TO THE PEMIGEWASSET!! Dum di dum: Hitch 4 Report

White Mountain TrACS
Hitch 4 Report
Pemigewasset District – Greeley Ponds Trail & Welch-Dickey Loop Trail
7/9/2012 – 7/12/2012
Total miles TrAC-ed: 9.5
Total miles hiked: 17.6
Total service hours: 117
Prepared by Alice P. Webber

Monday, July 9, 2012:

Today was the transition day for NH TrACS; moving all possessions from Gorham and the Androscoggin District down to Campton and the Pemigewasset district. The team said goodbye to Jake Lubera and Camp Dodge, packed up camp and secured it all before beginning their trek to the southern region of the White Mountain National Forest. There, they met new agency contact Jenny Burnett at the Campton Campground to set up a new home. Jenny brought the team up to speed on the events of the district and expectations of the team while serving the remainder of their internship in the Pemi. The team spent the remainder of the afternoon prepping paperwork, safety standards, gear and food for their first hitch in the Pemi.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012:

The first trail in the Pemi the team was going to survey was the Greeley Ponds Trail. This 5.1 mile trail was heavily damaged during the 2012 Hurricane Irene, and has a 1-2 mile section in the middle still closed to visitors. The damage seen was heavy erosion with severe trenched tread, bridges blown out from the storm, and lengths of trail that previously ran close to the river completely wiped out. A trail in this condition was a first for the NH TrACS team, and all neurons were firing. Adapting a new mentality of TrACing that required more massive trail overhauls than before, the team managed to TrAC a total of 3.8 miles, hiking a total of 8.2 miles to do so.

Wednesday, July 12, 2012:

Luckily, the Greeley Ponds trail runs from Waterville Valley to the Kancamagus Highway. This allowed the team to access the trail from the other end to complete TrACing and use their time efficiently. The final stretch of the trail was in much better condition and seemingly not nearly as affected by the storm as the first half of the trail. After a quick morning stretch accompanied by their trusty companions, the mosquitos, the team completed TrACing the final 1.3 miles of the trail by noon, hiking 2.6 miles to do so. The team switched gears as they arrived at their car, and drove to the Welch-Dickey Loop trail. While eating lunch at the trailhead, the team reviewed the Greeley Ponds paperwork and organized their data to completion. With Greeley Ponds Trail done to entirety, the team put their packs back on to TrAC Welch-Dickey Loop Trail. The team had visited this trail before, one month ago, during their TrACS training and the first 1700 ft. was somewhat familiar. They picked up where they left off before and continued up the mountain. The Welch-Dickey Loop trail sees heavy traffic in the summer months due to its stunning views along the bedrock at the summit. Due to this, there are many stone features on the trail to maintain the standard and the team’s afternoon pushed through cramped fingers and TrACed a total of 1.2 miles before the day’s end.

Thursday, July 13, 2012:

Waking up to a beautiful morning in Campton Campground, the team was more than ready to complete the trail they began one month ago. The team hiked the Welch-Dickey Loop trail to where they had finished the day before, and did their stretch circle under the bright sun warm the ledges and the Pemigewasset District. The beginning of the team’s morning was smooth sailing as the trail continued up and along bedrock to the summits of Welch and Dickey Mountains. As the trail run along bedrock above tree-line, there are fewer features making for faster TrACing. As the trail dipped below tree-line, the features began again but the team managed to finish TrACing the final 3.2 miles of the Welch-Dickey Loop trail in the early afternoon, getting to finally hike the 4.4 mile loop trail in its entirety. They finished their hitch with reviewing and editing their data and paperwork and preparing all their documents and gear for the upcoming hitch.