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mtruman
01-05-2009, 09:11 PM
We spent a wonderful New Year's weekend at Cardigan Lodge. First time at Cardigan (and the only AMC facility outside Carter Notch Hut that we hadn't visited). It was wonderful! Cardigan used to be self service in the winter but this year added a meal plan on weekends so we were treated to the always excellent AMC gourmet fare (if you haven't experienced Shem's eggs you'll just have to go there and see for yourself). Thanks to Pat, Tom and Russ (the Croo) for a most excellent job!!!

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKv_UPL4_I/AAAAAAAAHoM/_QEWCyayFb0/s720/090103-160120.jpg

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Got there on Friday at about noon and headed out for the first hike. Our daughter decided that hanging out at the lodge and reading a book was better than snoeshoeing so she hung out at the lodge while Nat and I hiked. We did a loop to Welton Falls which was just spectacular. It's a 2.5 mile RT almost completely along the Fowler River on the Lower Manning Trail. I've never seen anything like the color of the ice that covered the river. It was a surreal translucent green that I couldn't reasonably discern the reason for (glad for input on this). The pictures don't do it justice. The trail was beautiful (including the unplanned glissade down one section) and was capped off with a cable railed boulder cave over the head of the falls (very cool). The river crossing was a bit intimidating at first since it appeared that nobody else had crossed there. Other than dunking my boots in the slush on the far side shore all was well. The falls were spectacular with the frozen pool below.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKvygKbRnI/AAAAAAAAHlI/ny7Cx8FK3-E/s720/090102-145046.jpg

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Welton Falls - you had to be there to appreciate it...
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKvx69azoI/AAAAAAAAHlA/3wdKkt1uCBs/s576/090102-141712.jpg

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When we got back to the lodge we dragged Jamie out for some sledding on the hill next to the lodge. Suffice it to say that we all added a couple of bruises to the collection. If you haven't ever seen something called a Swiss Bob you've got to check it out. I'm going to have one strapped to my back for all winter hikes in the future. This thing has been sitting in our shed for I don't know how many years and I had no idea how much fun it was.

The Cardigan Lodge sled hill
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKwAd4zKLI/AAAAAAAAHoc/wjHu7mKjOm0/s720/090103-162340.jpg

The Swiss Bob is really fast!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKv1Ua2evI/AAAAAAAAHl4/FKvpG5srrTw/s720/090102-164352.jpg

And flies high!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKv2Og6-qI/AAAAAAAAHmA/f8VC7ZGIeo8/s720/090102-164754.jpg

And yes, I did it too...
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKv2sVP9JI/AAAAAAAAHmI/RT9HMih9F5I/s576/090102-165128.jpg

On Saturday the weather was better than forecast - sunny blue skies all day - and we convinced Jamie to strap on the snowshoes and join us. With Tom's (the caretaker) advice we headed up the Manning trail to Firescrew. It was very quiet (deserted) and beautiful. We got to the ledges just below the summit and decided that based on the iciness (we just had shoeshoes and no other traction) and the really strong winds that it was time to head back. Going down we passed our local AMC chapter heading up (which was a surprise since they were supposed to be at Monadnock - which was closed after the ice storm). It is definitely a small world in NE. This was a great hike even without the summit and after hearomg accounts from others who went over the summits and were "nearly blown off" I didn't feel bad about missing it.

Jamie agreed to go
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKv4JXwagI/AAAAAAAAHmg/orkEh37uIYk/s720/090103-110904.jpg

But we apparently killed her :rolleyes:
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKv5Ii0usI/AAAAAAAAHmo/wqT_JIkb1S4/s576/090103-115334.jpg

First views of Cardigan from the ledges below Firescrew
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The icy ledges are saying "go back..."
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Evening fire over Firescrew
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Sunday was an even nicer day than Saturday with a bit warmer temps and lighter winds. Jamie was content to stay at the lodge and read again so Nat and I headed up the Holt/Cathedral Forrest/Clark route to Cardigan. This was an even nicer hike than Saturday. We stopped at PJ's Ledge just below Cardigan summit since we'd promised Jamie when we'd be back and we'd already hit the killer view spot. The Whites were spread out at before us with a view that just takes your breath away. We strapped our snowshoes back on (bare booted on the way up) and coasted back down to the end of a perfect weekend.

Morning light on Cardigan
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Beautiful morning on the Cathedral Forrest Trail
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A couple of challenges on the trail...
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Worth the climb!!!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SWKwD1HTeuI/AAAAAAAAHpc/hfNVnKeLM_8/s720/090104-115630.jpg

On top of the world!
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Cardigan may not technically be the Whites, but it's a wonderful mountain and we'll definitely be back!

Cardigan and Firescrew over the Lodge
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Complete photo album here: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42/CardiganJan09#

Bill O
01-05-2009, 09:23 PM
ThanKs for sharing. Nice read, great photos and it sparKed my interest in Cardigan Lodge.

BlueDog
01-06-2009, 12:00 AM
Wow! Looks like a beautiful time and a wonderful way to spend New Years.

And we can't get a single snowflake down here!

CHRIS
01-06-2009, 06:48 AM
Looks like you and your family had a terrific weekend with beautiful blue skies. Thank you for sharing your trip with us and great pictures.I did Cardigan/Firescrew around Sept/Oct. But after looking at your pictures I might make that my first ever snow shoe hike.Thanks again Mark.

billysinc
01-06-2009, 09:25 AM
Nice stuff Mark. When I was up there recently I was thinking a lot of things you guys experienced. The whole area just looks awesome and for folks like us who are coming up from RI it makes the trip just a wee bit shorter.

The AMC group you speak of I talked to at their meeting spot in North Attleboro while I was waiting for my hiking partners for my trip to the Kinsmans.

TrishandAlex
01-06-2009, 10:04 AM
Great TR, wonerdful photos. Thanks for sharing your weekend. Looks like you folks had a lot of fun, glad you had such beautiful blue skies.

parnelli
01-06-2009, 11:03 AM
http://images47.fotki.com/v1399/photos/1/1042657/6844522/IMG_0030-th.jpghttp://images46.fotki.com/v1432/photos/1/1042657/6844522/IMG_0110-th.jpgnice post thanks. Beautiful photos http://images46.fotki.com/v1432/photos/1/1042657/6844522/IMG_0103-th.jpg

love the action air

KD Talbot
01-06-2009, 11:51 AM
Cardigan is one of our winter favorites!

Just a friendly warning: If you use a Swiss Bob on a 4k hike it nullifies the hike and you can't count it according to AMC rules. :rolleyes:

Jamie's slumped shoulders say it all! Ahhh, the teenage years. I really miss them, thanks for bringing them back!

http://www.ghostflowers.com/white_mtns3000/cardigan4807/images/15cardigan4807.jpg

Near the Summit

KDT

Jimmy Legs and Little d
01-06-2009, 01:09 PM
What a great way to start off the New Year being in the White Mountains.
Great report and pictures. And there is nothing like being at "the top of the world". Can't wait to get back to the Whites this winter.

mtruman
01-06-2009, 01:45 PM
Just a friendly warning: If you use a Swiss Bob on a 4k hike it nullifies the hike and you can't count it according to AMC rules. :rolleyes:


Dang - there goes my shot at the grid :(
Guess I'm going to have to find another list


Jamie's slumped shoulders say it all! Ahhh, the teenage years. I really miss them, thanks for bringing them back!


Now that you mention it this is what Jamie's posture looks like at the beginning of most hikes. Fortunately once she's out there she really enjoys it. Just have to get past the first mile and then it's usually all good. That first mile is a whole 'nuther story though...

Bill O
01-06-2009, 02:01 PM
Just a friendly warning: If you use a Swiss Bob on a 4k hike it nullifies the hike and you can't count it according to AMC rules. :rolleyes:

KDT

What about skis? Does it count if you make a winter ascent with skis and then use them to descend? If that's true then there are thousands of people who have climbed Denali using skis on the lower part of the mountain as a mode of transport both up and down.

Does that mean you can't glissade either?

mtruman
01-06-2009, 03:19 PM
What about skis? Does it count if you make a winter ascent with skis and then use them to descend? If that's true then there are thousands of people who have climbed Denali using skis on the lower part of the mountain as a mode of transport both up and down.

Does that mean you can't glissade either?

The official rules are here: http://www.amc4000footer.org/faq.htm#rules1

The way it reads you can use ski down in the winter although apparently sleds don't count (even though it isn't specific about that). Doesn't mention glissading either. Maybe that's a matter of whether it is planned or not. There's a long thread on this subject on VFTT: http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14218. The consensus there seems to be skis OK (as long as you wear or carry them up), sleds not OK for the same reason as bikes and glissading - who knows. That leads me to the question of the pants with a built-in sled on the seat that Kirk mentioned on another thread. If it's part of your pants is that just an "assisted glissade"? All very technical indeed :rolleyes:

KD Talbot
01-06-2009, 04:05 PM
Mark's pretty well got it covered in the last post. Anybody that climbs anything, especially Denali, on skins or carrying their skis, then skis down, or part way down, is OK as far as I'm concerned.

These rules only apply to the NH 4K's and only apply if going for a NH 4k patch according to the rules of the AMC 4000 Footer Committee. (I won't take this opportunity for more AMC bashing from me about rules, etc.)

I go to the mountains partially to get away from rules, though I follow strict, somewhat self imposed guidelines while I'm there.

If people want to make up their own rules about doing the 4k's in winter for their own pleasure, I say "Go for it!" Hike your own hike, as they say. I can think of some great places to Swiss Bob down from the 4k's. North Tripyramid Slide comes to mind. Huntington Ravine. Lincoln's Throat. Could be a whole new world of Extreme Swiss Bobbing out there for us to discover!

KDT

mtruman
01-06-2009, 05:03 PM
If people want to make up their own rules about doing the 4k's in winter for their own pleasure, I say "Go for it!" Hike your own hike, as they say. I can think of some great places to Swiss Bob down from the 4k's. North Tripyramid Slide comes to mind. Huntington Ravine. Lincoln's Throat. Could be a whole new world of Extreme Swiss Bobbing out there for us to discover!


Hmmm. How about Extreme Nekid Swiss Bobbing :eek:
OK, now that I said it this is evoking some really disturbing images :eek::eek::eek:

TrishandAlex
01-06-2009, 06:37 PM
Now that you mention it this is what Jamie's posture looks like at the beginning of most hikes. Fortunately once she's out there she really enjoys it. Just have to get past the first mile and then it's usually all good. That first mile is a whole 'nuther story though...

Yes, what is it about that first mile? Both Alex and I usually look exactly like that when first starting out. Once that first mile is past, it's all very, very good. Maybe the adrenaline kicks in and the natural high starts..?

laudizen
01-12-2009, 12:57 AM
Great shots! I laughed out loud over 'we apparently killed her'. Thanks for the post.