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Bondcliff 4265’

18.2 Miles 3200’ Elevation gain

Kevin, Bob and Emma

This was probably my all time favorite backpacking trip, I think it was only my third. Nothing I can say in words can describe the feeling of watching the sunrise over the Pemigewasset Wilderness from the summit of Bondcliff. The trek in was not so much hard as it was long, 9.1 miles and 3100 feet elevation gain. The sun was in and out on the way but it seemed as we approached that we would be in the fog for the remainder of the day and over night. It actually turned out that we were in and out of the fog until dark, when the sky cleared and we had an unimaginable view of the Milky Way. It was cold, but not so cold that we couldn't stand it. I was far enough away from Bob that I couldn't hear his chainsaw snoring all night, as I had on Owl's Head. Emma was up at the first light of dawn, and I was glad she was as I was treated to that wonderful pre-dawn glow in the eastern sky and realized that the valleys were full of fog, giving us an undercast. As the sun rose I decided I'd better wake Bob who I could now hear loud and clear. Sawing wood doesn't even describe it. It's more of a cross between chainsaw and motorcross, with some lawnmower thrown in for good measure. He assured me upon awakening that he stayed up all night to see if he snored and assured me he didn't. I woke him in the usual manner of throwing rocks at his bivvy until one conked him on the head. Crawling out of his bivvy and rubbing his head, he mumbled something about the mosquitos being intolerable out here. Even he could appreciate the scene and actually stayed quiet long enough for it to be an enjoyable experience. Sleeping on a rock has never been one of my favorite things to do, but this made it worth it. The sun now rose between Chandler and Sable Mountains and began to light up the undercast below us. Behind us we watched the Franconia Ridge light up, then the shadows of the Bonds crawl down their sides. I always love the way the shadows look like other mountains that are there, then dissapear as the sun rises. Like ghost mountains that fade at the coming of dawn. Even Emma sat and took in the primordial beauty of it all, perking her ear at the sound of the White Throated Sparrows as they began to call to one another across the wilderness. After a while we knew it was time to pack up and make the long trek back out. We had gone because 25 years ago when Bob had done his four thousand footers Bondcliff was not on the list, so we returned. His list was now complete, but we left with a lot more than his forty eighth mountain.

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