Forums Flags on the 48 Information General Discussion Looking back…Moving forward

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  • SilentCal
    Moderator
    Post count: 1285
    #46817 |

    Nearly two weeks after our event and it still sticks out in my mind. We accomplished something memorable and provided many people with a source of inspiration. We all remember how we felt after the attacks. We wanted to help out in any way we could. Some chose to go to the disaster sites to assist in what way they could. Some chose to give blood at a time when it was so badly needed. Some chose to give money to help with relief efforts. Some chose to just light a simple candle and pray for those who were lost. Many of us on this board perhaps chose to do things like this and for a time we all seemed to in this big ship together. I had been hiking the Kinsmans when the attacks occured and never knew what happened until well after 7PM. The next day, I gave a ride to a stranded hiker back to town from the Beaver Brook trailhead. I very rarely now pass a hiker trying to thumb a ride. This is a lasting effect of the attacks for me and the Flags on the 48 event is something that brings that feeling of resolve back full circle. As much as some persons think this event is politcal, it never was. It is just a simple gesture of remembering those who are no longer here and the feelings of unity that we shared. All the kinds words that people said to us while we were out there will make me come back to this event year after year. We should be proud of ourselves, this is something we can tell our grandkids about and maybe inspire them to greater heights that we have been to.
    Okay enough of the speech. Many good ideas were posted as to how to improve the event. Let the brainstorming begin…..
    1. A planning meeting six months from now was suggested. That puts it in Febuary. Many will have to travel from far to make it. How about a weekend in early May at Carter Notch Hut. Just a suggestion.
    2. How about opening sign-ups at around Memorial Day or the Fourth of July? I think we have a core of about 15-20 groups who would sign up today. Maybe send e-mail reminders to everyone in May to leave that weekend open and let them know when sign-ups will start.
    3. At the time sign-ups start, we can leave flyers at Pinkham, The Mountain Wanderer, Some huts and wherever else to generate some buzz.
    4. Leaving Cannon, Washington and Wildcat D open for non-hikers who want to participate.
    5. Having a veteran hiker lead a group of new hikers to easier summits. ie: Hale, Waumbek, Jackson. This maybe be great thing to do with a local high school’s outdoors group.
    6. Some of us have to try to get the obscure summits out of the way. I was thinking of a helium balloon flag to fly from Owl’s Head. Sounds crazy but think of how cool it would look from the Franconia Ridge.
    7. How about making it a weekend event? Granted we all arrive from all over and stay everywhere but maybe we could get a central campground (Zealand, Sugarloaf) that we could base ourselves out of. Maybe we could get a group to do the Bonds and they could all meet and camp at Guyot. For the Eastern side maybe Dolly Copp could be a meeting place. Saturday night we can all meet for dinner at a resteraunt again and Sunday plan some dayhikes with each other.
    8. Publicity was much better this year and we need it to keep snowballing. New Year’s resolution should be to get at least one other person to join your group or sponsor a peak.
    9. Jaytrek’s idea of a flag that makes the rounds peak to peak would bring a unique twist to this event. It would have been nice if the orginal flag on Liberty was still in service.
    Okay, Opinions, Additions, Commentary

    MtnMagic
    Post count: 372

    I am in full agreement with all your nine points. They are the reasons we should get together and cop some ideas. It makes a smooth, great event. Now that I think about it more, if we waited until late April, early May, I know a great free place to camp for the weekend and do it up big in the spring. It is in the foothills of the Kilkenney Range. Pine forest, outdoor water faucets, bbq grill, big sky, mtn views, with plenty of free dry wood for nightly campfires. C’mon and join in with your thoughts.
    ____________________
    Lots of ideas do make a better event!

    LOMU
    Post count: 26

    8. Publicity was much better this year and we need it to keep snowballing. New Year’s resolution should be to get at least one other person to join your group or sponsor a peak.

    What do you mean by sponsors?

    MtnMagic
    Post count: 372

    I’ll go out on a limb. I took SC to mean: 1.) Offer to lead some new hikers. 2.) Have a new hiker select a peak to fly a flag on.

    Max
    Post count: 40

    You make a lot of good points SC. Gives us all plenty to think about for next year. I really like the idea of physically getting together a few months ahead of time to exchange ideas. And it’s also a good plan to try to insure the more obscure peaks are covered. Ditto on the Owl’s Head suggestion. If not a “helium flag pole” then at least one tall enough and with a large enough flag that it could be seen from Franconia Ridge, Garfield and the Bonds.

    Lots to consider between now and then…let’s keep the momentum!

    Frodo
    Participant
    Post count: 333

    Excellent post SilentCal!

    1) I would be up for getting together and discussing the planning next year, but keep in mind that alot of it can be done online. When we first organized this thing, we talked about getting together to do some planning, but soon realized that we could be more efficient online. I am certainly not opposed to getting together, infact if you set a date and place I will be there. 🙂

    2) I like the idea of starting the promotions earlier, like maybe Memorial Day.

    3) Flyers are something we have never done and I think that they would be successful. We have to start using other methods than mainly hiking BB’s. We also have to be careful about over promoting on the BB’s if we start early.

    4) I totally agree

    5) Maybe we should add something about this to the Q&A. We do have a few scout troops participate every year. We also should contact the Boy/Girl Scouts of America and see if they can get the word out to all of their NE chapter leaders.

    6) Not only the obscure, but also some of the tougher peaks like Adams this year, and Jefferson last year (both were supported, but it doesn’t appear that a flag actually made it to the top ). We need to emphasize that if people can’t make it, they have to let us know and have their named removed from the sign-up list. I also think that on peaks like Whiteface, Passaconaway, N. Hancock. etc, (where the summits are wooded but have a clearing nearby) people should fly the flags on the scenic outlook and not the theoretical summit. They are close enough, and it might get more people interested in those types of peaks.

    7) We can try and make it a weekend event, though many of the people who participate live within an hour or 2 drive. Don’t know what we would get for a turnout.

    8. Great Idea! Also keep in mind that word of mouth goes a long way. The publicity was better this year, yet we had less of a turnout. I think much of that is due to people becoming more complacent as time goes by… Kinda sad 😥

    9) Even though I don’t have the original flag, I do have the original flagpole which has been used all 3 times. No matter what ends up happening with this event, I will still be heading up a different mountain every year with my flag (around September 11th) for the rest of my life, or as long as I physically am able…

    SilentCal
    Moderator
    Post count: 1285

    LOMU, sorry for the word mixup. By sponsoring a peak, I meant signing up for one. I think that a gathering to plan or even just get together and swap stories by the fire is a great idea. Count me in wherever. MtnMagic’s description sounds awfully inviting. The “views from the top” board has two gatherings a year for their crew. Does anyone go to that? Many we could ask for their help next year.
    Ditto Frodo’s idea of flying the flag from scenic outposts near the summit. Personally if I had Whiteface I would fly from the south summit and run a smaller flag with a mission statement over to the true summit and retrive it later. I guess it’s up to the person who signs up for the peak as to how they wish to make their presentation.
    Maybe the signup be done differently to accomadate those who are non-hikers. We can mention that you don’t have to be a hiker to do Cannon, Washington or Wildcat D. If we put this on the promotion flyer sheet , it may not make it sound as daunting to take part. Also a section on the sign-up to allow for newer hikers to take easier mts. Maybe I’m getting to ahead on this but I think some people were put off by lots of the easier and more scenic summits going very early. I’m sure late in the game, someone looked at the peak sheet and said “dang those are all hard or obstructed view peaks.” and did not take part because of it. Maybe I’m wrong on that count but it matters some thought.
    We’ve got lots of time to think this over. We started last year in the middle of June and still did quite well. Having September 11th on a Saturday next year will certainly make it more meaningful. Let’s not lose sight of that.

    LOMU
    Post count: 26

    LOMU, sorry for the word mixup. By sponsoring a peak, I meant signing up for one.

    No prob Cal, I was just checking to see if I understood you correctly. I getcha now. Thanks for reiterating! I concour.

    brianM
    Post count: 16

    I think 48 of 48 is a 100% attainable goal. WIth all the great ideas about increasing awareness and ways to get people signed up that were shared in previous posts, I hope that all 48 peaks are “sponsored” well in advance of the hike date. I met at least 5 groups of hikers on the peak I covered that seemed genuinely interested in participating next year.

    I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to handle last-minute cancels or no-shows? From the peak I “flagged” this year, I kept checking the next 4000 footer down the ridge which I knew had been sponsored, looking for the flag. It apparently never got covered, but stuff happens, and this is understandable. I was considering dismantling my flagpole & flag, hoofing it over, and planting it on the other peak for a while, but logistically it would’ve been a problem. Perhaps peak sponsor “neighbors” can communicate re: contingency plans if it makes sense? At least that will be my plan should I get the opportunity to cover the same peak next year.

    With the idea of a get-together the night before, I bet we could even find some more adventurous hikers who would cowboy-up for the challenge of hiking whatever peak needed to be covered on flag-day. A game day decision – that way any last minute cancels could be covered. Just a thought.

    Jaytrek57
    Participant
    Post count: 263

    As I am finally unpacked from our big move and all settled in (well …relatively) I thought I’d write down some more of my thoughts in the interest of keeping the discussion going. As a veteran (Army) I can think of no better day than today (plus I have the day off) to sit back with some Clapton on and just give my $.02. Sorry if it is long or duplicates some already great ideas.

    First…I was thinking during the sign-up phase in addition to picking/signing up for a peak…a person could sign-up for a “group”. For discussion sake…let’s call them “Provo”. Ideally this group would be for the people w/o a crew per/ce, people that can’t get a crew together, want to meet new people, shy or whatever the reason. They are by themselves but still want to partake in the event…but again for whatever reason need to be with a group. Once the Provo group reaches let’s say…5-6 people then they are assigned a peak and you could start Provo2, 3 etc.. This gives immediate buy-in and support for the next year…they might even become their own crew in years to come. I like it as well b/c….I do believe the majority of sign-ups come with a built in crew behind it (does that make sense). This will allow individuals greater opportunity as well to participate.

    Second…and I think this has been mentioned in one form already. Have a “Special Operations” group sign-up. This could be crews willing to hit the peaks not yet signed up for as the event approaches. Yeah…it would be pretty much last second…but it gives longer availability on popular peaks and speaks more so to the nature of the event (MO anyways). It would probably again boil down to the peaks that were not covered this year, but I for one would be willing to “do a year” on this and think it is important for other relatively able backpackers to do the same…while were able. I hope that all made sense.

    Lastly…and this might be out there. For the sign-ups have 4 designations for the peaks. 1. Easy 2. Medium 3. Challenging 4. Difficult or what have you. Have crews sign-up for these designations…then have a LOTTERY to see what peak you will get for that year. Why I am intrigued by this idea. Well I think again it speaks to the spirit of the event…it is not so much the peak you get but the participation in the event itself. It mixes it up. While I am sure there are some that would like to do the same peak (tradition)((perhaps waivers??)), I also think some might want the chance to do the peaks that are signed up the quickest and they are shut-out. This gives everyone a fair shot so to speak. Lastly…..it is an excuse to throw a party! :beer: Imagine sometime in July/August having a get together to have the lottery and what peak you get. To me at least I think there are some great opportunities there.

    Again sorry so long…I LOVE logistics. Also…however it is done…I will be there for this event!!

    Peace.

    SilentCal
    Moderator
    Post count: 1285

    Imagine that? Hot Stove Flags on the 48, How funny is that?

    I like your first idea Jaytrek. I would suggest though that someone in the group be a ‘veteran’ of this event. That way it could provide for some questions being answered and swapping of stories of past events. I could see this happening.

    I was thinking along the same line as you were on your second point. I am biting the bullet this coming year and doing a not so popular summit. I think however that the more popular summits of the Franconias and Pressies need to have ‘veteran’ support. Your flag display on Lafayette and the Conn. Trampers display on Lincoln were great to have in high traffic areas. It puts an idea in people’s head and get word of mouth moving. How about making a weekend project of this. The Summits that don’t get flags on Saturday can be done on Sunday by any nuts willing to hike back to back.

    I’m not sold on your last idea. I think we don’t have enough core groups to do that yet. It may work down the road but we need to get support on all the summits first and have leftovers for everyone.

    Greg’s idea of business cards in hindsight was something that could have been very beneficial. I didn’t think it would work at first but after recieving some personal cards from hikers, i think it could help us.

    If all summits are covered the first day, It would be great to get a group flag raising on Mt. Liberty to remember that first group of hikers.

    MtnMagic
    Post count: 372

    All ideas are invaluable and priceless. That is how the world learns. Thank you for your posts.
    ____________________
    Keep ’em coming!

    MichaelJ
    Participant
    Post count: 839

    I like the ideas being thrown around. I’m sure there must be people out there who would do the hike but aren’t prepared to actually provide equipment for the flag raising. Having a “veteran-led group” notion allows a person to sign up for a peak and ensure that it is covered, and then open it up for others to join in on that summit to support it, but who don’t have to worry about how to build a flagpole, etc.

    In fact, I think some wording with the signups might be helpful to emphasize that the signups are the guarantee of at least a hiker & flag, but that others are welcome to join, anywhere from sharing the hike to just arriving separately on the summit.

    A planning party is a wicked good idea.
    🙂

    SilentCal
    Moderator
    Post count: 1285

    A planning party may be a good idea if there is enough advance notice for people to get the time off work or whatever. A weekend in late May or Early June would be nice. Maybe we can even plan a dayhike to enjoy to help anyone with their 4000 footers.

    MtnMagic
    Post count: 372

    Silent, we’ll get in that planning party during early spring. And do some miles together. Plenty I would expect. Just a few months away!
    ___________________
    Joy is not in things; it is in us – Richard Wagner

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