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Return Trip to South Carter 4430’, Middle Carter 4610’ and Carter Dome 4832’ 9/16/02

14.4 Miles 4750’ Elevation gain

Kevin, Jude and Emma

We were now real close to getting Jude and Emma’s last few mountains. Jude needed the Carters, Zealand and the Bonds, seven in all, and Emma needed the Tripyramids, Zealand and the Bonds for a total of six left. It was getting late in the season so we were pushing to get through them this fall as Jude did not want to wait until spring to finish them. This proved to be a tough hike for Jude as she had somehow injured her ankle in the previous week and was in a lot of pain through the entire hike. She had a very sore tendon on the bulge of her ankle and it was rubbing against the inside of her boot which was agony, but the idea of not finishing her 48 this fall drove her and she managed somehow to make it through this hike. The weather was not on our side this time as we hiked all day in the fog, seldom having a view of more than a few hundred feet. Of course this weather amplifies all the little aches and pains you may have, so this added to Judes discomfort. In a rare reversal of things it was Emma who was repeating these mountains to move Jude along on her list. Jude had opted out on our first trip which is too bad because she probably would have enjoyed it more with Dan and the Ripleys. We also had much better weather the first time, although it was hot and buggy. This time from Zeta Pass we climbed directly to Carter Dome first. There was very little to look at from here this time so we had a quick drink and snack, a short rest and then headed north, breaking off to the east and following the trail over Mount Hight. Mount Hight is supposed to be one of the best views in the White Mountains, but on this day there was nothing to see but fog. On the way down I was very glad that we decided to descend from Mount Hight on the return from Carter Dome as it was very steep and rough and would have been quite difficult to climb up. If we had made that mistake I am not sure we would have continued to the other two Carters, as the climb up to Mount Hight might have finished us. Finally back down to the Carter- Moriah Trail we continued north, first crossing South Carter Mountain then on to Middle Carter Mountain. From here we had to reverse direction and retrace our footsteps back across South Carter Mountain and down to Zeta Pass where we could get back on the Carter Dome trail and begin our descent back down to the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail. This is a very long day even under ideal conditions, but today it seemed especially long today in the damp, cold air with no views to reward our hard work. I can’t imagine doing it with a sore tendon in my ankle causing agonizing pain at every footfall. Jude perservered and left herself with only four left on her list, an amazing feat under the circumstances. Fog got into my camera and most of the shots I took were through condensation on my lense, so not many good shots. We slept like rocks that night at Moose Brook State Park and awoke to beautiful sunshine and warmer temperatures the next morning. That’s just the way it goes sometimes. It didn’t much matter to us as we were glad to have these mountains behind us. We were looking at two more hikes to get Jude and Emma through their lists and that sounded pretty good.
K(76) J(44) E(42)

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