Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rest Day; Saturday, February 24, 2007

Decisions. Decisions.

Today is February 24 and we’re taking the day off. Bit windy and cold up here and Atticus, while okay, doesn’t mind having a second day off in a row after the four peaks of Franconia Ridge on Thursday along with the 4.3 miles of trail-breaking efforts.

Besides, we have some bigger hikes planned for the next two days. Tomorrow is definitely the better day of the weekend. Bright sun and moderate temperatures are planned. The higher summits forecast on Washington calls for 35-45 mph winds and temps from the mid teens to 20.

It will definitely be a day where we could do some above tree line activity. Above tree line hikes we have to finish the 48 this winter are the three Northern Presidential’s and Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower and Pierce on the other end. That’s it, seven peaks left. The goal is to hike them in two sections at this point. The priority is to do the three northern mountains (Adams, Jefferson and Madison) for that would mean that coupled with what we hiked last winter that we’ll become the 354th person and second dog to ever complete the winter 48.

Of course tomorrow’s forecast is right around the borderline for taking Atticus above tree line. Not sure yet if I’d want to spend an extended amount of time up there with that wind and temperature. I’d much rather it be something like 15-20 mph and the same temps or higher. Such are the thoughts when it comes to doing these mountains in winter with a wonderfully loyal and loving 20-lb hiking partner.

We have climbed 55 peaks this winter since December 21st. Of the round of 48 we’ve done 41 of them. Fourteen have been done a second time. If we are to make a run at doing all 48 twice in one winter we have some long hikes ahead of us in a short amount of time. Winter ends close to 7:00 pm on March 20th. That gives us 24 more days to consider the following agenda to complete all 48 twice:

  • Adams, Jefferson, Madison (Hiked on February 26th)
  • Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce
  • Isolation
  • Moriah
  • North Twin, South Twin, Galehead (Hiked on February 25th)
  • Lafayette, Lincoln, Liberty, Flume
  • Owl’s Head
  • Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce, Jackson
  • Waumbek; then a second hike the same day to Cabot
  • Hale, Zealand, West Bond, Bond, Bondcliff
  • Moosilauke; then second hike the same day to Cannon
  • North & South Kinsman
  • Middle Carter, South Carter, Carter Dome, Wildcat A, Wildcat D

That’s 41 peaks in 24 days. And as you can tell, nearly all of them are multiple peak climbs and many of them are higher elevation gains.

With time running down on winter, it will be fun to see just how many of these hikes we can get in and if Atticus and I will be able to keep our strength up and our bodies healthy. And of course there’s the weather to consider too.

With all that being said, if the weather breaks for the better tomorrow, the two choices are either the Northern Pressies or the Southern Pressies (Washington included). Then there’s also the possibility of doing the Twins/Galehead or even the four Franconia Ridge mountains once again.

The plan for Monday, which is not going to be quite as good a day but supposedly comfortable, is to do Middle Carter, South Carter, Carter Dome, Wildcat A and Wildcat D.

Tuesday is scheduled as an off day. And we’ll most likely hike Wednesday or Thursday again.

Stay tuned as it’s getting to be crunch time.

Oh yes, and thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Dawn Middlestead said...

You are most welcome for reading this wonderful Blog. What a wonderful journey you were having together.