BrianSeptember 10, 2006 at 12:56 pmPost count: 15
The first time we ever did West Bond was a few days after the Sept 11 attacks so this day has special meaning to us. That first trip was a gorgeous beautiful day, so we repeat that hike in connection with this event and have done so every year but one when I had to back out because of last minute travel needs posed by work. (I even had to give up the peak which was really painful since it was the first time I had succeeded in securing a peak for this event!)
This year it was only Mackreth and I again but we met many of the other parties. In the Lincoln Woods parking lot we met the crew manning Mt Flume (boy were they getting an early start!). At the bridge 3 miles down the notorious Wilderness trail we met the crews for Boncliff and Owl’s Head. (Apparently Sherpa John was indisposed in the forest at the time of our meeting.) Then on the last long ramp up the side of Bondcliff we met the single flag bearer for Mt Bond.
We got to West Bond with a little more than a half hour to raise the Stars and Stripes. Like last year we combed the windfall just below the summit for our pole. It’s not the most beautiful pole up close, but from a distance no one can tell and it gives us height. (And when we are done there is no need to pack it out!)
THis year there was wind and we were concerned our trusty fir trunk would not hold up under the strain, but it did. At 1:00 we started to take it down. That was the plan since we had a long way to go to get out and we wanted to do so before it got dark. But thunder was rumbling and rain started to spit, so we didn’t feel so bad about our 1:00 PM take down.
Our trip out follows the route of that first glorious trip of Sept 15th 2001; out over South Twin, down Twin Brook to 13 falls, and out Franconia Brook and the Wilderness trail. Needless to say we got deluged. The first more minor shower was after Guyote. But the sun shone by South Twin and it still shining down at the huts where we met the South Twin flag bearers. The real deluge came shortly after leaving the huts. Lightning and thunder did its thing but at least we were down off the side instead of up on the ridge. For a while all we got was soaked but after more than an hour of this we both realized that we were getting hypothermic. Especially the old man. With numb fingers we managed to get into our packs and pile on tons of that gear we had carried on countless trips and never used. Now we used it. The real thing we learned in this was next time, use it sooner!
The last real challenge was the beaver dam. Last year we waded through knee deep water, but this year we could walk across the logs of the dam. But this year we were so wet it wouldn’t have mattered if we just walked through the pond. It might have cleaned off our boots.
We figure that sometime next June our packs might finally dry out. I have plenty of pictures which I will post as soon as I find out how. I would also like to find out some of the names of the people in the pictures taken of the other flag bearing parties. I suppose I can edit the captions after the fact as the info comes in.TrekManSeptember 13, 2006 at 1:32 amPost count: 149
I believe that we saw your flag with binocs from Flume. I am not so familiar with Bond and the cliff and all, but seeing your pics in the gallery I believe it was West Bond. You may not have been able to see Flume’s flag due to wind direction. I was told that our flag was seen from Lincoln without binoculars. We were flying a 6×10.
The early start from Lincoln Woods was for comfoprt – several first-timers, some who did little hiking. Dirt wanted to have some cushion on time – we arrived at the summit at 11:15 all 13 of us together!
G’day … TrekMan
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