Two years after The Hike From Hell Sue Johnston, Al Sochard, Bill Parlette, Doug Mayer and others decided to do the remaining New England 4,000 footers in five days, a project they dubbed "The Hike From Heck". At the time there were only twelve 4,000 footers recognized in Maine, as maps at the time showed both Redington and Spaulding as being below 4,000 feet.

On the first day they did all five of the Vermont Fours, taking about 26 hours including driving time. They split into two groups to do Mounts Abraham and Ellen, starting from opposite ends and swapping keys when they met.

Since Sue and two others have recently done the Vermont Fours in winter in under 15 hours I asked her about the time, and she replied: "Although I didn't write down specific times, the VT 4's in 26 hours "door to door" sounds about right. We weren't really hurrying, even stopping for lunch in Waitsfield and dinner in Stowe. (On our recent winter VT 4's trip, Bob, Jeffrey and I were going more for time... although it could be done faster with a crew!)"

After finishing the VT 4's on Mt. Mansfield, some of the group spent the night at Sue's home in Waterford, VT; others went to Doug's in Randolph, NH. They met next morning at Welsh's Restaurant in Gorham before tackling Old Speck (a short drive), then drove to the Rangeley area and did Saddleback and its Horn by the ski slopes.

On day three they stayed in the area and did the two Crockers, the Bigelows and Sugarloaf (again, by the ski slopes). That night (I quote Sue): "We camped out near the Sugarloaf Ski Area. Since we set up camp in the dark, we were surprised the next morning to find that we were in the middle of condo land! We high-tailed it out of there pretty quickly if I remember correctly."

On day four they finished the Rangeley-Stratton peaks with Mount Abraham, then drove (a long way!) to Baxter State Park. They had no reservations (on the week of the Fourth of July) but were allowed to stay at the Nesowadnehunk Field campground, and did North Brother in the dark.

Finally, on day five, they did Kathadin's two peaks by the Hunt Trail. Sue's comment on that day: "It was a sweltering hot day with no wind, and I think we all ran out of water. When we got to Katahdin Stream on the way down, some of us filled our water bottles and drank directly from the stream, we were so thirsty!"

A lot of hiking and, of course, a lot of driving! I will soon add a table of daily distances and elevation gains.

<< Main Records Page