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 keep pushing onward and upward. Joe, Nancy and Brian were excellent trail partners, never complaining, always helping and taking turns on point.
I have been up LPP at least 8 times by various routes and most of them have kicked my butt. This route was supposed to be an easy route that I had done 8 years ago but I didn't have a GPS with me to make a record of it. I was now suspecting that the previous route had been further over towards Street Mountain. Nothing to do but keep pushing. To boot, the crusty snow was very difficult and we back-slid and broke through a lot.
Then at one point I began finding seam after seam and Joe said, « I don't know how long it will last Neil but I'll take it ». Things improved steadily and we made the summit uneventfully after a final steep push that got my heart rate into Zone 5 I'm sure. We had killer views from the viewing rock and could plainly see the new « bald spot » that had been clear-cut on Wallface for the rescue. It was cold up at 3900 feet elevation so we didn't bask in the sun but vamoosed out along our trail, which of course was much faster and looked very easy.