This past weekend was an exercise in bushwhacking. Saturday Bill and I went on a mission to find some lines that have eluded us (until now) and Sunday was a recon mission for Central NH NEMBA to walk the possible future site of a new trail system.
You won't get much info here on our AT recon mission, unfortunately the more people that know about it the less awesome it becomes and this line isn't exactly 'ours' but I can go into the process a bit because it was sort of my first foray into wilderness navigation.
We had some decent beta heading into the trip and we had spent some time last year trying to find this route to no avail. But through process of elimination we were fairly certain we knew where we were going this time around. We actually made really short work of finding the line and we began hiking up to our 'backstop' (yeah navigation terminology!) which was a trail running along a ridge. The line itself looks like it will be really fun. Lots of natural terrain features, and its LONG.
At the time it was hard to pinpoint exactly where we were, we were hiking in a cloud so it was impossible to site any landmarks to try and pinpoint our location using bearings and I have come to the conclusion after this trip and Sunday's hiking around that I am currently a horrible judge of lateral distance traveled. I always think I have gone about 10x farther than I actually have. Gonna have to work on that. It also became apparent how handy an accurate altimeter would be especially when navigating around mountainous terrain. Much easier to narrow down your location if needed. Too bad they are so damn expensive.
We topped out on the ridge and started making our way across two peaks, our plan was to traverse and descend the front side of another mountain to a car we had spotted instead of back tracking. We had thought this traverse would be easy and would be the preferred method of accessing this line. But we quickly came to the realization that this traverse would be hilarious in the winter and might even require some crampons and ropes in places depending on how it fills in. Definitely going to be some adventuring this winter and I can't wait.
I took some pics but they got corrupted somehow, I think that crappy walmart camera has infected my SD card or something. Or maybe some of the individuals who did most of the work on this line installed a motion triggered EMP that erased all my pics. Hard tellin'.
I can be a bit more forthcoming with our trip on Sunday. I am really excited about this one. CNH NEMBA was recently contacted by the LRCT about a chunk of land that was donated to them. They had no plans for it and wondered if we might want to build some trails there. The land was owned by a private party and even has two cabins on the property that CNH NEMBA might eventually have access to. Best estimates right now are the plot being somewhere between 300-500 acres, we are still working with the LRCT and the town to figure out property lines.
I met with Jesse and Mike to walk the land a bit. We were trying to find property lines as well as identify if the terrain was workable and worth our time.
We did a quick perimeter around probably 2/3 of the plot and I can safely say this place is going to be amazing when we are done. Gonna be years in the making but the possibilities are pretty exciting. LRCT seems pretty open to our ideas and we are looking forward to moving forward with development. Hopefully we'll be back soon with better info on property lines so we can mark our boundaries all the way around and possibly begin work on a 'perimeter trail' that circumnavigates the entire plot to start. Best guess is that trail alone will be 6-7 miles long. We could be looking at 20+ miles of singletrack with plenty of vert and two cabins on the property. I like getting the shakes for next year's awesome in early November.