Ascent of Zealand Mountain on 2009-09-14
|Others in Party:||Carl|
|Date:||Monday, September 14, 2009|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New Hampshire|
| Elevation:||4240 ft / 1292 m|
Ascent Trip ReportAfter hearing the accolades for the Bonds I had to get out there and see them for myself. It looked like it would be a rain-free clear day so we decided to do it. Carl and I decided a Pemi Traverse was in order. A twenty mile hike? No problem! We would be going from Lincoln Woods to Zealand Road. After setting up camp and cooking dinner at the Lafayette Campground we did the car spot at Zealand. We probably should have picked a campground closer to Lincoln Woods but we were already familiar with Lafayette and opted for that. We hit the Lincoln Woods Trail the following morning at 5:20am with headlamps. This seemed like it would be the most boring part of the hike so doing this part in the dark was our solution. We crossed the bridge into the Pemi Wilderness and got on the Wilderness Trail. I like how remnants of the railroad ties are still visible on the path. Hard to believe it used to have trains going through. We saw many toads hopping across the trail but no other wildlife. By 7am we were on the Bondcliff Trail. No real elevation gain yet and it seemed we still weren’t going up. But we hit the steep part and wished we hadn’t asked for it. We hit an alpine zone sign and realized we had finally gotten somewhere. There was a small rock scramble and BAM! Amazing views of the Pemi! We had to wait nine plus miles before seeing anything but it was worth the wait. We went up the last part and got our first look at Bondcliff. Exactly like all the pictures I had seen. Bondcliff is my new favorite peak. It was a fantastic clear day so we had 360 degree views of everything it seemed. We took the requisite Bondcliff shots and took a long break and just looked around. We could see the structures on top of Mt. Washington and the tower on top of Carrigain. We were then joined by a couple guys that had stayed at the Goyot campsite. They seemed shocked to not have the peak to themselves. One of them had an inspirational story about Mt. Isolation that didn’t turn out to be inspirational at all. We would only see a total of four people before leaving the Boncliff Trail. We continued onto Bond and had lunch on West Bond. Towards the end of the Bondcliff Trail it got cooler, windier and weirder. The weird part was when it started raining even though the sun was out and we couldn’t see any clouds nearby that could have been responsible. We continued onto Zealand and my legs were hitting the “dead zone.” Up or down didn’t matter, my legs were tired. We got to the wooded summit of Zealand to pick up our fourth 4000 footer of the day. We would stop by the Zeacliff outlook for another look at the Pemi. A stop at Zealand Falls was made so we could stick our feet in the frigid water. Oh did that feel good! A few more easy miles on the Zealand Trail and we made it back to the car at 4:40. 11 hours and 20 minutes. I’m proud of us for completing the feat. I was absolutely blown away by the views of the Pemi. I understand now why everyone raves about the Bonds. This was my favorite hike ever. Now I am 1/3 of the way to the 48: Bondcliff(13), Bond(14), West Bond(15), Zealand(16).
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