Sometimes I come up with these ideas for “epic” trips. A lot of times it takes me a couple of times to actually complete them fully. I usually end up doing chunks of them at different times, getting myself familiar with the terrain and the area, measuring distances, and exploring different routes. Sometimes things do fall into place and I’m able to complete them the first time. To me it’s not always about completing the journey the first time, but just about being outdoors in the wilderness.
The East Coast doesn’t have the elevation of our friends out West, but there is something to be said for getting out and exploring. My friend Gary and I set out Tuesday from Dorset with the hopes of skinning Myrick Mountain from the Dorset side, descending down into Manchester to Beartown Gap, then skinning to the top of Equinox, hiking/skiing back to Gary’s house near Skinner Hollow.
It was a perfect sunny day with early hints of spring. The snow was plentiful but crusty and the climbs were, well, up. As we got near the summit, I was looking east down into the valley in town and thinking that although it looks close, we are still really far away. We continued to follow the sled tracks and descend and then realized we missed a turn and were headed into Sandgate. We could’ve swacked, but running short on time we decided on turning around and saving it for another day. On the way back we talked about although we didn’t reach the ultimate goal how nice it was to be in the woods. It was really cool that while we were skinning up the mountain the summit was visible to our left and then again on the way down to our right as it wrapped around to the south.
We didn’t finish our epic journey. However the tour we did do was slightly epic. We ending up doing a lot climbing and were able to get in a few good turns in really tough snow. The mountains will still be there tomorrow and we will finish the original route at some point. If not this winter then this summer in sneakers.
There’s something about being in the wilderness that is unexplainable. In a new location, it can bring a sense of uncertainty only to be followed by a positive experience of ending up at your destination. So pick up a guide book or map and get out and explore!