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Old 08-09-2009, 02:47 PM   #1
donald_112
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Upper and Lower Wolf Jaw 8/7/09

My wife had to sing at Canal Fest on Saturday so we headed back up to the Sharp Bridge camping area on Thursday after work. We also used our 5 person tent for the first time in many years. It had been in the basement and had gotten wet -- I am amazed I was able to get it clean. After the tent was set up we took the kids to Chapel Pond (even though it was 7:30pm) and they hunted for newts. The 5 of us enjoyed the fire and a quick dinner of Mac and Cheese and then off to bed.

There is a bobcat running around the camp ground and we heard it once that night. We got to the AMR parking area at 7am. I was pretty quiet but another group headed off before us. They were headed to Gothics and we would run into them again on Upper Wolf Jaw.

We headed off through the golf course to the AMR gate. The kids loved the golf course. My plan was to do Lower Wolf Jaw and then see if we had time for Upper as well. The kids wanted to go swimming again. I knew the first couple of miles were fairly easy so I was trying to push our 9 year old to go faster. As it turns out she was using a bigger backpack and was carrying about 10lbs of water and food. This turned out to be a mistake. As we made the turn up the West Brook I took about 3 lbs of food out of her pack but she was still working too hard. When will got to the Upper/Lower col we were taking too much time (it was ~10:30am). My oldest daughter said we should do Upper first to get the hard one out of the way.

So off we went but we left my nine year old's pack at the col. This was a good move as she started going much faster -- lesson learned. The mile or so up Upper Wolf Jaw and the false peak was a lot of work. The rock ledges were easy for the kids but not so for their parents. My wife and oldest daughter had new packbacks which helped them a lot. My wife also got me poles. I used them all the way up and down but I am still not sure how I feel about them.

The trail was a little muddy but did not slow us down. The top of Upper was great. Almost completely clear skies. About 65F, a little wind and no bugs. After a quick lunch we head back to Lower. At the split to Lower and St. Huberts I realized the path would not take us by my daughters pack. So I quickly (jogged) went over and got it for her (0.2 mile both ways). As I got it I realized that we would go by this point on our way down -- oh well.

We made it up Lower with a lot of work up the ledges. We meet a nice family at the top. They were impressed that our 9 year old has now done 17 peaks!

We headed back down and as we got the West Brook trail I was realizing that my knees and ankles were really starting to hurt me. I continued to get slower and slower as we hit the West River Trail. The last mile through the Ausable club was total pain. I made it to the car (12 hours total time) and was so glad to sit down.

The kids wanted to go swimming but we did not have time to get their suits so we just went wading for a 1/2 hour at Chapel Pond. I could hardly stand or walk -- the water did feel good on my feet. We got back to Sharp Bridge and had hamburgers/hot dogs/guacamole -- yum. I guess the bobcat was running around again that night but we did not see her.

I felt much better the next morning as we packed up and headed home. I still have a very tender spot on my right foot though -- can you break a bone by walking?

All-in-all a great couple of days with the family. Only a few more weekends left before school and sports start back up.

See my wife's blog for pictures: http://myhaironfire.wordpress.com/20...-seventeeners/

We are 17ers!

Donald
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
Charlene
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Sounds like a lovely family weekend. I like the inclusion of a food report. And I'm impressed by your 9 year old, too!

Yes, you can break a bone in your foot by walking. Stress fracture, anyone?
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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You might have just pushed one of the ligaments in the arch of your foot a bit too hard. A lot of work gets done over there during a hike, especially on rock surfaces where there's not as much traction as mud/dirt.
Take some time and warm up with those poles. I'm pretty sure I heard it on this forum, that each pole saves your knees from lifting 10lbs of weight (you simply transfer it to your arms).
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
PA Ridgerunner
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Congrats to you and your family! Sounds like you had a good time, in spite of the pain...

Seems like that false summit on Upper should count for something, doesn't it?
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:31 AM   #5
Neil
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Those Wolf Jaws! Not an easy hike at all. I believe you did close to 3500 feet of elly gain and loss.

Poles are great but I can't help but notice that few people really use them to their best advantage. It is normal for me to change the length of mine 20-30 times during a hike. I do it mid-stride without even looking at the poles.

For most of the drops from the Wolf Jaws to the col I would have them as long as possible and lean on both hard while swinging my body down to a double footed landing (like an ape).

On the uphills I shorten mine a lot. For instance, going up Basin on Saturday mine were little mini-sticks barely 3 feet long.

If the poles are too long (very common) you waste a lot of energy lifting your entire shoulder girdle with every pole plant and you lose a lot of the mechanical advantage of the muscles involved in the poles' use.

Here's a pic showing an example (note position of elbows relative to shoulders):
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Last edited by Neil; 08-10-2009 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
Those Wolf Jaws! Not an easy hike at all. I believe you did close to 3500 feet of elly gain and loss.

Poles are great but I can't help but notice that few people really use them to their best advantage. It is normal for me to change the length of mine 20-30 times during a hike. I do it mid-stride without even looking at the poles.

For most of the drops from the Wolf Jaws to the col I would have them as long as possible and lean on both hard while swinging my body down to a double footed landing (like an ape).

On the uphills I shorten mine a lot. For instance, going up Basin on Saturday mine were little mini-sticks barely 3 feet long.

If the poles are too long (very common) you waste a lot of energy lifting your entire shoulder girdle with every pole plant and you lose a lot of the mechanical advantage of the muscles involved in the poles' use.
Do your poles have the clips or are the twist-to-tighten variety? Mine are the twisties and they are infuriating to try to tighten...so much so that I have just set mine at one length and no longer use the telescoping feature.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by PA Ridgerunner View Post
Do your poles have the clips or are the twist-to-tighten variety? Mine are the twisties and they are infuriating to try to tighten...so much so that I have just set mine at one length and no longer use the telescoping feature.
As Mr. Torrence might have said, "Flick-locks Lloyd, flick-locks." la Black Diamond.

Your twisties might benefit (well they won't but you might ) from a little maintenance. Take them all apart and give them a good cleaning. Or, simply play around with the little plastic spreaders.

When you get home you should always take your poles apart and let them dry out.
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