In the end of June I found out about something called a Direttissima. It was described as one continuous hiking trip, carrying all your food and supplies, summiting all 48 4000 footers in New Hampshire. It sounded like a great challenge. At the time I was not in shape at all to attempt it but in August I went on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada in California. I started off on the Sierra High Route which turned out to be too much for my overweight body in the time I had allotted myself. Day one was absolutely beautiful but extremely challenging. Cross country travel over 11000 ft passes, scrambling down ledges, being continuously out of breath and a lack of appetite made me decide to abandon the route and drop down to the Kings Canyon trail to join the John Muir Trail the next day. Since I’d already hiked that trail several times I decided to push the miles and get back in shape so I could pick up the Sierra High Route at a later stage (they parallel and cross a few times).
This strategy worked and after the trip I was in decent shape. I flew home, set up at Boston Ahts (a craft fair in Boston) two days later and started planning the Direttissima. I had already outlined an ideal route with as much true backpacking as possible and a few summit tags. My ideal route had me follow the Cascade Brook trail and the Liberty Springs trail up to mt. Liberty. It also had me go down the North Twin trail and follow the abandoned Fire Warden trail up to Mt. Hale with the lend-a-had trail to Zealand and over to the Bonds. I’ll explain in my blog why I changed my plans.
I figured I’d try it in ten days since I really didn’t want to carry more food and I wanted to challenge myself to see how far I could push and test my will power and body. And somehow I thought I could hike twentyfive mile days in the Whites.
Below is a picture of the actual route I took.
Three days later I was in the truck getting dropped off at Long Pond rd. At the trailhead I crammed everything in my pack and hiked .2 miles south to the Jeffers Brook Shelter.