September 10: mile 1913: Full Goose Hut

We left in great weather and dove into the heart of the Mahoosucs.  The same conditions applied as yesterday with the added complication of insanely steep climbs that required rock climbing without poles in places.  The first peak was mt Success with a nearly vertical 1500 foot climb to almost 4000 feet.  Near the top the trees disappear and the summit is achieved by hiking up exposed smooth granite slabs that angled so that you can barely hike up it with your feet clinging and your poles dug into the rock.  You only move one point at a time — pole or foot.  To slide down would certainly be a fatality situation.  Meanwhile you try to ignore the 360 vista that surrounds you at risk of getting vertigo.  The view at the top is unreal and leaves you with the feeling of “how the hell did I get up here?”  The descent was a reversal of the slab navigating except inching down the smooth angled slabs.

The traverse over to the three Goose eye peaks was boggy to say the least.  These alpine bogs can swallow you up to your rib cage if you slide off one of the bog boards.  It’s pretty surreal to navigate these inexplicable bogs at such high elevation.  There is just rock and bogs with very little vegetation.  

After bogging it for a while we hit the three Goose Eye peaks at 3800ish feet each.  Right before we assaulted those beasts, we hit the Maine border– hallelujah.  The last of fourteen states of the AT leaving 280 miles to go.  After some photos it was on to the Goose eyes.  They were just like mt Success with smooth slabs at the summit and tough vertical hiking all the way up.  Of course it was not nearly as nerve wracking because I started to get used to the vertigo.  We hiked past the rebar assisted feature where our fellow hiker Socks fell on Goose Eye North.  He was hiking alone and miraculously had cell service at the bottom where he lay busted up.  It required a helicopter to extract him.  

Needless to say we did not hit the hardest mile as planned.  We made it into the shelter wondering what possibly could be harder than what we already did.  Happy trails.

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