There were concerns. Redline Guide Mike Maciel would be leading four people, two of them underage — and that can prove challenging on its own — and the forecast was calling for Hades-like temps with the heat and humidity pushing the feel to over 100°F. The concerns started to literally melt away a bit, however, as the morning continued. The team was well prepared, Mike had a solid plan (which was already changed from the original due to water availability and exposure potential) and he had a backup to that plan as well, a Plan C. With all this preparedness, things were bound to work out, despite the challenges. Right?! Well, in this case they did.
Mike likes to pen a mini-report himself so that’s what follows along with a video we made using Mike and our guest’s photos of this backpacking trip.
A Grandfather’s Dream Come True
Heat index warnings, close to 100% humidity, and a solid potential for a serious storm at some point. Just like that our perfectly laid out plan a few months in the making of camping near the summit of Carrigain, with a majestic view just a short walk away for sunrise and sunset was shot. There’s no water up there, minus an old well that none of us who appreciate our intestines ever dare drink out of. Let us also not forget the somewhat precarious spot to camp in a storm, well over 4000 feet without much shelter.
But this is just noise in the background. This trip was about family, three generations of it to be exact. Fathers and sons. Young brothers. And a grandfather, our many-time returning guest, who was thrilled to bring his grandsons on their first backpacking trip and first 4000 footer.
There were waterfalls, snacks from the hut, snacks from their Ready Packs, conversations with thru-hikers, sword fights with trekking poles, an encounter with an always-angry spruce grouse, a no-joke late night White Mountains thunderstorm, a lot of questions & teachable moments, breakfast atop Zeacliff, a Zealand summit, and one very proud grandfather. He told us this was a dream come true, which is far and away my favorite thing to hear as a guide. As for the boys? They already scoped out their next goal while eating their breakfast on Zeacliff, is anyone surprised to learn that it’s Mount Washington? We’ll be here when they’re ready, as always.
We’d like to wish a very happy 49th anniversary to Barsov & Nini/LCW as well (you know who you are). —Mike M
Great job one and all!