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Pemigewasset Traverse
Mts Zealand, Guyot, West Bond, Bond, Bondcliff
August 6, 2006

Route: Zealand Trail, Twinway, Bondcliff Trail,
W Bond Spur, Wilderness Trail

Maps:

 
Elevations:
Zealand Falls Hut 2630 ft
Mt Zealand 4260 ft
Mt Guyot 4580 ft
  W Bond 4540 ft
Mt Bond 4698 ft
Mt Bondcliff 4265 ft
Vertical Climb: 4962 ft
Distance: 22.6 miles
Who Went: Paul (solo)

I had been thinking for some time about returning to the Bonds since I hadn't been on either Mt Bond or West Bond since 1999. Now, with the arrival of the long pleasant days of midsummer, I figured it would be a good time to make a Pemigewasset traverse, hiking all the way from Zealand Road in Twin Mountain to the Lincoln Woods Trailhead on the Kancamagus Highway east of Lincoln. I decided not to bring Muffin because I was worried that the long day might be too hard on her feet.

To give myself the most hours of daylight, I left home even earlier than usual, arriving at the Zealand Trailhead and starting out around 5:30 AM.

The hike in to Zealand Falls Hut was exactly the way I remembered it, mostly flat and easy. The weather was absolutely perfect and the views were great in the clear air. As usual, I didn't see any beavers along the way. However, I didn't see any people either, and the still waters of Zealand Pond tranquilly reflected the green hills and pale blue sky of the Zealand valley.

I stopped in at the hut for a brief rest. When I got there, the overnight guests had just finished breakfast and were getting read to head out on their days' journeys. The croo, of course, were busily cleaning up in the kitchen, but one of them found time to sell me a t-shirt.

I strolled over to the falls for a look. The ledges around the falls are a popular spot to hang out, relax, enjoy the scenery, and listen to the babbling water. A few people were doing just that when I got there.

With a long day ahead of me, I soon decided to get moving again, and started up the Twinway. Just uphill from the hut, I stopped to marvel at the hut's ingenious water-powered well. The well pump is powered by running water which is diverted from the falls through a pipe, and then returned through another pipe back to the falls further downhill. The spinning pump motor, through a geared crank, then moves the handle of a standard old-fashioned "pitcher" pump up and down. The pumped well water flows into a bucket, and from there, into a third pipe where it runs downhill by gravity to the hut.

Zealand Trailhead. For this long day trip, I left home even earlier than usual, and was able to get started on the hike at 5:30 AM.

Beaver swamp along the Zealand Trail. The weather was perfect and so were the views. I didn't see any beavers, however.

Zealand Pond from the Zealand Trail. The hut is just to the left of the middle of ridge on the other side of the pond.

Zealand Falls Hut. By the time I got there, people were just finishing breakfast.

Looking across Zealand Falls toward Whitehall Mtn. The ledges around the falls are a popular spot to hang out, relax, enjoy the scenery, and listen to the babbling water.

Zealand Hut's well. This ingenious pump is powered by running water which is diverted from the falls through a pipe, and then returned to the falls further downhill. The pumped well water runs downhill by gravity through another pipe to the hut

Map

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