragging destination (it's too hot there in the summer), and Sunset Park is probably still good as well. Both offer stellar moderate and hard climbing.
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#6955 - 10/19/02 12:24 AM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: GymClimbingPoser]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Exactly, if you want experience in fast light weight peak bagging do it in a day, if you want to get the most out of being above tree line and harden your skills, stay out for a few.One of te best camp site s I ever had was in a snow field in Edmunds col. Dug a plaform just wide enough for the tent, could sit at tents edge with my feet dangling over a nice slope.Great sunrise at 5000 feet. Better than the one down in North Cornhole.

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#6956 - 10/21/02 01:05 PM Re: presidental traverse: why so slow? [Re: nerdom]
tico Offline
addict

Registered: 12/12/00
Posts: 416
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Sunset Park very cold in winter. Not like the motherland.

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