[…] we savor both the accomplishment and the wonder. —Will Murphy
The Bonds are awesome. And sometimes, like on this trip, led by Redline Guide Will Murphy, they are beyond awesome.
When the day rains hold off, when the alpine breezes blow, and when the soup of weather swirls away to reveal a perfect day, these things come together to create something truly wondrous.
Will kindly pieced together these two days in a rich summary, below. Thank you!
Our guest was excited for the north-to-south Bonds Traverse as we would start it on her birthday (Happy Birthday). I arranged to meet her at the Notch Hostel in Woodstock at 6am for the standard car drop at Lincoln Woods. We then proceeded north to Zealand where our backpack would begin. In beautiful weather we headed up trail to Zealand Notch and Zealand Falls Hut. The miles passed quickly even with full packs. The real work would start coming out of Zealand Notch to gain the elevation necessary for four of the peaks that qualify as 4000 footers: Zealand, West Bond, Bond, and Bondcliff.
Gaining the view from Zeacliff, we proceeded on the ridge to the summit of Zealand Mtn (4260′) reached by a small spur trail. Continuing on the Twinway leads you to Guyot (4580′), a summit that while just above tree line does not make the list based on its lack of prominence to adjacent peaks. We soon reach the Bondcliff Trail and head south.
Stopping for lunch at a prominent cairn gives us a chance to enjoy all we are seeing.
We then continued on to the Guyot Shelter to set up camp for the night. We secured our platform and set up our tents. As it was still early and the weather good, our guest suggested heading up to West Bond (4540′). Unburdened from full backpacking packs (gear was still carried), the summit was easily reached and the views fantastic!
After dinner, a light rain started to fall just before bed. It rained much of the night but our tents provided all the protection we needed.
Day2: After breakfast all our gear was packed up and we headed out, happy that West Bond was already completed. We headed up to Mt Bond (4698’) and proceeded with the rocky descent. Picking up an update forecast only informed us that it might rain or might not rain! As Bond was misty we couldn’t tell.
Seeing Bondcliff through the clouds, you could start to see the low moving off as the clouds clung to low pressure side of the ridge. The ridge on Bondcliff (4265′) is striking in its geology as cliffs reveal themselves in broken formations beneath a receding cloud bank. Reaching the summit of Bondcliff, we savor both the accomplishment and the wonder. Looking west toward Lincoln/Lafayette we realize that all that is east is clear now, affording full 360 views!
The descent from Bondcliff brings us to the East Branch Pemigewasset River, a spectacular river and watershed system. Easy miles brings us back to Lincoln Woods and the drop car. —Will Murphy
Will and guest both took a number of photos as well. We tried to bring them to life in the video, below:
Solid lead, Will, great job team. Thank you for choosing Redline Guiding.