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Great Blue Hills Rink-Tower-Rink Traverse (INTERMEDIATE)

Organizer: Michael Blair @ (978)[masked]

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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.

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What we're doing

The heavy rain and flood warnings for northern NH caused the cancelation of our planned activities this weekend, but I don't feel like just sitting around doing nothing. We are dusting off an old favorite close to home - the Great Blue Hills Rink-to-Tower-to-Rink Traverse.

Despite this being in the Blue Hills this is not a beginner hike - we are going from one end to the other and then back again. We will be hiking about 14 miles and climb about 3,500 feet - this is the equivalent of a pretty good hike in the White Mountains.

Great Blue Hill is the highest point in the 7,000 acre Blue Hills Reservation and the highest coastal elevation along the Atlantic seaboard south of Maine. This large dome of granite measures 635 feet at the summit. Hikers will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside.

Breathe deeply, relax and enjoy the view. The Eliot Observation Tower is named for Charles Eliot, a visionary landscape architect and a major force behind the establishment of the Blue Hills Reservation in 1893. To the east, you see the Harbor Islands dotting the coastline. To the north, skyscrapers tower among the Boston skyline. To the west, Mount Wachusett can be seen 44 miles away.

We will leave from Shea Rink and follow the Skyline Trail as it passes over numerous hills on the way to Great Blue Hill and then return following the Skyline back to the parking lot. Click here for a link to a map of the area.

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 slower than the group and expect us to constantly wait for you.

Guests are not permitted - all participants must be members of the Random Group of Hikers.

Dogs are not permitted unless they stay on leash the entire time (park rules). If you do bring a dog you will need to also have a copy of their most recent rabies vaccination. Be sure to indicate in your RSVP if you will be bringing a dog.

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Trip Summary

On this moderate pace (~2.0 MPH) round trip we will hike about 14 miles and climb about 3,500 feet. These are estimates since no matter where you look you get different information.

This event is considered to be INTERMEDIATE because of the pace, distance, and elevation gain. We could alter our plans because of fatigue, weather, and/or other conditions and there is no guarantee that we will complete the entire event as described here (i.e. we might not reach the summit).

I did my research using the Appalachian Mountain Club's "White Mountain Guide", a trail map, and the Internet. You need to become self-reliant by becoming familiar with the route, terrain, and potential hazards since you are ultimately responsible for your own safety.

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Weather

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.

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Clothing, Gear, Equipment, and Supplies

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. Failure to bring the basics puts you and the rest of the group at risk. If you don't know what to wear and/or bring with you or have any questions either refer to the list below or contact me.

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.

If you don't have what you need you will not be allowed to participate - even if you carpooled with someone!

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Directions

We will be meeting in the parking lot of the Shea Memorial Skating Rink at 651 Willard Street in Quincy, MA. According to Google Maps this spot is about 9.8 miles from Boston and it should take about 16 minutes to drive there.

You can also use Public Transportation to get there.

While carpooling is encouraged you are responsible for coordinating your own rides. Use the comments section below to communicate with others who may also be looking to share a ride.

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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.

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  • Tim

    Mike and Monica rock - they rallied after a bad forecast in NH and got this hike cookin' - great group, good conversation, and I will never make light of this trail again!

    June 6, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great to get in a good workout even though the rain up north kept us off the big mountains. Thanks for organizing the hike, Michael and Monica. Nice group - nice to meet a few new folks.

    June 5, 2012

  • Sarah L

    It was nice hiking with everyone. Thanks Michael and Monica for quickly putting this hike together. I love hiking the Blue Hills. It's close to home and has an awesome view of Boston.

    June 4, 2012

  • Monica T.

    I always underestimate this hike. What a great workout on all the ups and downs on the Skyline trail. Great group too!

    June 4, 2012

  • Rich

    Great time, good exercise and some great views despite the clouds and overcast sky. A wonderful bunch of hikers as well, good conversation with all.

    June 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was great meeting and hiking with everyone. I had a blast and I thought the hike was really beautiful!

    June 4, 2012

  • Michael B.

    It's nice to know that you can get a challenging hike with some good distance (about 12 miles) and good elevation gain (4,000 feet) within 20 minutes of Boston. The clouds were with us most of the day but there were only a few minutes here and there when it actually rained. There were also some instances when the clouds gave way to sun and blue skies. As always it was nice to meet some new people and see some of the regulars.

    June 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Made it back safe and sound. So nice meeting everyone. See you soon I'm sure

    June 3, 2012

  • Michael B.

    Get up early, get out early, get done early, have the rest of the day to do other stuff.

    June 2, 2012

  • Inna

    8 am start for Blue Hill?!!! On Sunday?!!! (deep sigh...)

    June 2, 2012

  • Monica T.

    Would have loved to hike with you again. Have a good brunch.

    June 2, 2012

  • Anne

    Would love to have done this but made brunch plans - right in my hood also:) Have fun!!

    June 2, 2012

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