Friday, December 13, 2013

2013-2014 Winter Hiking Goals

In about one week at 12:11pm on December 21, 2013, another winter hiking season will be officially underway.  To say that I'm super excited would be an understatement.  The arrival of the winter solstice means that winter peak-baggers, including myself, will be out and about somewhere in pursuit of new winter hiking goals.

After my single winter season of the 48 White Mountain 4000-footers last year, this winter's goal is to hike the VT and Maine 4000 footers to complete the New England 4000-footers in winter.  This will require multiple 4 hour car drives, two separate four-day trips to Baxter State Park, and overall some in-depth logistical planning.
Pulling a pulk into Baxter State Park (March 2013)
Over the last year, I learned that hiking in Maine during 3-season was a challenge compared to the trails in the White Mountains. Vermont in the fall of 2011 was relatively tame, but what is winter hiking and camping in Vermont and Maine going to throw at me for this winter?  I'm looking forward to the challenge and once again sharing my experiences with you in a similar way to last year with trip reports, videos, and more!
GoPro-ing the adventure every step of the way! (as long its not frozen) - Bonds
With that said, I plan to start my winter season off with a blitz of Vermont and Maine winter peak-bagging, with the possibility of completing the New England 4000 Footers for winter on the summit of Mt. Katahdin on January 18th or 19th.  You may recall my group failed to make it past Roaring Brook last year on my winter trip to Katahdin, so I'm looking forward to overcoming that missed opportunity with a chance to finish the list on such a magnificent and challenging peak.

Should things work out well in my pursuit of my primary goal, I have the complete logistical plan laid out (as well as the determination, ready in mind) to follow that up with another attempt at the White Mountain 4000-footers.  This part of the plan is somewhat tentative, and will be dependent on my progress and success with my goal above.
There will be again many dark snowy mornings....
All in all, I have a total of 36 winter hiking days available to me this winter, and that consists of just Saturdays and Sundays, except for MLK Day, President's Day, and a week-long vacation at the start of 2014.  I have planned 24 total outings to attempt the 67 4000 footers in around 363 miles, and 100,000 feet of elevation gain.  Heck, I may as well add here that if I am fortunate in many ways, Mt. Isolation on President's Day will be the day.  Don't miss my upcoming Inside The Moments series on winter hiking which I will run through the winter hiking season, as one of the articles will be about how I planned for my single-season winter attempt (and maybe this year).
Mt. Isolation Summit, February last year
Along the way, you can bet I have some amazing hikes planned for the occassion.  Here are a few of the challenges and potentially exciting accomplishments to come from DMOutdoors this winter!
  • Vermont 4000-Footers in Winter
  • North Brother Baxter State Park Trip
  • Six-Peak Carrabasset Valley Overnight
  • Katahdin & Hamlin Baxter State Park Trip
  • Five two-hike days planned
  • A Super-Extended Overnight Pemi Loop
  • Full-Moonlight Winter Presidential Traverse
Please follow along and like my Facebook Page to join me as I take in the New England 4000-Footers in winter, and share with you all that it throws my way.  You can track me live on most adventures through my Spot GPS Messenger - just check my homepage for a link on the top left.  I hope to see some of you out on the trails, and will be looking for company when I return to the White Mountains in late January.

To all others who have their sights set on a goal or goals for this winter, I wish you the best of luck and safe travels on your adventures!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All !

- Dan


  1. Wow, I don't have the nerve to go above 4000' in Winter! Good luck to you and I'll be following your posts! I have to ask, doesn't your mother worry about you?

    1. Hi Ed, Thank you! It can be wild up there, and I greatly appreciate your following. Of course she does! Terribly! I communicate as often as possible, and leave very specific plans. The Spot tracking helps too.

  2. Best of luck Dan, hope to see you out there again this winter! I'm hoping to hit the VT and maybe a few ME peaks myself this winter, I'll be watching to see how you make out ;)