At some point, says Garrett Hoelscher, three-season camping became stale. Growing up with a father who loved the outdoors, Garrett Hoelscher spent a considerable amount of time in the woods as a youngster. After moving back east from a few years spent on the West Coast, Garrett Hoelscher enjoyed camping all the same, yet was compelled to find a new challenge.
Getting back on his feet in December 2011 after several drawn out months of convalescence following reconstructive knee surgery was invigorating. It was time to start hitting the trail again, recalls Garrett Hoelscher, when he got a call from two good buddies, Steve and Taylor, who wanted climb Mount Washington in January. For those unfamiliar, explains Garrett Hoelscher, Mt Washington in New Hampshire is officially the home of the world’s worst weather, boasting one of the highest recorded winds speed at 231 mph and it is not dissimilar from the Arctic Tundra in the wintertime.
According to Garrett Hoelscher, the seven summits of the Presidential Range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains average 40 mph winds, and hurricane force blasts are recorded 150 days of the year. The three men toyed with the idea of hiring a guide but decided against this, recalls Garrett Hoelscher, as they wanted to be forced to learn and experience as much as could by way of necessity.
The key to success for a trip like this hinges on a single idea, insists Garrett Hoelscher. “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.” Succinctly stressed by this mantra is the necessity of organization and planning, two qualities which are essential for all successes.
Garrett Hoelscher and his buddies set their sights on a Southbound Presidential Traverse, a twenty-mile journey that hits all seven presidential peaks beginning at the Appalachia trailhead near Gorham, NH and concluding at Crawford Notch.
The first Friday of February, relates Garrett Hoelscher, they zipped up from southern Connecticut to a retro hotel located minutes from the Appalachia Trailhead. Packing their gear, Garrett Hoelscher and his two friends familiarized themselves with the tent–in their room since it was snowing outside, repacked the bags, looked over the map, set the declination for the compasses, and repacked their bags one more time before turning off the lights.
Click to read Part Two of Garrett Hoelscher | Conquering the Presidential