LONG DISTANCE HIKING WORKSHOP

Gordon Dubois on the ATLONG DISTANCE HIKING WORKSHOP
Saturday, April 20, 9:00-4:00

Gordon-Nash Library, New Hampton, NH,
Is there a long distance hike on the Appalachian Trail or the Long Trail in your future? Do you want information on planning, physical conditioning, gear, clothing, food and resupply? Do you know how much your pack should weigh? Is it safe to hike alone? What equipment should I bring? Should I bring a snake bite kit? What about bears, vultures and wild boar?

The Gordon-Nash Library, 69 Main Street, New Hampton, NH is sponsoring a day-long workshop on long distance hiking and developing a personalized for a long distance hike. The workshop will cover a broad range of topics, including: financial and time considerations, equipment, food clothing, safety, and physical conditioning. The central focus of the workshop will be to prepare participants to thru hike or section hike, 5 days or more, the Appalachian Trail or the Long Trail.

The workshop will be led by long distant hiker Gordon DuBois. Gordon is a resident of New Hampton, NH and has hiked extensively in the mountains of Northern New England. He completed his AT hike in 2011 and has also thru hiked the Long Trail and sections of the International Appalachian Trail. He has extensive experience in winter mountaineering, hiking 85 on the highest 100 in New England in winter. He has served as an INFO Volunteer for the AMC. In 2011 he assisted the well known AT thru hiker Warren Doyle, teaching at the Appalachian Trail Institute, Mountain City, TN. He is also a member of the Appalachian Trial Conservancy and trail maintainer for the Belknap Range (NH) Trail system.

To register for the workshop contact Gordon at forestpd@metrocast.net. There is a $25 registration fee to cover morning refreshments, lunch and learning materials. Make check payable to Gordon DuBois and send to Gordon-Nash Library, 69 Main St., New Hampton, NH 03256 Registration deadline is April 15. For more information about the workshop go to the Gordon-Nash Library Facebook page or call 603-744-8061.
Posted in Related Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hiking the High summits of the Stratton Maine Area

From January 11 to the 14, Grodon and I, and our friend Bill Magyar hiked to the summits of Sugarloaf, Spaulding, Redington, and South Crocker.  Conditions were challenging as temperatures averages in the mid to high thirties all three days causing the snow to be very heavy and wet, melting from the trees above, and hot wet hiking conditions, and on the first day, it rained.   These conditions prevented us from actually reaching North Crocker as we had hoped. Nonetheless, all in all it turned out to be a good three days, with great friends, good conversation, and some spectacular scenic views.  In the evening we stayed at the Maine Roadhouse, wich provided excellent accommodations for a very reasonable $25.00 a night.

Follow this link to view all the images from our three days of hiking: www.winterhiking.org/photogalleries/stratton_maine/

Bill Magyar, Gordon Dubois, Bob Manley, Winter Hiking in Stratton Maine

Bill Magyar, Gordon Dubois, Bob Manley

Posted in Journal Entries of Most Recent Hikes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LONG DISTANCE HIKING WORKSHOP

Saturday, April 21, 9:30-3:30,
Laconia Public Library, Main Street, Laconia, NH

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail GA

Is there a long distance hike on the Appalachian Trail or the Long Trail in your future? Do you want information on planning, physical conditioning, gear, clothing, food and resupply? Do you know what trail magic is? Have you met a trail angel? Do you have a trail name? Do you know how much your pack should weigh? Is it safe to hike alone? What equipment should I bring? Should I bring a snake bite kit? What about bears, and wild boar?

Gordon Dubois on the Appalachian Trail

Gordon Dubois on the Appalachian Trail

The Gale Library, Main Street, Laconia, NH is sponsoring a day-long workshop on long distance hiking and developing a personalized plan to hike the Appalachian Trail. The workshop will cover a broad range of topics, including: financial and time considerations, equipment, food clothing, safety, and physical conditioning. The central focus of the workshop will be to prepare participants to thru hike or section hike the Appalachian Trail.

The workshop will be led by Gordon DuBois. Gordon is a resident of New Hampton, NH and has hiked extensively in the mountains of Northern New England. He completed his AT hike in 2011 and has also hiked the Long Trail and sections of the International Appalachian Trail. He has extensive experience in winter mountaineering, hiking 77 on the highest 100 in New England in winter. He has served as an INFO Volunteer for the AMC. He recently assisted the well known AT thru hiker Warren Doyle, teaching at the Appalachian Trail Institute, Mountain City, TN. He is a member of the Appalachian Trial Conservancy.

Hiking Gear

Hiking Gear

If you would like to attend this workshop you must register by April 15, with Deb Ross at the Laconia Public Library, 603 524 4775. There is a $10 registration fee to cover refreshments, lunch and learning materials. If you have questions regarding the content of the workshop you can email Gordon at forestpd@metrocast.net

Posted in Related Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The faces of the Appalachian Trail

As documented by Bob Manley when he joined Gordon Dubois for the final eight days and 110 miles of his 1600 mile hike to complete the second of a two part hike to complete the Appalachian Trail.

Posted in Journal Entries of Most Recent Hikes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gordon Dubois Completes The Appalachian Trail

On Saturday, October 22, Gordon Dubois completed his life long dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Today, the Laconia Daily Sun ran an article on his achievement.

Posted in Related Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mount Carrigain – January 30, 2011

At an elevation of 4700′, with over 3800′ of gain and a 14-mile trek – due in part to an unplowed access road – Mt. Carrigain often stands unclimbed by many winter hikers.  But the hike, which offers unparalleled views from both its Signal Ridge and summit tower, promises great rewards for the winter hiker who takes up the challenge.

Mt. Carrigain summit

Mt. Carrigain summit

The hike begins at the Sawyer River Road parking area off of Rt. 302 in Crawford Notch.  While an interesting snowshoe trail that parallels the river leaves from the parking lot, walk the few extra feet to the snowmobile trail which climbs the Sawyer River Road, as this will bring you directly to the trail head.  Don’t allow the two-mile road walk to “psych you out,” as it will only take you 40 to 45 minutes at the most.  Some hikers x-ski the road section and others pull home-made sleds with their backpacks in tow… but most walk the packed snowmobile trail along the road in microspikes.

The trail head is well marked by signage and a kiosk, making it impossible to miss.  After the road walk, we all dumped our packs for a short water and snack break, as well as to put on our snowshoes, but remember to stay off the trail lest you remain in the path of the snowmobilers.

Karen and Ken Robichaud, and Skip Otto approaching Signal Ridge

Karen and Ken Robichaud, and Skip Otto approaching Signal Ridge

The first 1.7 miles of the Signal Ridge Trail is an easy pleasant walk through winter woods. There is one brook crossing that requires care as you cross its snow-bridge, but other than that, in 30-45 minutes, you’ll find yourself at the Signal Ridge / Carrigain Notch Trail junction.

Continuing along the Signal Ridge Trail, which diverges to the left, spread over the next couple of miles is where the real climbing will begin.  And if you haven’t stripped down and removed your outer layers – this is where you definitely will do so!

With the trees bare of leaves, you will soon be able to look ahead and catch glimpses of Mt. Carrigain and the climb ahead.  Having good friends as hiking companions, which encourages story-telling (and good-natured bragging) about prior hiking adventures, helps the time to pass.  Having MSR snowshoes with their clever ‘televators’ is a great help as well.

With just under a mile remaining, you will finally break out of the scrub trees onto Carrigain’s Signal Ridge.  Views of Vose Spur, and Mounts Lowell and Anderson – forming the west and east flanks of Carrigain Notch – will first catch your eye.  (These three peaks are on the New Hampshire Hundred Highest list, but that’s another story!)   Look further east and there looms Mount Washington.

Vose Spur

Vose Spur

For our hike today, the temperatures were in the single digits and there was a light snow falling, but in the cozy protection of our gear, the beauty of the views surrounding us is all that we remember.

As you continue north along the ridge, you’ll soon notice the summit of Mt. Carrigain along with the remains of a fire lookout.  Leaving the exposed ridge, the trail drops into a small coll and then climbs steeply for the last few tenths.

Rime ice covers the fire tower as Beth Zimmer enjoys the view

Rime ice covers the fire tower as Beth Zimmer (contributor) enjoys the view

Once on the summit, you’ll want to quickly get your warm layers and winter shells back on, as you’ll feel the winter wind and weather.  And take the time to climb the tower (you can keep your snowshoes on, or use your microspikes), as you will be rewarded with 360-degree views.

For our group this day, we estimate that it took us about 4-hours to hike from the car to the summit, and being motivated by burgers and beer at the end of our hikes, it only took us 3 hours to return the 7 miles back to our cars.

When I was first winter hiking, I was intimidated by the prospect of this hike.  But I’ve since hiked it on several occasions… each of them rewarding… each of them easier than I had imagined… each trip well worth the modest effort.

Group photo on the summit of Mt. CarrigainGroup photo on the summit of Mt. Carrigain

Group photo on the summit of Mt. Carrigain: Skip Otto, Karen Barker, Fran Maineri, Karen Maineri, Ken Robichaud, Beth Zimmer (contributor), Karen Robichaud and Candy

To see more photos from this hike:  https://picasaweb.google.com/btzimr/20110130Carrigain#

Posted in Journal Entries of Most Recent Hikes | Leave a comment

“Because Its There”, George Mallory

I have just finished reading two seminal books on mountaineering that have provided me with much food for thought and reflection: Dead Lucky by Lincoln Hall and Last Climb by David Breashears and Audrey Salkelo. Both books are written about climbing Mount Everest; Hall in 2007 and Mallory in 1924 and they provide significant insight into the mountaineering experience, as they are written in very different eras. Hall made two attempts to climb Everest and was successful on his second, but came very close to death. Mallory made two attempts (1921 and 1922) and died on his third attempt in 1924. Mallory was accompanied by Sandy Irving on his last and final climb.

Breashears states in his book Last Climb:

 It (the final climb of Irving and Mallory) symbolizes so much, the striving of man for the pinnacle between Earth and heaven; braving unknown elemental forces; conquering pain and will; the bond of friendship transcending age, transcending death, the sacrifice; the mystery.”

And from a collection of poems by Geoffrey Young,

“Brothern ‘till death and a wind-swept grave, joy of the journey’s ending: ye who have climbed to the great white veil, heard ye the chant? Saw ye the grail?”

These lines symbolize much of how I feel about our quest for the highest hundred; the Holy Grail to us. We certainly are not experts in mountaineering and will never reach the summits that Hall, Mallory or Irving climbed, but Bob and I are connected like Mallory and Hall to that calling of the mountains; to reach the summit of an unknown peak and experience the exhilaration of the final steps, to look out over the vast wilderness of the Northern mountains.

Bob and I have faced many challenges and setbacks: surgeries, injury, aging joints, lost trail markers, white-outs, bullet proof ice, bushwhacks through krumholtz, and five feet of fresh power snow. But we’ll continue our climbs, finding those special moments hidden in the unknown surprises that await us on the trail. Each mountain we climb is its own pinnacle between heaven and earth. Each time we climb we are bonded as one, reaching for the unknown, each mountain with its own identity; its own mystery. This is why we climb mountains in winter, because they are there.

Posted in Journal Entries of Most Recent Hikes | Leave a comment

Saddleback and Saddleback Horn

2/4/11

Click here to view all the images from our trip.
Click here to watch a video of our Trip

A few days before Bob and I were to leave on a 5 day winter mountaineering adventure in Maine, I was cooling down after a work-out at the health club. I was stretching out, went into a lunge and felt a sharp pain on the inside of my left knee.  I thought I just pulled a ligament, but it turned out to be much worse. I tore my medial meniscus.  Little did I know at that point, our Saddleback adventure would be my last winter hike of the 2011 winter season.

Saddleback Mountain

Arriving in Rangley Maine with a view of Saddleback to greet us.

On Feb. 3rd Bob and I headed for Maine with the hope of climbing 5- 8 mountains, allwithin a few miles of each other.  As we made our way along the back roads of Maine, my leg began to swell, but I wasn’t going to let a little pain and swelling get in the way of the trip. We arrived at the Stratton Motel Roadhouse around 2:00. This was a great place to stay. We had the place to ourselves, kitchen, living room with woodstove and a private

Saddleback and The Horn

Across the summit of the horn

bedroom all for $20/night/person.  Sue, the owner, was on vacation, but Circuit Rider and

Sherlock, 2 hikers I met on the AT in ‘07 were holding down “the fort.”

The following day we were up early and we chose to hike Saddleback and The Horn.

Saddleback Ski Area Base Lodge

We begin our hike at the base of Saddleback Mt. Ski Area

Saddleback is a great mountain to climb and is best done in winter by using the ski trails of the Saddleback Ski Area. Once you leave the ski area you are above tree line for almost the entire hike. You should check in with the front desk first to let them know of your plans and ask which trails are available for hiking. We started our hike at 8:45 am and made our way up one of the ski trails to the warming hut, about ¾ to the summit.  We spent about ½ hour chatting with skiers, drying our clothes and eating.

Following the brief interlude we resumed our trek up the mountain. As we moved further up the trail we left the ski area boundaries and began to reach tree line. At this point temperatures were still in single numbers and the wind increased to around 20-30 mph. We put on face masks, goggles and an extra layer and continued on to the summit of Saddleback. When we reached the summit we found that the Horn was another 1.7 miles along the Appalachian Trail, which is well marked in places but difficult to follow as the trail dips into the cols. Most of the hike is above tree line and exposure to the wind can be dangerous. Therefore, it’s important to keep all bare skin covered. There were several places we had to bushwhack through underbrush and deep drifts. We made it to the summit of the Horn around 2:00 pm, took a few pictures and quickly turned around to begin our trek back.

Saddleback and the Horn Mountain

Almost to the Horn with Saddleback in the distance

My knee was really beginning to hurt, especially in the deep snow. The wind continued to blow at around 30 mph, so we were continually battling the wind and blowing snow. We made it back to the ski area and at that point Bob jumped on his little sled and sailed down the mountain on a wide open trail. I attempted to slide on my sled, but wasn’t successful, so I walked the whole way down to the parking lot.

My knee was aching, and my whole body felt whipped. When we returned to the hostel I could hardly walk. After dinner we hit our beds early, after a few games of backgammon. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain in my knee. At that point I realized that the adventure was over, along with the hikes we had planned for this winter, including Baxter and Mt. Katahdin. When Bob woke in the morning I told him I couldn’t continue and we would have to head home. I knew he was just as disappointed as me and I felt responsible for our failed plans.  Bob was understanding and shared with me that he would only continue winter hiking with me. So any further ambitions of hiking the NE 100 highest in winter would have to wait until next year. So be it. Next year we’ll return to Maine to continue on our quest.

Posted in Journal Entries of Most Recent Hikes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thinking of winter hiking and just don’t know what to wear?

Winter Hiking Clothing

Thinking about taking up winter hiking?  Consider your clothing choices carefully, it could mean the difference between life and death!

To learn a little more about what you should wear when dressing for severe winter conditions, click here or on the image to the left, on the new page, you can click the image over and over and review all the layers one by one with descriptions for safe hiking in the winter.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at anytime and we will be glad to try and help.

Posted in Winter Hiking Gear | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bob and Gordon featured in A.T. JOURNEYS Magazine

Gordon Dubois feature on the Cover of AT Journys

Gordon and fellow hiker approach Mt. Wahshington on the cover of AT Journeys

The following is an exert from the article written by Chris A. Courogen. To view the whole story, visit A.T. Journeys by clicking here.

Gordon DuBois has hiked to the top of Katahdin five times before. This time it will be very different. The last time DuBois climbed Katahdin was in 2007, at the end of the first part of a planned flip-flop hike of the Appalachian Trail that ended up being all flop and no flip when a knee injury forced him off the Trail and under a surgeon’s knife. Four years, two operations, and a refurbished artificial knee later, DuBois — or “Gorbo” as he is known on the Trail, plans to finish his quest this summer. In late June or early July he will head back to North Adams, Massachusetts, picking up the white blaze southbound where he started northbound in 2007. First, though, he is headed back to Katahdin for a sixth trip up the big mountain — this time in the middle of Maine’s inhospitable winter.

“The climbing conditions will be much different,” said DuBois, 64, who expects to start in deep snow and finish on ice above the tree line. He and his winter hiking partner, fellow New Hampshire resident Bob Manley, won’t be scurrying up rocks with a light daypack on their backs. They will be on
snowshoes, or crampons, with full winter packs. “Even on a day hike in the winter, you need to be prepared to spend the night,” says Manley, who is 46. Manley and DuBois will carry dry clothes to change into should they get wet, a sleeping bag, and a sturdy four-seasons tent. An ice axe is essential. Maps, a compass, and enough food for two days are also on Baxter Park’s list of recommended winter gear.  (to read the whole article visit A.T. Journeys)

Posted in Related Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment