Preparing for the Pemi

Walking towards "a rather miserable night camped on Zealand Mountain".

Walking towards “a rather miserable night camped on Zealand Mountain”.

I have started serious planning (the stage of a trip after “thinking about it”) for a four-day backpack in the White Mountains. It is shaping up to be a hike through and around the Pemigewasset Wilderness. I touched the edge of the “Pemi” at the same time last year. My main memory is of a rather miserable night camped on Zealand Mountain, and then a glorious dawn that made it worthwhile.

I aim to hike from September 30th. There will be less than 12 hours between sunrise and sunset, so I am looking carefully at distance and terrain when planning each day. Ten to 12 miles at lower levels, less on the ridges, should be comfortable. I intend to camp twice, and spend the middle night in an AMC “hut” – that is, one with dinner, bunk and breakfast. The second campsite is at 4,000 feet. I think my sleeping bag will do for a chilly mountain night with the additional insulation of tent, sleeping pad and layers of clothing (long johns and wooly hat de rigueur).

Next tasks on the planning list are: (1) carefully read the relevant AMC White Mountain Guide sections, (2) a shopping trip for boots (my Garmonts are on their way to Dave Page, Cobbler for resoling), and (3) update my pack list. If the scenery is anything like on last year’s shorter trip (see photos), all this effort will be worthwhile.

"... a glorious dawn that made it worthwhile".

“… a glorious dawn that made it worthwhile”.

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