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An Accidental Find

Serendipity said no to that…

Our guest accidentally found us, then the accidents just kept right on happening. Well, maybe that’s not the best way to put it. They were all happy accidents (minus the knee, but we’ll get to that).

The original plan was to traverse the Presidential Range, pick up a food cache in Crawford Notch, then continue on the Appalachian Trail through Zealand Notch. Serendipity said no to that plan. First there was the weather. Freezing temps and strong winds were serving as a deterrent (as they should). And if that wasn’t enough, our guest’s knee was acting up what with the terrain and heavy backpacking pack. This would be an unhappy traverse if they continued.

Somewhere in our code it says our guests are supposed to have a good time. Redline Guide Nico Dubois knew this, he knew what to do, and he started making some of the happy accidents occur. Here’s is a summary of events as they happened, day to day:

The Timeline: Here’s How It Went Down

  • Day 1: The team ascended Pine Link and up Mt Madison, then over the Gulfside Trail to Israel Ridge to head down to the RMC’s “The Perch” where they would spend a windy night. Considering all things, it was here Nico diverted the plan, changed the agenda, saved the day like the great guide he is. Serendipity! This happy accident was supposed to happen.
  • Day 2: From the Perch they descended the more gradual, knee-saving Randolph Path to Shortline out to Appalachia. Nico called us and asked for an idea for a remote yet accessible backpacking “basecamp.” We suggested a spot we like on Mountain Pond.
  • Day 3: Instead of getting after it with day packs, the team decided to drive up the Auto Road to the summit of Mt Washington. From there they hiked to Mt Monroe and back, enjoying quesadillas at the AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds Hut. This helped them determine what was possible with lighter packs. Knee be damned, this vacation would be a success.
  • Day 4: Mountain Pond was a great basecamp. There they heard loons, coyotes, and a lot of squirrel chatter as they busy themselves preparing for winter. Between the restful nights and the light day, Nico felt our guest would enjoy Caps Ridge Trail for Mt Jefferson, with an added descent of Jewell Trail using the underrated Boundary Line Trail to help close the loop. On that evening our guest ordered he and Nico some Indian food for pickup from Shalimar of India in North Conway as a way of introducing him to some of his favorite Indian dishes. Good times, good food.
  • Day 5: There can be too much of a good thing so to save our guest’s knee Nico decided a light day was in order so they hiked to the impressive Arethusa Falls. On the final night they “glamped” at the Dry River Campground in Crawford Notch to enjoy a little bit of the easy lifestyle it offered — plus the long, bumpy road to Mountain Pond was getting a bit old.
  • Day 6: Nico and our guest decided more hiking in that area was just the thing so they hiked up to Frankenstein Cliff then made their way over to Ripley Falls. After that they returned to our Basecamp to check in the rental gear used for the trip.

As always, Nico took some great photos summarizing their trip.

The Photos: Here’s How It Looked

What an incredible place. It is awe-inspiring.

The terrain is relentlessly difficult, especially with a heavy pack.

Making their way off the Presidentials. For now.

The finer things.

Back, now to take on Mt Monroe.

This is a special place.

On Washington looking south.

Fun on the Caps.

Leaving Jefferson.

Home sweet basecamp.

Mountain Pond. South Baldface Mtn in the background.

Taking in the view from Frankenstein Cliff.

The Ripley wrap up. This was good.

Good lead, Nico, way to think on your feet and make it great. And to our guest, thank you for adventuring with Redline Guiding.

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