FKT: Andrew Soares, Philip Carcia - New Hampshire 4000 Footers (NH) - 2023-12-27

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5d 18h 58m 0s

Self-supported record holder Andrew Soares and I have been eyeing a winter NH48 speed-hike for the last couple of years and finally committed to giving it a swing over the 2023 holidays.

Conditions looked near-perfect just a week before starting, until the White Mountains were hit with a major rain event, dumping up to 6” in some places.

The result was some of the worst conditions I've seen in my 6 winter rounds of the NH48.

Ninety percent of our travel was a mix of consolidated snow, unconsolidated snow, and glare ice. We didn't have to “break trail” out there, but we did spend most of our days and nights tip-toeing over the sheets of ice and hanging onto rocks, roots, and branches as we climbed and descended these steep northeastern peaks.

The long night miles this time of year required extra vigilance. Hiking and running after dark felt impossibly slow.

Almost every major river crossing required sketchy maneuvers to clear. We both went in up to our knees on multiple occasions, including the last day on Owl's Head. The physicality required for hiking out there that week—the pushing, pulling, stretching, and lifting, in addition to the mileage— absolutely pushed us both.

Temperatures fluctuated heavily from below zero, to the mid-thirties.

Both of us fell multiple times per day, every day of this trip. I’m genuinely surprised one of us didn't end up paralyzed.

Big shout out to my hiking partner, Andrew Soares, who now holds both the supported and self-supported standards for the winter NH48. And thank you to self-supported record holders Leah and Jason for joining us on the last peak.

I hope that tradition continues in the future.

About a week removed, it’s hard to not want to go back out there in “faster” conditions and get this thing under 5 days. I’ve often thought a mid-March attempt, when days are longer, temperatures are slightly warmer, and snow is more consolidated, is the best window for nailing a project like this.

Especially if your schedule is flexible enough to take advantage of optimal weather and trail conditions as they develop.

To view a presentation on our 2023 Winter NH48 FKT, copy and paste the address below into your web browser.

12/22/23 • Day 0
40 miles, 14,400’ climbing.

Wildcat Ski Area
Start - 4:26am
Wildcat D - 5:27am
Wildcat A - 6:15am
Carter Dome - 7:27am
South Carter - 8:12am
Middle Carter - 8:39am
Moriah - 10:14am
Car - 12:04pm

Rocky Branch TH
Start - 12:50pm
Isolation - 3:47pm
Car - 6:32pm

Bunnel Notch TH
Start - 7:58pm
Cabot - 9:58pm
Car - 11:30pm

12/23/23 • Day 1
40 miles, 13,650’ climbing.

Starr King TH
Start - 5:51am
Waumbek - 7:26am
Car - 8:28am

Saywer River TH
Start - 9:36am
Carrigain - 12:27pm
Car - 2:40pm

Crawford Notch
Start - 3:15pm
Field - 4:41pm
Willey - 5:18pm
Tom - 6:30pm
Car - 7:29pm

Zealand Road
Start - 8:06pm
Hale - 10:21pm
Car - 11:49pm              

12/24/23 • Day 2
28.8 miles, 12,000’ climbing.

Appalachia TH
Start - 6:20am
Madison - 8:42am
Adams - 9:41am
Jefferson - 11:06am
Washington - 12:40pm
Monroe - 1:41pm
Eisenhower - 2:36pm
Pierce - 3:14pm
Jackson - 4:14pm
Car - 5:19pm

Ravine Lodge Rd
Start - 6:54pm
Moose - 8:44pm
Car - 9:53pm               

12/25/23 • Day 3
33 miles, 11,400’ climbing.

Pine Bend TH
Start - 6:47am
North Tripyramid - 8:33am
Middle Tripyramid - 8:53am
Whiteface - 10:31am
Passaconaway - 11:50am
Car - 1:41pm

Hancock Parking
Start - 2:39pm
North Hancock - 4:35pm
South Hancock - 5:03pm
Car - 6:27pm
Greenly Ponds TH
Start - 6:50pm
East Osceola - 8:25pm
Osceola - 8:58pm
Car - 10:43pm             

12/26/23 • Day 4
38 miles, 12,600’ climbing.

Lincoln Woods TH
Start - 6:30am
Flume - 8:42am
Liberty - 9:07am
Lincoln - 10:28am
Lafayette - 10:55am
Garfield - 12:56pm
Galehead - 2:55pm
S Twin - 4:15pm
N Twin - 4:48pm
Zealand - 6:54pm
W Bond - 8:25pm
Bond - 9:01pm
Bondcliff - 9:38pm
Car - 1:03am            

12/27/23 • Day 5
31.8 miles, 10,671’ climbing

Lincoln Woods TH
Start - 7:23am
Owl’s Head - 10:40am
Car - 1:03pm

Lonesome Lake TH
Start - 2:46pm
North Kinsman - 4:39pm
South Kinsman - 5:03pm
Cannon - 7:16pm
Car - 8:14pm

Waterville Valley
Start - 9:19pm
Tecumseh - 10:26pm
Car 11:24pm