Beautiful Winter Conditions in Waumbek's Boreal Forest
Mount Starr King 3914' and Mount Waumbek 4006'
Starr King Trail/Kilkenney Ridge Trail
7.2 Miles 2650' elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma with a cast of thousands
One of the great things about being an individual part of a vast and giving community, the hiking community, is that every now and then, if you're lucky, you get to witness a momentous event. While hiking in the White Mountains there are many opportunities to be witness to such occasions. It could be a spectacular sunrise or sunset, an undercast, or maybe a glory or a rainbow. Maybe it's the aftermath of an event, such as a raging torrent after a downpour or a sugar-coated forest after a snowstorm. These opportunities abound, while others, more human in nature, occur in an equally frequent manner, but are more remarkable due to the individual nature of the occurrence.
About 2/3rds of the Group
One might make note of an individual's first ascent, or perhaps their first ascent of a particular mountain. Maybe it's their completion of a particular list, such as the list of Four Thousand Footers in New Hampshire compiled by the AMC. Some folks are able to make a mark by completing the list in winter, and some manage to complete the list in each season of the year. Each event is unique to the individual who is completing the task, or reaching the goal, they have set for themselves. Then there are the individuals who set a standard higher than most of us can hope to aspire to. Here in New Hampshire we have a small group of individuals who have reached their goals, lived their dreams, by doing what they love most. By hiking.
The Moment of Truth
Their goal has been to hike to each of the forty eight mountains on the New Hampshire list in each month of the year, a total of five hundred and seventy six peaks. Yes, a trip to Washington in January, a trip to Carrigain in February, a Bonds Traverse in every winter month. Think of all the trips in all kinds of weather and conditions! Each summit reaches another goal, and each safe return to a trailhead another successful completion! On December fifth 2010 Jeremy Clark had his momentous occasion on the summit of Mount Waumbek just after noontime with about a thousand of his closest friends from the hiking community. As he set foot on the summit cairn he became the youngest individual at age twenty seven, to ever complete this insurmountable task.
Quite the occasion as four other Grid Finishers honor the latest "Gridiot" with the 48x12 Grid Patch. L to R Jim Towle #8, Guy Jubinville #7, Jeremy Clark #13, Ed Hawkins #2 and Peter Crane #10.
Jeremy became the thirteenth individual in the New Hampshire hiking community to complete this task and have his name forever inscribed in the great book of incredible mountain feats. To add to the individual uniqueness of this event, four other finishers of the list joined him on this hike and gathered on the summit to officially award him the patch and honors which come with the completion of this goal. The fact that there were five individuals who have completed this task on the same summit at the same time to celebrate may also have been a unique occurrence, I'm not sure, but it should certainly be noted as at least a rare occurrence. ( Correction: There were 5 at MEB's finish as well. )
Congratulations are certainly in store for Jeremy and of course for all who have reached this goal past, present and future. Thanks to all who came out and made this a momentous occasion for him as well as making good company for all that made the hike this day. Thanks to all who brought and shared goodies, too! Chances like this to be part of a unique and enjoyable event are why it is great to be a small part of this caring and giving community!
Complete set of pics HERE: