Thursday, July 5, 2012


Long time hiking friend Cath Goodwin came into this day needing to hike only two trails - the Pine Island Trail and the Artist's Bluff-Bald Mountain Trail -  to complete her goal of red-lining all 1,400+ miles of trails in the 28th edition of the AMC White Mountain Guide. Cath really went after it this spring - when I accompanied her on two hikes in Evans Notch in April, she had something like 100 miles left to go.

I joined her for a morning hike on the Pine Island Trail, which is officially closed due to major washouts from Tropical Storm Irene. Two relocations have been flagged for cutting later this summer, so we followed both of those along with the sections of original trail that are still intact. Here Cath stands at the edge of the first long washout.

Cath strolls through a beautiful section of trail amidst red pines.

Where the trail used to cross the north end of Pine Island Brook, there's now a huge pile of trees dumped by Irene; Bondcliff in the distance.

From the edge of another washout, a wide view of peak "2675" across the East Branch. There's a south-facing view ledge near the top of this nameless peak, but it is a thick and nasty bushwhack.

At the start of a washed-out section, with Black Mountain in the distance.

Nice spruce woods near the north end of the trail - this stretch has a Pemi Wilderness feel.

Irene created a remarkable beach atop a rocky outwash channel near the north end of the trail. Nice view of Scar Ridge.

Cath pointed out the apparent stroller (!?) tracks seen on the left in this picture.

Mt. Flume rises above a high bank cleaved off by Irene.

Pine Island Trail is checked off the list!

Part II of Cath's red-lining finish took place that evening. I ascended Bald Mountain, meeting up with Steve Martin, while Cath hiked the Loop Trail and climbed Artist's Bluff with Tim Muskat, Pam Bales and Jeff Wilson. Tim had to head back from there, while Cath, Pam and Jeff continued across to Bald.

We had hoped for a good sunset and moonrise, but a high cloud deck foiled that plan.

Pam provided celebratory bubbles sticks for everyone. Amazing what she can fit into her fanny pack.

A group photo kindly taken by another hiker. L to R: Jeff, Steve M., Pam, Steve S. and Cath.

Dusk was drawing on as Cath took the last few steps on the bottom of  Bald Mountain trail segment.

She's done - and becomes the thirteenth known red-lining finisher for the White Mountain Guide. A huge congratulations to Cath!!!


  1. Great report Steve. Pass my congrats along to her. I think it's funny with the miles she's logged she hadn't done the Artist Bluff/Bald Mtn loop yet. Seems the the perfect hike for a red-line finish.

  2. Steve, please pass along my wholehearted congratulations to Cath for her achievement! It's terrific that you accompanied her on her the segments of her quest. As I recall it, she was with you for at least one (if not all) of the final segments of your red-lining finish.


  3. Thanks, guys - I will pass your congrats on to Cath. She and Pam accompanied me on my last major trail segment, the Mahoosuc Trail through Mahoosuc Notch and up Mahoosuc Arm in August 2010.