Bob's scary true story of hiking in White Mountains
A Tale Narrated By Bob Himself - Several years ago my friends and I decided to hit 3 peaks in the White Mountains in NH in a day. It’s a common hike that a lot of people do to check these off the 4,000 footer list.
We started off on the wrong foot. My friend was in charge of planning and decided we should be out the door by 6 am. I woke up at 5:15 and waited a little (I set my alarm earlier than him) and figured he decided to change the plan. He was the plan-master after all. He came downstairs to the couch I was crash on a little after 6 and asked why I didn’t get him up. I explained my thinking and he admitted to just oversleeping. We woke up our other friend who crashed in our friend’s house, and we're waiting for the 4th person in our party to arrive. She was a friend of my friend who I’d never met before. Once she arrived, we were on our way.
We didn’t hit the trail until about 10 am. 2 hours later than all of us wanted to. But we made great time to the first peak, ditched our bags to make a quick detour to the second peak, doubles back and grabbed our packs, and then we began the last stretch before our descent.
We stopped for lunch at this point, maybe 2:30 pm at the latest for time context. Now is when we started talking about our post hike tradition of getting McFlurries.
We ended up getting to the last peak around 6:30 pm. Much later than any of us wanted to. We stopped for about half an hour to rest. The way down was 2 miles, and we figured we’d still have enough daylight even if we waited. We begin heading down and the friend of my friend twists her ankle.
We ended up going pretty slow after that, of course. What made the trek even slower was the fact that after darkness fell, we realized none of us had a flashlight. Two members of our party were just gaining experience in hiking and didn’t think to prepare that much, I usually keep one in my hiking pack, but took it out for some reason and forgot to put it back, and the last person couldn’t find his but figured “someone else will have one.”
So we’re in the darkness of the forest, an injured party member, no lights, and 3 or 4 cell phones were dead. We were all running low on food and water. I kept telling my friends not to tell me the time. Knowing the passage of time would give me context for how tired I should be. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I just kept thinking about the glorious taste of the McFlurry and how satisfying it would be.
With our 1 working cell phone as a flashlight, we carried on slowly. We would stay in a single file line, about 5 to 10 feet apart. Flashlight carrier would light the way, I’d help the injured party member over the terrain, and our last friend would come forward to the position of the light keeper. We would repeat.
Finally, we got to the car. We began our descent at 7pm and ended it at 2:30am. I now never hike without a flashlight, solar panel, and too much water and food. I feel closer to my friends after that night, like we became a solid team.
To end the story, we did end up at a 24-hour McDonald's. As you can guess, their ice cream machine was broken. Ugh.
We would like to thank Bob and his crew, and glad he made it home safe! 😱 Sign up below and leave a comment for more stories like this.