Actually, it was 7 mountains but the AMC does not count one toward the NH 4K’s.
This past Thursday, my friend Carol and I set out to conquer 6 of the 7 mountains left for us to complete the 48 – 4ooo foot mountains in NH. With the assistance from two of my sisters, we left Carol’s car at the Zealand Trailhead. Nancy and Ruthie drove us to the Twin Mountain trailhead. ( GPS glitch, not sure what that line is)
The plan was to hike up North Twin over to South Twin then on to the Guyot campsite for the night. We made it up and over the Twins. But by 5:oo pm, we still had 2+ miles to make it to Guyot. We decided to make camp for the night on the Twinway trail. I was a little disappointed we didn’t make Guyot. The next morning we packed up and headed to the campsite. I was glad we didn’t try to go further the night before. The trail was a bit rocky and more than rolling hills.
We made the campsite by 10:45. Put up our tent, refilled our water from the spring and headed out to the Bonds by noon. We went over Mt Bond and on to Bond Cliff by 2:15. Had lunch and took tons of pictures, especially the iconic Bond Cliff pic.
We hoped to make it back to West Bond for sunset. Our average pace is 1 mile per hour. The distance between Bond Cliff and West Bond is 2.2 miles. The hike back up Mt Bond was tough. It has a steep and rocky section that is at least a half mile long. I was never so happy to make it back to Mt Bond. Now on to West Bond. We were told by other hikers the West Bond Spur went down then rose steeply to the top. I was dreading it. There is a steep section just before the summit, but it’s short. We made it to the summit by 5:00. It was the only place I had reception on my phone enough to text my husband and sister. I also posted a pic on Instagram. But I couldn’t call out. Go figure.
Sunset was beautiful. I left the summit 15 minutes before it was completely dark. I wanted to get back to the Bond Cliff Trail before dark. I put my headlamp on shortly after passing the junction of West Bond Spur and Bond Cliff Trail. I was back to Guyot Campsite by 7. Refilled the water and went to bed. The campsite is on a first come first serve basis. It’s $10 per night per person. There are 6 sites with one or more tent platforms, plus one shelter for those without a tent. We were expecting the campsite to be packed but it wasn’t. It was not empty but there was plenty of room.
Saturday morning, we headed out to Zealand. The .2 mile hike up out of the campsite was tough. We were tired, our packs felt heavier and it was a continuous climb up. We were never so happy as to see the junction sign. We made it.
We needed to go up over Guyot to get to Zealand. Guyot is actually higher than Zealand. The view from Guyot is spectacular. It is all alpine zone with a 360-degree view. Zealand, on the other hand, has absolutely no view. The trail over Guyot to Zealand was one of the easiest parts of the hike. It wasn’t too steep or rocky. From the disappointing view of Zealand on to the breathtaking view of Zeacliff, we saw many making the trip up.
The trail from Zeacliff to the Zealand Hut was tough. My knees are still sore. It’s steep and rocky. We gave encouragement to those heading up, they were close and the trip was well worth the effort. The hut was very busy. It is situated next to the Zealand Falls. Many had made the trek to the hut for the view from the falls.
I received great advice from a hut staffer. She gave me suggestions regarding how I had my pack set up. I had my tent on the bottom of my pack. She suggested I put it on the top. What a difference! It made the last 3 miles much easier. Thankfully, the hike out from the hut is mostly level. We made it out the trailhead by 4:30 pm. I was grateful to take that pack off.
I don’t think I will ever do a 3-day backpacking trip again. A 2-day, maybe. But not a 3 day, unless it’s a hut to hut trip. That way I won’t have to carry a tent.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip. Now I have to get working on my commemorative quilt of my hiking the 4k’s of NH.