View Full Version : My STP hike

08-04-2009, 01:39 PM
I arrived after about 2 hours sleep Friday night at the PNVC at 2:30 am. After getting ready and locking up the truck I was on my way at 2:45.
It was dark and I don't know if I ever told anybody I didn't really like the dark that much. Well after about 20 mins walking and jumping to every little crack and snap I heard :eek: I was admiring the stars and thinking it was looking pretty good. However like a donkey I decided to see just how dark it would be if I shut off my head lamp :rolleyes: bad idea because it was so friggin dark. Oh yea did I say I did not like the dark. I put my head lamp back on fast as to make sure I could see the monsters coming at me. As I continued I started thinking about the roar I heard on Mount Chocura and thought I hope to god its not here. O.k so after about 45 mins. I was starting to get used to walking with the head lamp and starting to feel better about the darkness. I noticed that it was starting to get a little pink above Wildcat and thought for sure it was going to be a nice day.
I finnally made it to the Lions Head Trail and after walking and slipping on about 2.2 million rocks I proceded on up.
I found Lions Head a little steep but after a while I kinda just set into my pace. I arrived at the ladder about 5:30 and it was getting a little brighter out now and I was feeling better.
It still looked like is was going to be nice.
After going up the ladder and walking a little bit more I found a place that was a little flat so I decided to take a break and eat something. After about 20 mins. I got going again and in no time was in the Alpine Garden in the fog and getting windy and cold.
I arrived at the summit around 7:15-7:20 and tried to take some pictures but the camera was getting soaked from the wind and fog. I tried to take my own picture @ the sign but it did not come out to good and nobody to take my picture for me so I did not get to capture any from the summit. The fog was pretty thick. So much for the day looking good :(.
I started down the Tuckerman Ravine trail and made really good time getting to the headwall sign.
I was thinking O goody I always wanted to see the ravine.
So I headed on down and slipped a couple of times and one time my right foot slid and hit a corner of a rock twice in the exact same place OUCH big bruise the next day.But hey I did not fall on my a$$.
I could see some really nice water falls but the darn fog made it hard to get some good pics.If you look close it looks like a side view of a face in the rocks. Cool.

In did get to capture some smaller ones alongside the trail.http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb96/CRIVERHD12/STP%2009/080308024.jpg
Part 1

08-04-2009, 02:10 PM
Part 2
Well I continued on downward and now I was starting to run into alot of hikers heading up. I was asked about 1000 times how much further to the summit,whats the weather like. How much farther to the LOC hut. etc. I don't mind I meet alot of people and noticed ALOT of unprepared hikers. It was still pretty foggy in the ravine but I still tried to shoot a few pics.
I was really starting to run into alot of people now and parts of the trail were getting tight but it was fun. I made it down towards the bottom of the headwall and got to snap a few pics. of the last bit of snow.The first shot kinda looks like a shoe.
I took a quick break and noticed this spider web and thought it looked pretty cool.
I made it down to the lake pretty quickly and shot this. I really want to get in here in the Fall it must be beautiful.
And I procedded on towards the hut and it was pretty crowded.
I do believe that the top sign here could be one very important sign.
Ok so all I have is another 2.4 miles and 3.6 million rocks to go and I will be at the truck.
So I continued on my merry way and past alot of people and watched a few of them fall on the A$$'$. Maybe thats why you should wear hiking boots rather than sneakers or flip flops Duh!!..
The rest of the way was pretty uneventful with the exception of my bladder running out of water in the last mile. I believe I drank so much from talking to everybody. I was talking to two ladies that asked what time I started and when I told them they laughed and said so your the one that was starting that early. I guess I am a celebrity. I shot a few more pictures on the way down.
Looking back the way I came.
At one the first bridge on the way down.
A little friend I met on the way down towards the end.
All in all I loved every minute of the hike and my knees had very little pain un like last year when I could not bend my left leg at all for the last couple of miles. I do believe I am used to hiking in the dark now and all thou I will still be nervous I can't wait to do it again. I am looking forward to Stp 10 because my wife says she want to start doing it with me. All thou I will have to slow down but it will be worth it. I have a few more pictures at the link below. Thank you for letting me share my adventure with you.I did finnaly get back to PNVC and my truck @ 11:00.
A few more pics here:

Snow Miser
08-04-2009, 03:17 PM
Very nice TR and photos Chris! I really enjoy reading it. It sounds like you had a really good, first, solo night hike. That must be really cool to do. And you were already at the summit before most of us even got started. Wow! Too bad Marty wasn't outside to take a photo of you by the summit sign. :D You and your daughter took such great shots of him on the deck.

One question, "Was the hair on the back of your neck standing straight up during the early part of your hike?" I know it would have been on me if I was there alone in the dark.

Thanks for sharing your TR and photos.

08-04-2009, 04:15 PM
Thanks Bob. I do believe the hair was standing on end on the back of my neck, my back my legs every where except my head. I don't have enough for it to stand there :D:D LOL.There was a time I almost retreated back to the truck but I talked myself into staying on the trail. I had something happen to me when I was about 12 in the dark of night and since then I am nervous. But at the end I think I could do it again.

08-04-2009, 06:05 PM
Nice TR and pics Chris. Can't imagine starting the hike at 2:45 in the dark (uh, several hours of dark) alone. When I first looked at the second picture (of the sky brightening over Wildcat) I thought it was the face of the monster that nearly ate you :eek:

Glad you were able to do the hike - wish you'd been able to join some of the rest of us (or at least get your picture taken at the summit). Should have banged on the OBS door and gotten someone out ;)

All in all it was clearly worth it in that you got to spend the time with the family as well as getting to do the hike. Great seeing you there.

08-04-2009, 09:06 PM
nice Chris
we hit the trail at 3:30 so were right behind you . we got to the ladder and the overlook rock at about 6 am





Caffeine Addict
08-05-2009, 12:41 AM
great pics and trail report thank you for sharing them

08-05-2009, 05:26 AM

Thank for the great TR. Each trail on MW is different and therefore, lots of fun. You did a route that I love to do.

Maybe you need to come up in the winter and go back to HoJo's for sunrise pictures with me.

08-05-2009, 06:40 AM
Thanks everybody for the remarks.

Great shots Charlie.

Brad I definetly would love to do that. Thanks.

08-05-2009, 06:43 AM
Now that I look at the second picture it does look like a monster looking down @ me :eek:. That must have been why I was sweating so much. It was breathing down my neck:D.
Thanks Mark

08-05-2009, 07:17 AM
Chris, great TR. I too get spooked walking around in the dark, even in the company with other hikers. I need to get over that, 'cause I'd like to catch the sunrise on top of some peaks. Guess it goes against Leave No Trace to ask the AMC to string up some flodlights along the trial. :p

Your descriptions were great, you have an writing style that's very enjoyable to read. Congrats on your hike!