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Friends of Mount Guyot

Mount Guyot in Summer
Mount Guyot in Summer

There are many White Mountain hikers who love Mt Guyot (pronounced ‘G’ as in God, ‘ee-oh’, with the accent on the first syllable), named after Albert Guyot, who is credited with drawing the first map of the White Mountains.

Guyot is a beautiful, 4,580 foot peak  with a bald dome-like summit, just off the Twinway (Appalachian Trail), and situated between the  South Twin, Zealand Mountain and the Bonds.

Yet, despite its height, it’s not on the AMC four thousand footer list and therefore gets no respect. It doesn’t have a boulder-strewn summit like Mount Adams or Jefferson and it’s not a graceful parabolic curvelike Bondcliff, which some, including Guy Waterman, would claim is a shoulder of Mt Bond and not a peak at all (see Guy’s delightful essay on Peakbagging in Backwoods Ethics: A Guide to Low-Impact Camping and Hiking.)

Mt Guyot in Winter
Mount Guyot in Winter

That’s the funny thing with peakbagging lists, they are not a literal reflection of the landscape (The Adirondack 46ers 4,000 footer list contains several peaks less than 4,000 feet in height), but very much a conceptual one based on committee decision making and “historical precedent.”

I’m not suggesting that Guyot be added to the 4,000 footer list. Given the fragility of its summit ecosystem, there are good reasons to actually keep people off the bare summit, except in winter. Instead, I think those of us who love Guyot should band together to form an informal society called Friends of Mt Guyot.

What do you think? Should we print up some bumper stickers?


  1. Is it not included because of the "prominence" clause: must drop and rise 200 feet from an adjacent peak? I feel the same way about Mount Hight… it is by far the most spectacular peak in the Carter range, but it's not included on the list. I haven't hit Guyot yet, but it's on my list for this summer along with the Bonds.

  2. Guyot sure is a lovely peak. If you camp at Guyot Campsite, it's real easy to catch a lovely sunrise from the southern spur of the peak, too.

    Speaking of which, I think you've got two peaks in those two pictures there… The caretaker at Guyot campsite pointed out to me that the "true" summit of Guyot is the one on Twinway, while the one on the Bondcliff Trail is an unnamed secondary summit of Guyot. Maybe the Friends Of Mount Guyot organization should advocate awareness of both peaks ;)

  3. Kris – Mt Hight is a great peak to. I think it has some of the best views in the Whites. That prominence stuff is all more conceptual fluff :-) Anyone can tell that Guyot is a separate mountain.

  4. Guthook – Yep – caught me. I just love the dome aspect of Guyot and how those two photos emphasize it's aspect

  5. Ah jeez, now I feel like a smartass :)

    Phil, maybe there should be a Trailwrights-style list for peaks that are unfairly left out of the other lists, so one would have to climb each Guyot peak a couple times, Hight once or twice, and… let's see, what else?

  6. I think the Trailwrights is the list. It's got Guyot, Hight, and many sub-peaks of the major mountains. I'm loving it, and it's very hard to satisfy the rules of only one peak per climb.

  7. ^fail. Looks like I didn't do my homework on that one :)

  8. Mount Guyot is a beautiful peak/ I find it amazing that nearby Zealand, which is quite underwhelming, made the list but Guyot did not. I wonder how many peakbaggers have climbed Zealand without stepping foot on Guyot.

  9. I worked at Zealand Falls Hut last summer and spent alot of time explaining to confused peak baggers why it wasn’t an “official” 4000 footer. The Twinway is quite well traveled by hikers going from Zealand to Galehead hut and Guyot provides a nice bit of alpine zone at the halfway point.

  10. While I challenge the notion that Guyot gets no respect, I do agree that it doesn’t get enough. I also agree that it is easy to tell that it is its own mountain, and would happily join a Friends of Guyot group.

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