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A failed attempt to climb Mt. Isolation (4003 ft) in winter


Published by felixbavaria , 19 February 2014, 01h30.

Region: World » United States » New Hampshire
Date of the hike:15 February 2014
Snowshoe grading: WT2 - Snowshoe hike
Waypoints:
Geo-Tags: USA   US-NH   White Mountains (NH) 
Time: 6:00
Height gain: 600 m 1968 ft.
Height loss: 600 m 1968 ft.
Route:7.4 mi (11.8 km)
Access to start point:Route 16 (see trailhead waypoint)
Maps:AMC White Mountains #1

[Deutsch siehe unten]

Climbing a mountain that is far, far away not only from Boston but also far away from the trailhead (14 miles round trip), in winter, after aptly named snowstorm "Pax" pacified the region by dropping 18 inches (50 cm) of snow?

Well it might not have been the best idea, but at least it was a very exclusive idea (only encountered one other hiker testing his snowshoes near the trailhead), so it was very much in line with the mountain's name.

A sense of humor was required from the start since we had to break trail in deeper and deeper snow (unpacked powder). Furthermore, since there are hardly any trailmarkers after the first mile (who had the glorious idea to put trail blazes on birch trees?) the route was not exactly always clear.

In the end, we managed to stay on the correct route for 90% of the time but even in a group of five we were just too slow to even reach the summit before dark, so we turned around after 3.7 miles near the first Rocky Branch Shelter (which we didn't even find, maybe it was snowed in). It had taken us over 4 hours to get there, but the way back to the cars was fast and fun since the trail was very well packed by now, who would have thought :)

In the meantime, the next snowstorm had set in (three hours earlier than forecast), which brought another 6 inches of snow to the Boston area.

The difficulty rating WT2 is given because of the difficult orientation if the trail is not broken. Technically the difficulty is WT1 up to the shelter, probably WT2 to the summit.

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Deutsche Kurzversion:

Einen Berg besteigen, der in jedem Sinne weit ab vom Schuss ist (lange Anfahrt und > 20 km Wegstrecke), und das im Winter, nachdem ein Schneesturm einen halben Meter Schnee in der Region abgeladen hat? 

Naja, es war zwar vielleicht nicht die beste Idee, aber wenigstens eine sehr exklusive Idee (wir haben nur einen anderen Wanderer getroffen, der seine neuen Schneeschuhe in der Nähe des Ausgangspunktes ausprobierte). Und es passt recht gut zum Namen des Berges (Mt. Isolation).

Den Gipfel haben wir nicht erreicht, da wir trotz abwechselnden Spurens viel zu langsam vorankamen. Für 3.7 Meilen einfache Wegstrecke haben wir 4 1/2 Stunden gebraucht. Zudem litt die Motivation darunter, dass gegen Mittag schon der nächste Schneesturm einsetzte.

Hike partners: felixbavaria


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