21 responses

  1. Marco
    August 26, 2013

    Good trip!
    Funny you finding moose antlers in the woods. Usually the small critters eat them for the calcium.

    • Philip Werner
      August 26, 2013

      I left them there for the little critters to eat.

      • Grandpa
        August 26, 2013

        I thought that’s what you were cooking!

  2. Sean L
    August 26, 2013

    That’s quite the flame from the stove! Is it woodburning? I’ve only used white gas and isobutane/propane.

    Also, those trees look dense on the way up!

    • Philip Werner
      August 26, 2013

      Wood stove. I was testing out some 1-pot recipes for my series on backpacking recipes. Cooking on a wood stove is fantastic for these meals. Very good simmer control (more or less wood). Lots of trees in the White Mountain National Forest. Lots.

      • Sean L
        August 26, 2013

        Yup, I recognized the ingredients from your recipe. Makes me want to eat something besides store bought dehydrated. I never make time for anything else. I need to start factoring in more time for food prep (shopping, packing, etc.)

        Thanks for sharing, as always.

  3. Philip Werner
    August 26, 2013

    I have some more recipes coming out in the comping weeks. Using a wood stove is remarkably quick to cook with, when your wood is dry…. Good entertainment and comfort after a hard day hiking too.

    • Sean L
      August 26, 2013

      This season would not have been a good time for me to have tried a wood stove. It rained all summer; 51″ for the year recorded at the end of July. We’re 20 or 30″ over our average.

      Looking forward to the forthcoming recipes.

  4. Liz
    August 26, 2013

    Are those actually blow-downs from Irene in your second photo? I seem to recall that those trees were well and standing last summer when I did Isolation, and then was surprised to see them all fallen over when I hiked it this June. I think they might be damage from this winter, perhaps? (But maybe I’m mis-remembering….)

    • Philip Werner
      August 26, 2013

      Hard to tell actually. The wood chips from trail maintainers cutting down trees looked pretty old. Although not uniform, most of the downed trees didn’t have green leaves growing on their branches, which would be a sign of more recent fellage. Although the blow downs could also be from Hurricane Sandy. I was on the Osgood Trail a few weeks ago and the destruction there was incredible, and I’d been there the previous summer and the forest was fine.

      Is it the winter? I doubt it, given the extent of the destruction and the fact that it is uniform over such a large region. With winter damage, it would likely be one or two trees down, not 50, side by side That’s more of microburst-style impact. But who really knows. :-)

      • Liz
        August 26, 2013

        Someone on that hike told me that it may just be that the soil is weak and if one or two trees topples it starts a chain reaction. In any case, that’s a whole lotta trees that are falling over!

  5. Wystiria
    August 26, 2013

    Nice report, this section is on the list for us and I enjoyed reading about it! A tibia fracture took backpacking off the list this summer :( going to try some easy fall hikes before attempting anything in the whites!

    • Philip Werner
      August 26, 2013

      I think I read about your cast. All that home construction you guys have been doing is just exhausting to read about! So I’m sharing a shuttle with a guy you met at Madison Hut from WhiteBlaze. I’m doing my last section of the Maine AT in a few weeks. Did you guys ever start section hiking up north?

  6. Dan
    August 26, 2013

    Very nice Philip! I did a dedicated solo overnight hike to get North Isolation at the end of last November when there was snow on the ground. I’ll admit I didn’t do as much wandering and looking for a summit something, but I couldn’t even locate evidence of a herd path. I knew what side of the trail it would be on, but I’ll agree its so rounded and thick, it was tough to tell for sure. I gained myself a few more feet of elevation through the trees off to the side of the trail and that was sufficient for me. I see that you have organized an AMC trip for your 2nd attempt at Southwest Twin. I’m definitely interested in that one keep me posted, we were so close, and I feel like it will be second nature this time.

    • Philip Werner
      August 26, 2013

      I’ll send you the poop sheet Dan. We’re going to hike in from Zealand Hut this time. Same gang plus 1 or 2 more insane people. :-) We’ll get it this time. We’ know exactly where not to go!

  7. Martin Rye
    August 26, 2013

    Sometimes the best views and best trips are not on the biggest summits. That was a good trip you had and nice weather.

  8. Chris G
    August 26, 2013

    I did a Washington-Isolation traverse last Saturday-Sunday. I heard you were on the mountain but you were on the flip side. I Overnighted a mile north of the main peak(at the ‘official’ campsite) was surprised that there were 4 other people there, and another overnighting near the summit. Counting you that makes 8 people camping in that area.

    As a side note I loved the stark contrast in the type of people I encountered. On Washington it 80% people who were out for the first time or only get out once a year and were wearing cotton clothing. Once you pass glen boulder though, only ~3mi away, I only encountered people who are very avid and using high end gear.

    You mention the Oaks Headwall, I was staring at that for a long time too while laying down on the summit. Do you know if there are any unofficial routes up that?

    • Philip Werner
      August 26, 2013

      There a section of the Dry River Trail that runs from the Dry River shelter up to Lakes, but it’s probably closed because of the Irene damage to the Dry River Trail which is officially closed. The problem with going down there is that Fish and Game will charge you for a rescue. I read about them doing that to a guy who got stuck on the section of Rocky Branch that was closed by hurricane damage. That’s ultimately why I didn’t do the loop around the Stairs Mountain/Resolution I’d originally hoped to do on this trip. I still had a nice night out and got a bit of excercise. You must have had great weather on your hike too.

      What’s the water source at the shelter you camped at? Is it down the hill, below the tent site? I walked over there to check it out.

      • Chris G
        August 26, 2013

        Speaking with other people at the tent site there is a source about a mile down the trail below the tent site. I ascended Washington with some empty bag-style water bottles and filled them on the Summit. I made due with 4liters of water and finished the hike comfortably with a bit left over.

  9. Wystiria
    August 26, 2013

    Madison huh? Remember his trail name? We haven’t started hiking ME yet between the injury and our crazy deep energy retrofit we haven’t done any hiking this year! First backpack will be Oct. and the last bit of NY

    Its why I love reading your reports :)

    • Philip Werner
      August 26, 2013

      He goes by hikerboy57 on WB – Andy is his real name. Said he read your quilt post before he ran into you and Ken at Madison. Had a photo of you two on WB.

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