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Summer 2010 North Eastern Expedition

Because it is there.
In a spirit I believe to be shared by George Mallory, I have chosen to take up a task. That is, upon imploring for and possibly even receiving your advice, to ascend to each state’s highest peak in New England (replacing Rhode Island with New York state, due to Rhode Island’s relatively unsubstantial highest point of 812 ft). This will be a massive undertaking in relation to my experience – it will be the first time I have attempted something of this scale. Summit heights range from 2,454 ft. to 6,288 ft. Over 46 hours of drive time, over 26,000 total feet of ascension, and many overnight stays in either state park-provided or makeshift camps. The risks are minimal, as traditional high altitude sickness is not a factor even at the highest peak. The distances are fairly close to home, and the summer season is not plagued with hazards. However, this is where others come in.

I am writing this mainly to request a tally of those who would be willing to help in two areas:
1.) Advice and assistance to document these ascents – ranging from film, to website management assistance.
2.) Company. I have no quarrels with those who would wish to participate in these ascents (From one, to all of them). I do, however, have a certain degree of procedure that must be upheld if you are to come along. I ask that any volunteers maintain proper equipment, nutrition, knowledge, and personal competence. For each trip I will be planning out and writing a travel itinerary, and will brief any members on the overall plan (including expectations and hazards).

Each summit will be ascended before the end of the summer season, 2010. I will symbolically and individually be announcing the start of this endeavor when I summit the peak of Mt. Mitchell, in Burnsville, North Carolina on June 13th. Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak in the eastern US. It rests at over 6,000 ft.

So, please, if you are interested in helping just let me know. I am in the rudimentary stages of setting up a blog (hopefully a youtube account also) from which I will upload plans, equipment reviews, miscellaneous travel videos, videos and accounts from other members, and of course – footage of each summit and the hike to. I would also love some company, so if you are willing to hike and have your own gear (I can provide some, but I refuse to be a pack mule) tell me.

(This post was originally written on a Facebook note, so any inconsistencies as to direction in the writing is due to it’s first creation with another audience in mind).
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Friday marks the passing.

I leave Friday, the 11th for the road. Past the winds lay Hagerstown, Mt. Mitchell, Abingdon, and Cullowhee. I believe the road will lead to the magic bus, to Denali, to the Vinson Massif, to the summit of K2, to Patagonia, to Landers, Wyoming, and to Unity, Maine.

Messner, Mallory, McCandless, Thoreau, Emerson, Anker,┬áViesturs, Chin, Lewis, Clark, Hall, London… someday the road will lead me to you as well.

As for the official travel plan, it is only partially done and I like it that way. The goal here is not a rigorous and strict itinerary, why should a traveler blend his excitement and lust for life with the headache grey essence of paperwork, scheduling, times, and the like. Hagerstown, MD, will be my first stop – I have garnered myself a hotel stay and should reach this first destination in the late afternoon. From here, I will wander the city with my pack and find myself photo opportunities.

Next, I will find myself in Burnsville, North Carolina on the night of the 12th of June. Likely, I will sleep on the side of the highway or in a parking lot. The morning of the 13th, the summit of Mt. Mitchell awaits – the tallest east of the Mississippi. On Monday, my first NOLS course will begin. From June 14-19th, I will be tasked to learn, and provide treatment and transportation for injured and ill patients in the wilderness without additional resource support at an EMT-Basic level. For those of you who do not know, to instruct these ideas and practices under the NOLS name is my career goal. I haven’t much of an idea as to how this class is to pan out, and my stomach reels at the pressure of testing myself.

This is all I can write now, take care. More will be posted later.

Also, keep in mind that the summit of Mt. Mitchell stands as the symbolic start of my North Eastern summit expedition – from CT, to MA, and then to VT, ME, NY, and finally, the summit of Mt. Washington – the tallest of the North East. These summits will be fully documented and hopefully well publicized and broadcast, so that many viewers may partake in my travels along my side to the best extent possible.