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Project 100

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About this blog

Project-100 is a fund-raising project put on by the ADK High Peaks Foundation.  I am a founding member The Foundation and will attempt to summit each of the peaks from the ADK Hundred Highest list between December 21, 2017 and March 21, 2018.  It is noteworthy that approximately 40 of the peaks are untrailed.  However, if I haven’t finished by that date I will continue until the list is complete.

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Thank you to everyone who made Project-100 a success

Thank you to everyone who made Project-100 a success

A gang of hiking friends on Killburn, #100. If I was lucky enough to succeed with my recent hiking project it was because the task was lightened by many pairs of hands (and legs!). I often felt as though I was being carried on the shoulders of an entire community of hikers. Many of which were better and more knowledgeable hikers than myself. The project would never have gotten beyond the dreaming stages had it not been for Sylvie Cartier, my wife, who agreed to live through nearly nine

Neil

Neil

Stewart and Sentinel. Peaks 94 and 95. Sentinel Wilderness Unit

Stewart and Sentinel. Peaks 94 and 95. Sentinel Wilderness Unit

The Sentinel Wilderness Unit houses 5 Hundred Highest Peaks. Pitchoff is the only trailed peak and I did it on my first day for peak number 3. This map shows the Unit quite clearly. We started the hike of Stewart a bit late due to human (ie. me) error in setting the alram clock. However, the extra hour’s sleep after a 12h30m hike in the Santanoni Range was salutary. At low elevation the going was quite easy through hardwood forests. Just when we crossed onto state land we saw a hunting

Neil

Neil

Santanoni and Little Santanoni

Santanoni and Little Santanoni

3/9/2018 – Santanoni and Little Santanoni – Start: 7:03 AM Finish: 7:54 PM Glen all smiles in his natural element. Glen, Bill B. and I began the long walk up the Bradley Pond Trail near 7a.m. on a mild Friday morning. It was snowing and had snowed enough in the past 48 hours to let us know what the Santa Direct would be like. We were just behind of a large group of young people and their teacher. They had plans to do the 3 peaks and descend via the direct. I was skeptical given th

Neil

Neil

 

Allen Mtn

The trail was fast and hard and I made great time in micro-spikes to Skylight Brook where I switched to K-10's and tromped my way to Allen Brook. At this point my progress slowed considerably and I found the hike to be very sinister and almost evil in feeling. The steep brook flows down in a very narrow and steep-walled cut in the mountain-side. The ascent is steep and very wild and rugged. After miles of approach the feeling I had was one of loneliness and malevolent surroundings. My thoughts t

Neil

Neil

Haystack, Basin, and Saddleback Mtns

Haystack, Basin, and Saddleback Mtns

I jumped at the opportunity to do this difficult trio of peaks with two superstars. We met at the Garden at 5:30 and spiked our way across mud and ice to Johns Brook Lodge. From there it was all snow. Our threesome became a quartet when ___ joined us. He was doing Haystack alone to finish his 46W. The rocks on Horse Hill were coated in a layer of verglas so we knew what was coming. Indeed Little Haystack did not disappoint and I regretted bringing K-10's instead of my Black Diamond crampons. Th

Neil

Neil

Boreas, Wolf Pond, and Sunrise Mtns

Boreas, Wolf Pond, and Sunrise Mtns

I had no idea what to expect regarding snow conditions. The temps were hitting the upper 50's all week and I was worried about overly soft snow. So, I chose a safe gamble thinking I could handle whatever Elk Lake threw at me. I recruited Nancy Labaff as a heavy-weight trail-breaker and at 6:00 I pulled in to Clear Pond. She was already there and in short order we were set to go. I had a friend's track log for Boreas, which I've done twice but never by the trail. I noticed that instead of going a

Neil

Neil

Gray, Skylight, and Marcy

Gray, Skylight, and Marcy

The forecast was calling for rain and temps in the low 40's. Santa was not broken out and Henderson gave us a small sampling of what to expect whacking to L. Santa. I had a reduced team (MJO and Mayasoleil were my fresh horses from Quebec) holed up in a motel in Schroon Lake and Alistair was too beat up to join us. I made the call (ie. a phone call) and informed my, now two only, partners that the Santas were out, MSG was in. This would normally be an “easy out”, which was good because, thanks t

Neil

Neil

Henderson, Panther and Couchsachraga Mtns

Henderson, Panther and Couchsachraga Mtns

Alistair, Jean and I began without Mastergrasshopper who was slow in getting away from randomscoots. We tramped and tramped our way to the Bradley Pond lean-to and soaking wet already dropped packs and began the steep .37 mile whack in very deep snow. Thanks to a tracklog I had from a trip from Henderson Lake over Henderson to the lean-to we had mostly open woods. But, the trees were totally covered in loose snow that showered us copiously and repeatedly. There was no sense brushing ourselves of

Neil

Neil

The Macintyre Range

The Macintyre Range

I had a strong team lined up (Mastergrasshopper, Alistair and Great Expectations (Matt) and we easily made our way up to the Wright junction with Matt and Alistair breaking through about 3 inches of new snow over a firm base. Wright was cold, windy and icy but do-able in snowshoes if you exercised care. Algonquin was amazing in a near whiteout but before we reached tree-line I got a cool photo of two friends descending Wright. While we dropped towards the Iroquois col the light and visibili

Neil

Neil

The 5 Sawtooths in 2 days

The 5 Sawtooths in 2 days

It all started Thursday morning at 3:30 am when my alarm went off at home in Laval. By 7:30 Joe and I began the long approach to Saw-4. It was 0 degrees and would never get any warmer all day. The approach I used from Averyville is long and very pleasant with no issues, no thick areas. The first 90 minutes are on the Pine Pond Rd. and an old woods road, which ends at a lumber camp. Joe and I hiked at my 100 peak pace, knowing I would be hiking on the morrow as well. Our goal was to do 4 an

Neil

Neil

Big Slide

Big Slide

The next morning found me all alone at about 6:45 crunching loudly on the ice of Big Slide. On the exposed parts of the Brothers the rock was mostly bare as I expected and past the Brothers the ice had given way to packed snow over a base of ice and this was great. I took tons of pictures of under cast and partially shrouded summits. I hung out on the summit for a while sipping hot tea and nibbling on biscuits and chocolate taking more pictures. The descent was very fast (90 minutes) and back at

Neil

Neil

Green, Giant, and Rocky Peak Ridge

Green, Giant, and Rocky Peak Ridge

At 6:30 we bare-booted up the North Trail over the little col at Owl's Head Lookout and paused for some awesome (hopefully!) pictures before trudging for miles uphill to our pre-determined jump-off point for Green. We had already ascended about 1500 feet total and Green stood about 1200 feet above us. Glen Bladholm (mastergrasshopper on the forum) and I had hiked Green end to end from Owl's Head and had nailed a beautiful descent (thanks TCD for the beta!) free of cliffs and thick vegetation. I

Neil

Neil

 

Cascade and Porter Mtns

I drove to Tom and Doreen's in Keene and quickly changed into dry clothing and jumped back into the car. At 5:30, with a 5-pound pack on my back I switched on my headlamp and spiked my way up and down Cascade and Porter over many gently-sloped ice flows. The summit of Cascade was very windy and cold. The views of the valley lights all a-twinkle was nice but I did not linger long to enjoy it.

Neil

Neil

Lost Pond Peak

Lost Pond Peak

I had just spent 3 minutes hacking 2 feet of crusty snow off of a log away with my ax so Joe could boost me over it. There was no other way to go. The woods were very thick with tight, snow-encased spruce trees closing ranks and blowdown barred the alternative routes. This was supposed to be a smooth-sailing opening day of the weekend but Lost Pond Peak was totally kicking our butts. I knew I was draining the energy tank too early in the game but all I could do was focus on the present task and

Neil

Neil

MacNaughton & Wallface Mountains

MacNaughton & Wallface Mountains

Day 3 Wallface-McNaughton 01/21/2018 – MacNaughton & Wallface Mountains – Start: 7:09 AM Finish: 6:49 PM Crossing Henderson Lake early in the morning was a special treat and I studied my previous (4!) routes up Henderson Mountain as we tramped along. I was feeling pretty tense after yesterday’s hike and inwardly fretted over how things would pan out once we got to the sharp end. I had “fresh horses” with me and both Luc La Barre and “autochromatica” are Clydesdales when it comes to

Neil

Neil

Cheney-North River.

Cheney-North River.

Day 2: Cheney-North River. 01/20/2018 – Cheney Cobble – Start: 6:30 AM Finish: 5:49 PM Jean, MJO and I were underway just before 7 and snowshoed on level ground for 3 hours prior to commencing the bushwhack up the north side of Cheney. As anticipated, the snow was firm (pretty much perfect) and up to about 900 meters elevation the woods were open. Then it got both very steep and very thick. As we homed in on the summit it grew extremely steep and we got cliffed out, back-tracked a bit

Neil

Neil

Calamity, Adams Mtn's

Calamity, Adams Mtn's

Figuring this project out as I go along is like trying to fit 100 mosaic pieces into a whole. The best fit is constantly shifting and as you go, there are less and less pieces left over. You are continuously faced with a brand new mosaic to create. Day 1: Calamity and Adams. 01/19/2018 – Calamity Mountain – Start: 7:46 AM Finish: 1:34 PM I chose Calamity to kick things off because I was interested in Cheney Cobble and North River, which are close by and which would have similar sn

Neil

Neil

Dix Range

Dix Range

At 4:40 am Glen announced he was not hiking that day due to stomach cramps that had kept him awake for a lot of the night. At Clear Pond, Joe, Bill, and I briskly walked the 2 miles to the summer trailhead in sub-zero temps. After signing in we maintained a brisk pace to Slide Brook where we put our snowshoes on and steadfastly tromped our way 1000 feet up to the Macomb Slide. I had the feeling that this hike was nothing more than a continuation of yesterday's with a brief bit of shut-eye in bet

Neil

Neil

Dial, Nippletop, Colvin, and Blake Mtns

Dial, Nippletop, Colvin, and Blake Mtns

The next morning I was out the door at 5:30 on my way to the AMR to meet Glen. Took me 15 minutes to clean off my car and the drive in the driving snow was done at 30 mph so I got there 5 mins past our meet-up time. Originally, there were supposed to be 18 people taking aim at Dial-Nippletop-Colvin-Blake but as we trudged our way up Noonmark's shoulder in roaring wind and horizontal snow I said to Glen, “looks like instead of a team of 18 we're down to just the two of us”. As the sunrise came up

Neil

Neil

Lyon and Avery Peak

Lyon and Avery Peak

Right off the bat, on the drive to Lyon Mountain from Montreal the freeway entrances were closed past 5am and I got stuck in heavy traffic. Then in the pouring rain, as I was heading out for a winter hike, my driver's side wiper blade flew off into the dark night. I leaned way over to the right and tried to decide whether the problem was with the blade or the arm. Drove a stressful hour to the border in rain with no wiper then decided to risk losing the other one and made the transfer. No furthe

Neil

Neil

 

Hurricane Mtn

After a quick drying out and feeding session at the Randomscoots loft, I headed back out for Hurricane, after being warned off Noonmark by Tom. It was 52 degrees Fahrenheit and everywhere you turned your ear there was a roar of violent water going downhill to the sea. Hurricane had one crossing that was 6'' deep and the Tingley overshoes, over top of a 2nd pair of trail runners (I had come equipped for spring conditions), did the job. The lower trail was entirely snow-free and there wasn't much

Neil

Neil

Redfield, Cliff, and Colden Mtns

Redfield, Cliff, and Colden Mtns

Sunday morning, pre-dawn. Our trail crampons squeaked loudly as they bit into the hard pack on the Van Hoeveneberg trail. I wore a base layer shirt and shell and walked fast to get warm as we headed into the High Peaks cathedral. My arms were cold for 15 minutes and then I was comfortable everywhere. A quick check with Joe and Alistair confirmed that so were they and we kept walking on the hardened trail all the way to Lake Arnold. There we paused in order to put on our snowshoes and begin break

Neil

Neil

Avalanche Mtn

Avalanche Mtn

I really wanted to check out the off-trail conditions and had locked eyes on Avalanche Peak, which I did twice from the Kagel lean-to and Algonquin-Wright drainage during the summer of 2016. It had been a breeze and the round-trip from the drainage took me about 2 hours with no pack. Open woods the whole way and if you hit it right, very little steep terrain. It seemed to be a good choice of bushwhacks right after a long day doing the 4 Seward's with 6500 feet of elevation gain and loss. Of

Neil

Neil

Seward Range

Seward Range

Joe picked me up at 6am at “randomscoots P-100 Central” and at 7:15 we were on our way up the trail after a quick hello to Nancy. It was going to be a long, cold day and Joe gracefully allowed me to be the pacesetter. I set a 100 peak pace and we tromped along in our snowshoes and warmed up. The ascent of Calkins went by quicker than I expected and we were on Donaldson a mere 3 hours out. The trail was in perfect condition, which aided and abetted us on our mission. The out and back to Emmo

Neil

Neil

Whiteface, Esther, and Morgan Mtns

Whiteface, Esther, and Morgan Mtns

The weather forecast was of intense interest the night before and the morning of this hike. We had settled on Whiteface-Esther and Morgan as a good foul weather hike. Indeed for Project 46 Glen, Geoff and I did Giant-RPR in the morning of a foul weather day followed by WF-E and it was an excellent combo. At 8am (leisurely start time!) we began working our way up the 800 foot ascent of the old Marble Mountain ski lift “trail” In warm but damp weather. No rain yet and we were down to base lay

Neil

Neil

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