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Bondcliff Bike & Hike (10/05/12)

wtcobb

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Nice write-up! I've yet to tackle the Bonds myself, but it's trip reports like this that make me look forward to it.
 

David Metsky

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You may already know, or you may not care, but you can't use bikes and still count these peaks for your official AMC 4000'ers. No bikes are allowed except in places where it is legal to drive on the day of the hike. If you plan to submit an application for the 4000'er patch you'll have to redo these.

I did a Zealand -> Lincoln Woods traverse earlier this summer and it's a 9 hour day if you're willing to do some easy trail running. If you're a fast trail runner you can easily cut an hour or more off that time.
 
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That's a good point David. I actually knew that beforehand, but I'm sure there are folks thinking of doing that hike who haven't heard. Would using skis cause a similar disqualification?

After reading some TR's on the Pemi-loop I imagine there are some folks (like the old jogger dude we ran into) who could put a pretty big dent in that nine hour time.
 
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Enjoyed your writeup! And congrats on summitting Bondcliff, even if you didn't bag it per AMC's rules. Another great route for doing the Bonds (IME at least) if you have 2 cars, is heading south from S.Twin (enter via N.Twin or Gale River trail), then out to Lincoln Woods.
 

David Metsky

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Skis are fine with the 4000'er Committee. I've done Bondcliff on skis and if conditions are right you can make short work of the Wilderness Trail then switch to hiking from there.

I did the Pemi Loop in 12:44, and I'm slow. The current record for the full loop is 6:30 or so, so those guys could (and have) done the Bonds Traverse in about 4 hours.
 
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Skis are fine with the 4000'er Committee.

I'd like to hear the reasoning on why skis would be allowed and bikes would not. Both depend on muscle power, but vastly improve efficiency of movement over the right types of terrain. (Not that I want them to start excluding ski assisted summits)

My long-term goal is to become the first to earn the patch while wearing roller-blades.
 

David Metsky

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From the http://www.amc4000footer.org/faq.htm

Q. What are the rules for climbing the peaks?

A
. The basic rule is very simple: You must climb (on foot!) to and from the summit of each peak on the list. In winter skis and snowshoes are both allowed (the Committee takes no official position on the use of sleds or 'swiss bobs').
For peaks with trails starting at maintained roads the rule is simple: Drive to the trailhead then walk (note that you are not allowed to use the auto roads on Mts Washington, Mansfield and Equinox). For peaks in areas with rough logging roads you may drive as far as you dare with a normal car (that includes four wheel drive), but ATVs are not allowed. See below for the rules on using mountain bicycles.
Snowshoes and skis are considered a standard mode of winter transport, and don't provide a mechanical advantage that bikes do from the gearing. But the main reasons are tradition - the committee has said on many occasions that it's a hiking (and by extension ski and snowshoe) club because that's what it has been for a long time. Biking is a different past time and not really part of their charter so they excluded it. This issue was raised, discussed, and (for now) settled a while ago. I think it's unlikely they'll revisit the decision at this point.

The main place it would help would be on the Wilderness Trail and the Livermore Road, and at times when roads are gated. Not many other trails to 4000'ers would benefit from biking although I'm sure there are few more. For the 100 Highest there would be a bunch more logging roads that would be helpful to bike.
 

wtcobb

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The main place it would help would be on the Wilderness Trail and the Livermore Road, and at times when roads are gated. Not many other trails to 4000'ers would benefit from biking although I'm sure there are few more. For the 100 Highest there would be a bunch more logging roads that would be helpful to bike.

Carrigain, since Sawyer River Rd. is closed and considered part of the hike. Adds two miles each way, albeit a flat road. To be honest I'm not sure why it's closed - it looked pretty stable when I was out there mid-August.
 

David Metsky

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Carrigain, since Sawyer River Rd. is closed and considered part of the hike.
It's open again, as of Columbus Day weekend. It was closed to do culvert repair, although they only worked on one or two at a time so at points during the late summer the road looked just fine. Then they'd rip up another one. But as the rules state, you couldn't bike the road when it wasn't legal to drive it and still count it for your list.
 

wtcobb

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It's open again, as of Columbus Day weekend. It was closed to do culvert repair, although they only worked on one or two at a time so at points during the late summer the road looked just fine. Then they'd rip up another one. But as the rules state, you couldn't bike the road when it wasn't legal to drive it and still count it for your list.

Makes sense - I had heard it was closed due to damage from Irene but it looked great to me, they did a good job with the cleanup and repair!

Just to be safe, I walked the whole dang thing.
 

KevinF

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My buddy and I incorporated bikes into a day hike of Bondcliff: http://nebackcountry.blogspot.com/2012/10/biking-bondcliff.html

It got us wondering what other distant peaks might be made more accessible by mountain bike.

It would be easy to ride a bike to the start of the Tripyramid loop. I forget the "trail" name, but doing the Tripyramids is basically 3 or 4 miles out on some road, do the loop (which is the fun part), and then hike out on the road again.

You could easily do 10 miles of the Owls Head trip by bike as well.
 

David Metsky

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The trail into Tripyramid is the Livermore Road, mentioned in post #10. You can only bike 3 miles in from Lincoln Woods towards Owls Head because you are not allowed to ride in the Wilderness Area. It'll only cut 6 miles from your trip.
 
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