Fall Check-In, Volume 1

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Yikes, it’s been a long time since I last posted here! In fact, it has been so long that I feel the need to break my latest check-in into two parts. If you hate missing anything I’ve written (or you just enjoy the story behind the story), sorry to have kept you waiting so long—especially you, Nana!

To ease some of the writing burden…okay, okay, to free up more time for fun…I have recently joined forces with my long-time climbing, skiing, and hiking partner to write articles for goEast. For our first article, we tackled the topic of staying fueled up on long hikes—far better than the article is the photos I dug out to support it. Even if you don’t read the article, give it a click to see my wife give me the side eye as she eats a Gu.

The night before hiking the Pemi Loop—a 30+ mile trip in the White Mountains with a reputation for being one of the hardest hikes in the country—I ate more meat than any human should consume in one sitting at the local Brazilian steakhouse. While loading up on calories seemed like a good idea the time, all it really did was lead to dehydration as the sun and 90-degree heat beat me down on the ridge between Mount Flume and Mount Lafayette. Lucky for me, it was 40 degrees and raining the next day so I could also experience mild hypothermia on the trip. At least my suffering led to this article.

Over the years, I have filled rooms and maxed out credit cards with everything from boots to baseball hats in pursuit of the perfect hiking kit. Lucky for you, I took everything I’ve learned (including that pro deals are less of a deal if you’re paying 25% interest on them indefinitely) and put it in this article about the gear you need for hiking New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers.

The number of words and emails Doug and I traded back and forth for a piece about the best summit views in the Whites was astonishing. In fact, it’s too bad we couldn’t have just shared our discussion instead of writing an article—as we argued the pros and cons of various White Mountain summits and bantered over the minutia of mountains.

This piece on sport climbing essentials has been carefully crafted after years of judging and moving away from numerous newbie train wrecks encountered at various Northeast sport crags. While this article can’t teach you how to clean an anchor, belay properly, or avoid back clipping, it can at least help you look like a competent climber when you show up at the crag. (If you find yourself wondering why most of the photos in this article came from EMS, it’s because most of my Rumney photos are of drinking beer in the river.)

If you’ve made it this far…thanks! I hope to have Fall Check-In, Volume 2 out next week. However, in the past I have used this final paragraph for all sorts of false promises. So stay tuned.