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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Looking For A Few Homeruns

We keep looking for the homerun ball. We haven’t had many of them yet.

In our attempt to hike 96 peaks in 90 days there are plenty of days when you get a single peak. Those days are still good days. However, we make our numbers on days when there are multiple peaks involved. But to this point the conditions haven’t been ideal for that yet.

Here’s what I’m talking about. Carrigain is a 14 mile hike for one peak. However, when we did Tom, Field and Willey we got three peaks in a 10 mile hike. For peak-bagging purposes Carrigain is necessary but Tom, Field and Willey is more productive.

To reach our goal we need to average a fraction over a peak a day. We are now on the 25th day of winter. After hiking Waumbek we’ll have 15 peaks. In these first 25 days of winter we’ve hiked 11 days. Weather has not been kind. Of those 11 hikes only three gave us multiple peaks.

We’re obviously behind where I hoped to be. But there is still hope. Here’s where we will make up some peaks:

*Bonds Traverse covering 24.5 miles will give us Hale, Zealand, West Bond, Bond and Bondcliff.

*Southern Pressies will give us Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower and Pierce.

*Northern Pressies will give us Madison, Adams and Jefferson.

*Franconia Ridge will give us Lafayette, Lincoln, Liberty and Flume.

*Carters & Cats will give us Middle Carter, South Carter, Carter Dome, Wildcat A and Wildcat D.

In those five hikes alone we will tally 21 peaks. Multiply that by two and you get 42 peaks. Then consider Tom, Field and Willey again. Other climbs will give us a pair of peaks: Whiteface & Passaconaway; the two Tripyramids; and the Osceolas (yes, we have to go back since we missed Osceola).

Just thought I’d let you know where the numbers will come from. Now all we need is to have the weather and snow conditions to hike them safely.

*(Oops, an oversight, there are also three peaks to be had on a hike over North Twin, South Twin and Galehead.)