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View Full Version : Mt Waumbek - 1/10/2009



Tim&Val
01-18-2009, 11:08 AM
Hi!

I haven't been on the forum in a long time! Life, family obligations, holidays, headcolds and house guests have kept us off the forum and off the trails for many weeks, it seems.

Last Saturday, we decided that we HAD to climb despite the frigid temps. We opted for Mt Waumbek. In hindsight, we should have been out in the sun on a ridge somewhere. It was a gorgeous day with not a breath of wind.

We had a wonderful walk, but at one point it's possible that I succumbed to the same fate as Alex (I think it was on Waumbek too). Tim had to pump me full of food and fluids as I was feeling really low by the time we returned to Mt Starr King summit. Either it was dehydration or else it was just "out-of-shape-ness". Not really sure. Since we only had to descend at that point, my spirits picked up regardless.

I'm finding that we hit all the really low-hanging fruit last year with our winter 4Ks. The ones that are left on the list all look really daunting right now.

Waumbek Trip (http://www.barkeater.ws/NH48/images/MtWaumbek/20090110/MtWaumbekFrames.htm)

Valerie

KD Talbot
01-18-2009, 01:39 PM
Your trip report brings back fond memories of this hike on a similar day. We met Tom and Atticus here. Between Starr King and Waumbek I got my first "spruce trap" experience. Went in right up to my chest. Struggled for a long time to get out. Emma found it hilarious. Wouldn't stop licking my face!

I love the shot of Franconia Ridge framed by the trees.

The corner store in Jefferson has the best pizza around! I can't pass through without stopping!

KDT

FisherCat
01-18-2009, 01:43 PM
I just got done reading this and I think its an excellent report with great pics! Very, very well done. Though the remaining peaks seem daunting I'm sure you'll get them done.

TrishandAlex
01-18-2009, 02:03 PM
Wow, your pictures are wonderful. Really nice TR!

Sorry to hear you were beset with the same thing Alex experienced, but good to know you were able to resolve it quickly.

Your pictures really are outstanding. :)

mtruman
01-18-2009, 04:29 PM
Great to see you guys back out there Val. Just a wonderful TR and photos. These are some of the most beautiful pics from a winter hike that I've seen. Looks like something out of a winter fairytail. Sorry you had to suffer through part of it but looks like all turned out well. Thanks for sharing.

Rich
01-18-2009, 04:41 PM
Great day and great pics! Thanks.

Charlie
01-18-2009, 08:55 PM
very nice pictures of the trees

question i saw that you were walking on trails that looked like they were packed down a little ,how come you still use the snow shoes .
i never used them before and now that i have a pair i was asking does it still help ,or could you use the other things they use on there shoes [not crampons ]
just for my info thanks

BlueDog
01-18-2009, 10:05 PM
Hey Val! What a great TR! The pictures are beautiful and make me so jealous that I'm not there. :) Good to see back!

Tim&Val
01-19-2009, 06:44 AM
very nice pictures of the trees

question i saw that you were walking on trails that looked like they were packed down a little ,how come you still use the snow shoes .
i never used them before and now that i have a pair i was asking does it still help ,or could you use the other things they use on there shoes [not crampons ]
just for my info thanks

Hi Charlie!
The question of when to use snowshoes has lots of different answers...

In the case of Waumbek, we started out in bare boots. The group of 15 in front of us were all in snowshoes. One would think that they would pack it down well enough that we could walk without the snowshoes, but it was so cold (and thus the snow was so fluffy) that it didn't truly compact. Obviously, it is easy to see where the trail is and to follow it, but the snow didn't stick together well. So, we found that in our bare boots, we were still working harder because we were slipping in the fluffy snow and losing 20% of our distance on every step. Most times, 15 people in snowshoes would be enough to create a nice solid trail.

In general, we always carry at least two types of traction in winter. I think Tim is at the point where he always carries his crampons and his snowshoes. I have both of those plus Stabilicers. We normally try to bare-boot any time that it is working well, because when it works well, it's the least tiring for us.

Stabilicers are the next lowest impact on our feet/legs.

Both crampons and snowshoes tend to reduce our longevity on the trail. Due to the weight on our feet and also the fact that they make us walk somewhat unnaturally, we tend to end up sore if we spend a lot of miles in them.

So, we carry different types and usually have to change traction a couple times during a trip depending on the conditions. On Waumbek, once we put the snowshoes on, we left them on for the entire trip, but there is no "steep section" on the trail to Waumbek. I thought that East Osceola was too steep for me to continue in the snowshoes, despite the fact that I did need the traction that they provide. That's why I switched into the crampons.

Some people did the entire Osceola trip in snowshoes. I have no idea how they did it, but we saw them.

Everyone's different! You'll figure out your needs once you get out there. Just don't leave an option at home and then wish you had it on the trail.

Hope this helps!
Valerie

KD Talbot
01-19-2009, 09:36 AM
Val, do your snowshoes have televators? Makes all the difference in the world on the steeps.

Tim&Val
01-19-2009, 10:44 AM
No they don't! And now that I see those heel lifts on all the new snowshoes online, you know what this means? I need to buy new gear! :D

Kevin, what does Jude use? I see that both the MSRs and the new Atlas Elektras have the heel lift. My current 'shoes are Atlas Elektras but probably three years old.

dangergirl
01-19-2009, 11:13 AM
Awesome pics and TR!!!! It looks so beautiful with the snow all over the trees! I love winter! The bird pictures are really cool too!!!

luvtahike
01-19-2009, 11:18 AM
I agree with DangerGirl. I love the bird pictures. I've never seen a gray jay in person. Are they always that friendly or is it the lure of food?

Thanks for the TR! All of the pictures are awesome!

dangergirl
01-19-2009, 11:19 AM
On the snowshoes, I use the Denali Evo Ascents. They are awesome and the televators are the coolest thing! I am picking up the 6" tails at REI today for our pemi trip this weekend so I can't wait to see if they make a difference!

FisherCat
01-19-2009, 11:38 AM
Are they always that friendly or is it the lure of food?



They are sometimes more prevalent at some peaks than others. They come right to you on the Hancocks and Jackson for instance.

KD Talbot
01-19-2009, 01:19 PM
Jude has the Atlas Electra E-10. They are 23" and have a televator. Also, they have the one strap pull system. Just put them on and pull the strap. No fussing with the straps. The one drawback she has found is they throw a lot of snow up her backside, which we have never experienced with any other pair. The solution is a light, waterproof shell pant, but sometimes it's very hot when hiking.

Jude tried the MSR Lightning Ascents and hated them for reasons she can explain better than I. She loves her Atlas'.

I like my Lightning Ascents, but I have had the crampon break off on the summit of North Tripyramid which was a long limp out. They sent me a new one, but it didn't do me any good that day. Even if I had spare parts with me there was no way I could have made that repair in the field. I could barely get it done at home with the proper tools. The clasps were very tiny and hard to work with, especially with my calloused fingers. With their light weight the metal used for the crampon is sort of flimsy.

If I were going to go buy a new pair today I would buy the MSR Denali Evo Ascents like Dangergirl. Similar to the Lightnings, but plastic body and sturdier crampon. I've noticed a lot of hardcore winter hikers choose these. If you buy them at REI you can use them and if you don't like them they'll take them back no questions asked.

I've sort of resigned myself to the fact that snowshoes are going to wear out like hiking boots and I'll have to replace them every year or two.

KDT

MelNino
01-19-2009, 09:33 PM
Love the pics :)

Tim&Val
01-20-2009, 06:19 AM
On the snowshoes, I use the Denali Evo Ascents. They are awesome and the televators are the coolest thing! I am picking up the 6" tails at REI today for our pemi trip this weekend so I can't wait to see if they make a difference!

Thanks for the advice, DangerGirl! I look forward to reading your trail report and seeing how they did for you this coming weekend!


Are they always that friendly or is it the lure of food?


They are sometimes more prevalent at some peaks than others. They come right to you on the Hancocks and Jackson for instance.

We've also come across Gray Jays consistently at a couple locations - like the intersection of Mt Tom Spur and A-Z trail, and also on Mt Starr King. I think that the personality of the species is very daring. I've never seen one that *wouldn't* come right down to us. They will come sit in the tree next to you before you even have food out... but that could just be because they know that when the humans come through the woods, they always have food. ;)

Charlie
01-20-2009, 07:03 PM
Val thanks for clearing things up ,from the picture i could not tell the snow was soft and now i see why you have them on .
i wish it would snow more then 1" at a time so i can try my snow shoes

mtruman
01-20-2009, 09:41 PM
Val thanks for clearing things up ,from the picture i could not tell the snow was soft and now i see why you have them on .
i wish it would snow more then 1" at a time so i can try my snow shoes

Just come a little further north. Plenty of snow here. Plenty of snowshoeing here for a change. Come on up!

Charlie
01-22-2009, 08:18 PM
Just come a little further north. Plenty of snow here. Plenty of snowshoeing here for a change. Come on up!

dont tempt me
i wish i could but work is a little busy now working 5 - 10hr days