Wilderness Heals

Thank you for visiting the Wilderness Heals blog. Wilderness Heals is an all-women, three-day annual pledge hike that benefits the Elizabeth Stone House (ESH), a Boston-based emergency shelter, transitional housing program, and therapeutic community that provides services to women and children who are escaping violence and overcoming trauma. By encouraging hikers to set challenging physical, emotional, and financial goals, Wilderness Heals mirrors the experiences of hundreds of women who have sought help from the Stone House. Committing to hike is a way to grow personally while simultaneously standing in solidarity with women of the Stone House and women everywhere who are working to overcome the effects of violence in their lives.
Wilderness Heals 2011 will take place July 15-17, 2011. Registration materials may be downloaded here.
Go here to view the 2011 routes, and visit our Who's Who page to meet this year's team leaders and Recruitment Committee members.
Want to learn more? Visit our list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Still have questions? Contact Erika Whyte, Wilderness Heals event coordinator, at 781-726-0551 or ewhyte@elizabethstone.org.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Go Take a Hike, or 2009 Routes

Wilderness Heals offers a range of hiking routes that are uniquely tailored to a variety of skills and interests. Routes are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the easiest and 5 being the most challenging. Routes for Wilderness Heals 2009 are listed below:

Itinerary 1: Pemi Ridge Exploration, Two Nights in Galehead Hut

Summary: Hikers on this route spend two nights at the remote and beautiful Galehead Hut, located at the edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Depending on the team's trail choices, this route can be anywhere from relaxing to strenuous. Spending two nights at Galehead allows hikers to explore portions of the Pemigewasset Wilderness at their own pace, as well as providing possibilities to summit one or more 4,000-foot peaks. Hikers can also carry slightly less gear and food in their packs on Saturday's adventure.

Rating: 2-5

Day 1: Hikers can choose one of three routes to reach Galehead Hut. The most strenuous option is to hike from the North Twin trailhead up and over North and South Twin mountains to the hut. Another challenging route brings hikers up and over Mount Garfield. A less challenging option is a shorter hike up the Gale River Trail to meet the Garfield Ridge Trail, which meets up with the hut.

Day 2: Summiting opportunities abound on the second day of this hike, or, teams may opt to take it easy. Hikers may choose a relaxed jaunt to Thirteen Falls or hike along the Twinway to Zealand Falls. Or, if hikers want to bag a peak or two, they can choose among several 4,000-foot mountains, including Mount Bond, West Bond, Bondcliff, North and South Twin, Mount Garfield, and Mount Lafayette. Hikers may leave non-required gear and hike with lighter packs.

Day 3: Hikers have the same trail options as on Day 1, but in reverse. Hike straight out the Gale River Trail, over Mount Garfield and out, or, with an early start, over South and North Twin. Drivers will meet the teams at the trailhead to transport them to the Highland Center in Crawford Notch.

Itinerary 2: Lark at Lonesome Lake, Two Nights in Lonesome Lake Hut


Summary: This route takes hikers up the west slopes of Franconia Notch. This leg can be very gentle or more strenuous, with the option to summit up to three 4,000-foot peaks: Cannon Mountain, North Kinsman, and South Kinsman. Hikers will spend two nights at Lonesome Lake Hut.

Rating: 1-4


Day 1: Hikers will depart from one of three locations in Franconia Notch. The most challenging is up the Kinsman Ridge Trail over Cannon Mountain. The most direct is via the Lonesome Lake Trail, and a slightly longer but gentler route is up the Cascade Brook Trail.

Day 2:
Hikers have many options for the second day. They can stay near the hut and explore the lovely Lonesome Lake, or take a jaunt to the beautiful Kinsman Pond, where they can choose to summit North and/or South Kinsman Mountains. The steep-walled Kinsman Flume is also reachable on Day 2. Or, hikers could choose to take in the panoramic views from the summit of Cannon Mountain. Hikers may leave non-required gear and hike with lighter packs.

Day 3: Hikers have the same trail options as on Day 1, but in reverse. A shuttle will transport hikers to the reception at the Highland Center.

Itinerary 3: Alpine Traverse, Madison Hut to Lakes of the Clouds Hut


Summary: This is the most ambitious hike option for 2009. Hikers will explore the Presidential range, spending the majority of their time in the alpine zone. Traveling from Madison Spring Hut to Lakes of the Clouds Hut allows hikers to take in the stunning views along the ridge and includes possibilities to summit seven of the White Mountain’s 4,000-foot peaks, including Mount Washington. This route also allows hikers to meet up with other Wilderness Heals teams coming from the Presidential Venture.

Rating: 3-5

Day 1: Many trails lead to Madison Spring Hut, either from the Appalachia trailhead or various locations along Route 16 (near Pinkham Notch). All involve quite a climb, as Madison Hut is located at 4,800 feet, near the summits of Mounts Madison and Adams. Teams have the option of summiting Madison or Adams after reaching the hut.

Day 2: Follow the Crawford Path to Lakes of the Clouds Hut, with options to summit or skirt several Presidential peaks, including Mounts Adams, Jefferson, Clay, and Washington. Teams may also decide to scale Mount Monroe after reaching the hut. Hikers will meet up with hikers from the Presidential Venture on Day 2.

Day 3: On the final day, hikers can choose to hike out to the reception at the Highland Center via the Crawford Path, with the option to summit Mounts Monroe, Eisenhower, and Pierce. Alternative options are to hike down the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail or the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, and a shuttle will transport hikers to the Highland Center Reception.

Itinerary 4: Presidential Venture, Mizpah Hut to Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Summary: This is a moderate hike option for hikers to explore the Southern Presidential range. This route invites hikers to summit six 4,000-foot mountains, including Mount Washington--New England's highest peak--over the three-day span. Hikers will take in stunning views along the ridge as they travel from hut to hut. This route also allows hikers to meet up with other Wilderness Heals teams coming from the Alpine Traverse.

Rating: 3-5


Day 1: Hikers will be dropped off at Crawford Path to ascend to Mizpah Spring Hut. Those looking for a more challenging route can trek in over Mount Pierce. Afternoon hikes include Mount Pierce or a loop over Mount Webster and Mount Jackson.

Day 2:
Hikers will follow the Crawford Path to Lakes of the Clouds Hut with the option to summit Mounts Pierce, Eisenhower, Franklin, and Monroe. After unloading extra weight at the hut, hikers can scale Mount Washington to take in the panoramic views of the Presidentials. Hikers will meet up with hikers from the Alpine Traverse on Day 2.

Day 3: On the final day, hikers can choose to hike down the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail or the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, and a shuttle will transport them to the reception.

Itinerary 5: Backcountry Camping

Summary: Unlike the other options, hikers on this leg do not stay in huts with running water and prepared meals. Backcountry hikers sleep in tents and prepare their meals on portable stoves. No prior experience in backcountry camping is required. If you love camping or have always wanted to give it a try, this is the option for you. Hikers who choose this option should be prepared to carry tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment, and contribute to route planning each day. Hikers will choose from several backcountry camping possibilities, all of which include great day hike options from the established campsite.

Note: a minimum of three registered hikers (and a Team Leader) are required for the backcountry route to take place.

Rating: 3-5

Day 1-3:
As a team, backcountry hikers will decide their route for all three days. Campsite(s) will be chosen by May, depending on the size of the Backcountry Team. For logistical reasons, campsite options for 2009 are: Nauman Tentsite, Ethan Pond, Guyot, Thirteen Falls, Garfield Ridge, and Resolution Shelter.

Itinerary 6: Front Country, Two Nights at Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch

Summary: New for Wilderness Heals 2009, the Front Country leg offers trails that are more manageable for novice hikers. It is also open to mother-daughter teams for children 12 and older. Hikers who choose to participate in the Front Country option will stay two nights at Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch. Hikers will carry day packs and will not be required to carry as much gear as backcountry hikers. Trail options around Pinkham Notch range from very strenuous to gentle jaunts in the woods. Hikers may choose to hike part or all of the way up Mount Washington, or they can stay at lower elevations and explore the beautiful ponds, streams, and ledges of Pinkham Notch. Hikers will be paired with other hikers who have similar hiking styles and fitness levels. Transportation to the closing ceremony at the Highland Center will be provided on Day 3.

Rating: 1-3

1 comment:

Amy said...

Vicky,

This is beautiful! I'm SO excited. Thank you!

~Amy