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Finally Forty-Eight part 1 (peaks 1-12)

On August 31, 2013, I hiked my 48th 4000 foot peak in the White Mountains. The AMC has a list of the peaks over 4000 feet and hiking all of them will get you in the club. The club was started in 1957 and welcomed its 10,000th member in 2012. I’m sure more people have climbed all 48 than are in the club but it’s a rough idea of how many others there are out there who enjoy the White Mountains.

I’m going to split this post into four parts since there are so many memories and photos I want to share. As I went back through the photos I had to make some changes to the “official” ordering of my list as some of the old photos confirmed that I had in fact hiked a peak well before I recorded it after re-hiking it later.

This is Part 1
Part 2 (coming soon)
Part 3 (coming soon)
Part 4 (coming soon)

First White Mountain hike: Back in Spring of 1995 or 1996 my girlfriend and I went to the White Mountains for the very first time. I attempted to hike Mt Lafayette having no real gear or idea what the conditions would be like. This was early in the internet and there was no website with current trail conditions and trip reports like exists today. I remember trying to borrow boots from my friend Chris but in the end I think I opted for tennis shoes. I also wore jeans and had to borrow a pack. I also had to rent a car in order to make the 3 hour trip north. We made it as far as Greenleaf Hut which is about 1000 feet below the summit all the while scrambling up icy slides in our tennis shoes. Needless to say we did not reach the summit and slid most of the way back to the car on our butts. Nevertheless I had a great time and my interest in hiking in the Whites was born.

So young, so clueless

#1 and #2 – Lafayette and Lincoln: Later in 1995 or 1996 I went back with my friends Chris and Dan to do that same hike. I don’t know exactly when we hiked it and I don’t have any photos but I remember it being a grey, rainy, and wet day on Franconia Ridge. We hiked up the Old Bridle Path, had lunch crouched behind a rock on the ridge, and hiked down Falling Waters trail.

#3 – Moosilauke I’d forgotten that I did this hike in 1999 with Chris until I went looking for photos and discovered one of Chris and I at the Moosilauke trailhead. Initially I thought when I did this hike in 2004 with Steve it was my first time. What I do know about the Moosilauke hike with Steve in 2004 is that was the first time I was made aware of the 4000 foot list. Steve was working on completing his 48 at the time and told me about it. At that point I started tracking what I had hiked.

Lunch with Chris in 1999

#4 – Cannon Another double hike! As my discovered photos indicate I did this hike with Chris and Tenille in the summer of 1999. However I didn’t remember that until November of 2011 when I hiked Cannon in the snow with Susan, Steve, and Erik. When I got to the tram station and ski lifts at the top a flood of memories came back from that day in 1999. The vivid memory other than the ladders pictured below are of coming off of a relatively secluded trail and finding 11ty billion tourists on the top who had ridden the tram up from the base station.

Tenille and Chris on the ladders

Steve and Susan in the snow in November 2011

#5 – Osceola I have no photos of this trip. Sometime in 2001, Susan and I hiked Osceola. Since I wasn’t keeping track of my peaks yet I’m not sure if we hiked East Osceola in 2001 or not. This would prove to be a problem later as when I went back to officially hike East Osceola as my 25th peak in 2008 I got bit by a tick and ended up with a nasty illness that took about 4 months to recover fully from.

#6 through #12 – Presidential Traverse! One of the classic New England hikes. This is an approximately 20 mile hike over the alpine peaks of the Presidential Range in the White Mountains. I did this hike with Susan and Dan (in body) and Steve (in spirit since his body was at home recovering from kidney stones). We did this hike over 4 days and hiked Pierce, Eisenhower, Monroe, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison. Day 1 was a short hike up to the Mizpah Spring Hut. Day 2 took us to Lake of the Clouds Hut which we got to right before a huge storm rolled through, Day 3 took us to Madison Hut and day 4 we hiked out. The weather was clear all of the days except for the storm while we were safely in our 2nd hut.

I hope I can do this hike again someday. One of my favorite things in the world is to walk along an exposed ridge line and this is the longest stretch of exposed ridge I can think of in New England.

Susan near Lake of the Clouds Hut

Why do they call it Lake of the Clouds?

The summit of Mt. Washington is cold at 9am, even in August

Mt. Washington and Great Gulf Wilderness from the north

Morning on Mt. Monroe

Part 2 (coming soon)

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