Surf Station: Late-Summer 2018

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Last summer, while working with Tim on several goEast pieces about hiking Vermont’s 4,000-footers, I ended up hiking four of the five peaks (Mansfield, Camel’s Hump, Ellen, and Abraham) in a 24-hour period. Having done four so casually, it was only natural to wonder if we could do those four and Killington (Vermont’s fifth 4,000-footer) in the same amount of time. Well, a couple months ago, we did. Vermont Sports Magazine has the story of our very-humid adventure in its September issue. Look for a print copy at locations around Vermont, or check out the digital version here.

Also in July, Tim and I hiked Mt. Greylock via the Thunderbolt and the Appalachian Trail for this goEast Alpha Guide. Although I’d hiked Massachusetts’ tallest peak twice in the past, both hikes were more than 15 years ago, and many of the details had faded in my memory. I’m pretty sure though that the summit will look more familiar on my next visit, as I’m looking forward to skiing the Thunderbolt this winter.

I don’t know if it was the portion of the AT that we hiked on Greylock that prompted this, but Tim’s been on an AT reading and writing kick lately. He began with a book report on Scott and Jenny Jurek’s North: Finding My Way on the Appalachian Traila story of Scott’s record-breaking run on the AT (it sounds awesome and I’m looking forward to reading it). He followed up with a report revisiting Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. Here’s hoping he finds another AT book and makes it a trilogy. Any suggestions?

Relatedly, the AT speed record, which we mentioned in this goEast piece on the Northeast’s Fastest Known Times, has fallen. As has the speed record on the Pemi Loop. Nice work Karel and Patrick!

Over on goEast, we’ve continued to contribute to the “How to Choose” series. Our most recent piece is chalk(get it?)-full of good info about climbing ropes and we did another one on backpacking stoves as well. Working on the latter piece had me reminiscing about my May 2016 Pacific Northwest trip with Tim, where, after getting stormed off Mt. Hood (twice), we did an overnight ski trip on Mt. St. Helens. Unfortunately, as we started to cook dinner that night, we realized that our stove didn’t have a built-in igniter and that we hadn’t brought another means to light it. Although that soup would have been good, at least the skiing the next day was awesome. I’d love to go back. Maybe this spring?

Speaking of skiing, Tim’s tried to keep the stoke alive on the Powder7 ski blog, writing a summer survival guide for New England skiers. My one complaint is that this survival guide should have included a side-trip to Trillium Brewery, a true must-do for anyone summering in Massachusetts.

Luke, of course, thought Tim should also have included paddling on the Cape as another must-do summer activity in Massachusetts. But Tim, like me, can’t recommend something he won’t do himself. And as I’ve already explained (jokingly) to Luke, we’ll be Passing on Paddling this summer. The recent shark attack off Truro and the shark mania that seems to be in full swing on the Cape have only reinforced that. I’ll be climbing instead.

On the way to climb some rocks, I’ve driven through Franconia Notch a lot recently and have given some thought to how the new parking ban may alleviate some of the pressure that hikers put on Cannon (hike #2 in the link) and the Franconia Ridge and Kinsman Ridge traverses. We’ve been trying to do our (small) part too, spreading the word about some of New Hampshire’s Lesser Known 4,000-Footers (Cabot, Isolation, and Owl’s Head) and also the peaks on the 52 With a View list (which was designed, in part, to help disperse the Type A hiking masses). Of course, the one 52 With a View peak we’ve written about here is, ironically, in the middle of Franconia Notch. We’ll have to cover some more in the future.

Finally, if you missed it the first time, make sure to check out our “’Sup With Island Climbing” piece, a story about paddling and rock climbing in Hingham Harbor that was  featured in the summer issue of Wild Northeast. If you weren’t able to grab a copy at your local gear shop, you can still check it out by signing up for a free digital subscription.

 

Words by Doug Martland

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