Read the entire description before you RSVP and answer all questions that are part of the RSVP. Failure to answer them will result in your removal from this event. If you RSVP from a mobile device the questions may not show up - use a computer to update your RSVP so you can answer them.
Your safety, and the safety of the group, is the most important thing. If you underestimate the demands of this event; overestimate your experience, knowledge, skills or abilities; or come unprepared you put yourself or others at risk – consider this before you decide to participate.
What we're doing
The plan is to hike Mt Cabot (4170 ft) in the White Mountains. This is 9.4 miles up and back hike with 3100 ft of elevation gain. This hike is intermediate (~1.5 mph). Depending on conditions, the trail might be icy, slushy, packed out, or new powder, so please be prepared. Snowshoes with traction and microspikes/hillsounds are REQUIRED on this hike(see below). I'd like to complete this hike within 7-7.5 hours, however, it may take longer if trail condition is not good. Prior winter hiking experience is required.
We will meet at the Trailhead of York Pond Trail on York Pond Rd at 9:00AM. We will hike up the York Pond trail to the Bunnell Notch Trail to the Kilkenny Ridge Trail to Mt Cabot and back.
We start as a group, hike as a group, and finish as a group. Our pace will be that of the slowest hiker. This trip isn't for you if you are faster than the group and don't want to stay with us, if you want to head off on your own, or if you are a slow rather than a moderate hiker and expect us to constantly wait for you.
Mountain weather is subject to rapid changes and extreme conditions. Dangerous weather conditions will cancel - I will post an update and/or send an email to all confirmed participants a day or two ahead of time. We will assess travel and weather conditions during the hike and make changes to our planned trip as necessary.
Clothing, Gear, Equipment, and Supplies
Below is a list describing the minimum required items to participate in this event. Hiking safely is about being prepared so that you can respond to an emergency situation or spend a night in the woods if you have to. Do not rely on others to have extra items to share with you at the meeting spot or on the trail. You should know how to use all of your equipment - test and adjust it prior to this trip.
- Footwear: Waterproof/Insulated winter hiking boots with synthetic or wool socks. Gaiters to keep the snow out of your boots. Mountaineering snowshoes with aggressive teeth for traction while climbing. Kahtoola Microspikes or Hillsound Crampons are acceptable for this trip. Since we won't be using these items all of the time either have space in your pack or a way to secure them to the outside of it.
- Clothing: Dress in synthetics, fleece, and/or wool layers to easily regulate body temperature. Make sure your layers fit comfortably over each other. DO NOT WEAR COTTON - while cotton is a great insulator when it is dry, once wet it doesn't dry easily and it rapidly draws heat away from the body.
- Outerwear: Insulated jacket with a hood. Windproof/waterproof shell (with hood) and pants. Make sure your outerwear fits comfortably over all of your other clothing. Fleece/wool hat, balaclava or face shield, neck warmer, and glove liners. Windproof/waterproof over-mittens. Goggles.
- Food and Water: Bring high-energy snacks, food for lunch - pack extra "just in case". Bring enough water to stay properly hydrated during the trip - use insulated wide-mouth bottles instead of a hydration bladder since the mouthpiece/tube can freeze.
- Shelter: Be prepared to spend a night in the woods if you have to. Options include an ultralight tarp, a bivy sack, or an emergency space blanket which packs small and weighs just ounces.
- Other Essential Gear: Map and compass - don't just bring them know how to use them. Plastic whistle. Headlamp with two sets of spare batteries - lithium work best in colder temperatures. Trekking poles. Personal first aid kit with an emergency space blanket. Small pocket knife or multi-purpose tool. Matches or wind-proof lighter and fire starter. Toilet kit (e.g. hand sanitizer, toilet paper and a zip-lock bag to pack out your used personal hygiene items). Sunscreen. Lip balm. Sunglasses. Waterproof cover for your pack.
- Optional Items: Camera
According to Google, the trailhead is[masked] miles away from Boston and will take 3.5 to 4 hrs in good conditions. Please allow plenty of time and be packed and ready to go at 9:00 am. We will not wait for more than a few minutes as we will NOT have cell coverage at the trailhead.
We will meet at the York Pond Trailhead past the Berlin Fish Hatchery on York Pond Road in Berlin, NH. From the fish hatchery gate at York Pond, continue west 2.1 mi. west of the fish hatchery gate (sign) at a parking area on the left near a fenced raceway. York Pond Road can be quite slippery and is slow going, so please allow plenty of time.
Google Maps (this is to the other trailhead .1 mile south of ours—see above, ours is on the left near the end of the road): https://local.google.com/maps?f=d&daddr=44.498149,-71.358444%28Unknown+Pond+Trailhead+-+south%29
Random Group of Hikers Disclaimer
As a condition of your voluntary participation in this activity you acknowledge and agree to the following: this activity involves inherent risks that can cause property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death to participants and/or others; you assume all risk associated with this activity; you are responsible for having the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, clothing, and equipment to safely participate in this activity; you know and will follow the Hiker Responsibility Code; the organizer(s) of this activity are volunteers; and you release, hold harmless, and indemnify the organizer(s) and all members of this group from any and all claims for property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death - including those caused by negligence and/or other reasons.