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Learn, Then Practice

For the past two days a returning guest, Andrew (from New York City) participated in a comprehensive hiking introduction course, then followed it up with a significant guided hiking adventure. Day one was spent with Redline Guide and owner Mike Cherim who was Andy’s private instructor. Day two, Redline Guide Jeffrey Shutak led Andy in an attempt on the 3268-foot Kearsarge North summit. Originally, Jeffrey had hoped to lead Andy to the top of Mt Washington via a west-side route, but the windy forecast had the last say, as it is known to do. What follows are scenes from the experience.

Day One: Hiking Introduction

A little hand scrambling is good for the soul.

Our guest, Andy, sharing Square Ledge with a few other hikers.

Looking south through Pinkham Notch from atop Square Ledge.

After a morning of (outdoor) classroom discussion, gear overview, etc., at the AMC’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, Mike and Andy head up to Square Ledge covering many of the sport’s finer points along the way, from trail etiquette to the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). Once they acquire the summit, more classroom type discusss ensues as the duo enjoys lunch. From there they will continue to hike, this time headed toward Lost Pond.

Quite the view.

Rope assisted descent.

The Ellis River’s meager beginnings.

The gorgeous Lost Pond. What a delight to be out here.

Day Two: Practice in Motion

Like day one, the second day started out beautiful with clear skies and fall sunshine. Andy and Jeffrey met at Andy’s motel in Intervale early so as to get on trail earlier in the day to ensure plenty of time for a relaxed pace and to the avoid a too-warm start. It’s always wise to plan this way leaving plenty of time for unexpected stops, etc.

Making gains upward.

A sequence of events.

One step at a time.

An occasional break in the pace.

The struggle of the hike is often not easy. If it was easy, after all, everyone would do it. We toil, we sweat, we sometimes dig deep to get the job done during the most trying times, forcing our masses up those hills one arduous step at a time. The rewards, though, are plenty. There are rewards for those who see them, in the attempt as well as in the completion. For those who can see it. To others, completion is enough. Just look at these summit views.

Stunning vistas.

It’s hard to leave the summit on days like this.

Just one of many rewards.

Fine job on summiting. Andrew. Kearsarge North is no slouch — and neither are you.

Congratulations Andrew, and well done both of you for your success. Fine lead, Jeffrey.

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