Panoramic photo of the Pemigewasset Wilderness

This past weekend a couple of friends and I made our first attempt at completing the infamous Pemi Loop. A circuitous hike through the Pemigewasset Wilderness in northern New Hampshire. Between us and the completion of what is considered one of the toughest hikes in the U.S., was 31.5 miles, 8 summits on the New Hampshire 4,000 footer list, and over 9,000 feet of elevation gain over some of the most grueling terrain New Hampshire has to offer.

By the time we reached camp on our second night, we had come to the realization that our goal of completing the Loop was not going to happen this time around. We decided to call it a night at the Garfield Ridge shelter and tent site, located at the approximate half way point on the Loop, and head out through the middle of the Wilderness in the morning. By completing only half the Loop we still managed over 25 miles of hiking.

Not a bad way to spend a weekend if you ask me.

Had we not stopped frequently to enjoy the scenery we probably could have done it, but what would be the point? Enjoying the spectacular views and the company of good friends, our party actually increased from 3 to 5 with the addition of a couple of great guys who happened to be staying at the Liberty Springs tent site the first night as well, is what made the effort more enjoyable.

We’ve all decided we’ll be back next year.


23 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

  1. Gorgeous!! Even if you didn’t complete the hike, 25 miles is certainly nothing to scoff at. I wouldn’t have completed even a fraction of that. Anyway, you’re so right – capturing the scenery and enjoying yourself is far more important than how many miles you hike :).

    1. Thanks Cindy. I think all of us are pretty proud of ourselves. Backpacker magazine calls the Pemi Loop the second toughest day hike in the U.S. Not that I would ever consider attempting to do it in a day. What’s even more nuts, people run it in less than 7 hours!

        1. Indeed it is. Part of me would love to have that kind of fitness level. But that would require becoming a slave to maintaining it. And I have no desire to live in the gym, and as much as I’ve come to love trail running, 3-4 times a week for 5-6 miles at a time is more than enough for me.

  2. Sounds like you just needed more time allotted to the task. It’s no fun making challenges unnecessarily grueling, especially when the challenge itself has some of that aspect already built into it. I vote for taking more time and including some awesome shots that you may not have opportunity to catch again!

  3. Do you have the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act on your radar? Coming up Sept. 3 this year. Lots of invitations to share wilderness stories and photos. You might want to investigate if you haven’t already!

  4. So very glad you stopped to photograph ! Amazing and I hope you all can do it again to completion!

    1. Thank you, I’m pretty impressed with myself for being able to come away with several decent photos of the trip. I normally wouldn’t even consider taking out the camera so late in the day, compared to my normal early rising times. But since photography was a primary goal, along with simply enjoying the wilderness, I had to come back with something.

    1. It was! Plans are already in the works for next years attempt 🙂 I’m also planning on traversing the second half of the loop in the fall starting from the other direction and finishing at the same tent site we stopped at this time.

    1. The White Mountains of New Hampshire are chock full of beautiful and scenic hikes. Many of them day hikes, easily accessible to anyone who’s moderately fit and willing to work for it.

    1. Thanks again! The plans are already in the works for both hiking the second half of the Loop this fall, hopefully during the peak foliage season, and again attempting the entire Loop over 4 days 3 nights next June.

    2. And yes, I’m very pleased with that pano. Even more so considering I didn’t use a tripod. I did the best I could lining up the shots as I took them, and Photoshop did an amazing job stitching it together.

  5. With this landscape, and having a camera, it would take me years to traverse. It’s been a life long plan of mine to do the full Appalachian Trail. The time table is 6 months if hustling. I went about 10 miles last year and I could have taken months to do just that.

    1. Thru-hiking the AT has been recently added to my “bucket list” as well, though it will have to wait a few years until retirement since I’m far from young enough to now do it before “real life” grabs hold, and I’m far, far, far from wealthy enough to be able to take 5-7 months off from work and not have to worry about the loss of income.

      But I will do it some day!

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