Sometimes we struggle with our writing. We search for the perfect words that perfectly describe what we want them to. And usually we succeed (or we hope so, anyway). And sometimes we don’t have to. Sometimes we don’t have to find the best words to describe the task at hand or the struggle experienced up to that point because sometimes, just sometimes, one of our awesome guides will do it for us. This is what Redline Guide Mike Maciel just did — again. Mike led two returning private guests, sisters, on a big traverse in the northern Presidentials. The team was reaching for and getting that much closer to completing a life-long goal shared by these hikers. Here is their story…
The Quest for 48, Interrupted
Earlier this month one of our guests completed the Tripyramids and in doing so faced down a personal nemesis 20 years in the making. You see, she had been working on her 4000 footers, and making steady progress until she ran into a wall. The wall just so happened to be the North Tripyramid Slide, and she did not realize there was any way around it. At the time, information wasn’t just a few clicks away. She thought that was the end of her journey to complete the list. So when Redline Guide Pat Ferland took her up Pine Bend a long put on the shelf goal was suddenly back within reach.
The only problem now was that a new roadblock had appeared in her path: Jefferson, Adams, and Madison (JAM).
The JAM traverse is a delightful day for some. For others, it can be a daunting day of exposure, steep and pointy rocks, and scrambling up the infamous “Ridge of the Caps.”
As we learned with the Tripyramid experience though, there’s plenty of ways to strategize. So for this version of JAM the plan was for Redline Guide Mike Maciel to bring our returning guest and her younger sister up the Caps, across the lunar landscape of the northern presidentials to summit Jefferson/Adams/Madison and to deliver them safely to Madison Spring Hut where they would spend the night and continue down Valley Way to Appalachia in the morning on their own. There was some rope in the pack just in case, but it never came out. What started with “we’ll give one cap a try and see how it goes” ended with two triumphant guests and a very proud guide.
The ladies were big fans of the fine trailwork of Mr. Edmands, not so much fans of Mr. Lowe and the rocks on Adams. They even got Mike some soup at the hut, knowing that the quickest route to a guide’s heart is usually through their stomach.
With Jefferson, Adams, and Madison checked off the two determined sisters are now at 46 of 48, the big goal finally back on track. —Mike Maciel
Thanks Mike. Well told, and to add to the appeal, he also offered these photos.