Archived Pages from 20th Century!!
Zone Volume 3 Issue 10
(German for crooked wood) is found at treeline where the trees grow
as low, dense, twisted mats or shrubs. Trees grow in this pattern because
the vertical growth breaks off, especially when frozen, and the tree then
bushes out. By forming krummholz as a defense against harsh weather and
severe winds, trees are able to survive in this rugged terrain.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood. At best, he knows the triumph of high achievement; if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
All original code, photos, art and text for The Krummholz Zone are Copyright © 1994-1997. Please ask before using any part of these pages. Thanks a million!
I Go Solo - How often does one get to spend
a few hours, much less a few weeks responsible only for oneself? Time spent
this way is a real treasure. For many, solitude is a basic human need and
the experience of a solo trip can be extremely rewarding.
Cold Carrots - Much attention is paid to various combinations of hats, gloves, mittens, boots and socks but, unfortunately, they all overlook another important extremity, the male appendage. If you've been unfortunate enough to experience a frozen frankie, you know this is a serious matter.
Winter Water - Drinking plenty of water is always important when in the backcountry. Without enough water, the blood becomes thicker, increasing the chance of cold related injuries such as frostbite and hypothermia.
Get A Grip - Good tents and rain flies are designed with as few seams as possible to avoid leaking. However, since virtually any seam can allow water to enter, each and every critical seam must be sealed. My experience with Seam Grip is that while application is not a fun experience, it only has to be applied once, works very well and seems to last.
Ivy - Humans are the only members of the animal
kingdom afflicted by Rhus radicans, otherwise known as poison ivy. If you
have never seen it lurking at the edge of the trail waiting for a careless
step, you owe it to yourself to have someone point it out.
Beaten By The Ice Giants - As we neared the crest of the great Lion Head Trail, the sky appeared to clear and we rejoiced in what seemed to be certain victory. But alas, quicker than the eye can blink, the Ice Giants unleashed an unholy wind that threatened to blow us clear off the mountain. We learned from record keepers later that the peak wind speed had been recorded at 115 mph.
Tahawus Thanksgiving - Plastered with rime ice, we pushed on up the ice and snow-covered rock of Mt. Marcy, the highest point in New York, fully exposed to the howling wind. We took the obligatory summit photos and after a few minutes I started urging them to get down off the mountain. I was rapidly getting very cold and we still had four miles to cover in the remaining two hours of daylight.
FreezeBaby Tour - It's -15° F when I'm aroused by an annoyingly itchy nose. A look in my handy little mirror reveals the mother of all sunburns. Oh well. The climb to the summit is surprisingly easy and fun, frontpointing several hundred feet straight up some very steep ice. My first view of the Pemigewasset Wilderness is stunning. I can see the snow covered Presidential range of the White Mountains of New Hampshire shining in the distance.
North Country Trail - Since this would be Mike and Ron's first winter backpack trip, we had decided on what we thought was a fairly conservative destination - the North Country Trail in northeastern Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest. Unfortunately, the trip was full of small mishaps but we managed to survive and learned some lessons the hard way.
Yer Gonna Git Wet Sucka! - I don't think Hawk had a good time. First I got us lost in a cave, and then I made him pilot his own kayak instead of going in a raft. I figured since he had already rafted the river we oughta raise the stakes. Oh sheeit...
Cave Rescue - The so-called rescue team had a hundred and one different ways of securing Ibberson and spent the next hour torturing the poor guy by tying and untying him to the litter. We were as careful as possible but we still beat the hell out of the poor guy dragging him through cave. When we reached the surface we were greeted by a herd firemen who tried to snatch the litter from us, just in time for the local newspaper photographers to snap their pictures.
Down East Autumn - After setting up camp we found the Katahdin Stream trailhead and hiked about 5 miles up past Thoreau Falls to treeline. Later that afternoon we all piled into a canoe and paddled clear across South Branch Pond. I never thought I would one day be paddling a canoe in the north woods of Maine surrounded by beautiful trees and mountains... it was great! I was pleased that my folks had finally seen some of these wonderful places.
Creek Wilderness Area - Located in the Monongahela
National Forest in West Virginia, the Otter Creek Wilderness has over forty
miles of trails, many of which are old logging roads or railroad grades.
Since this is a Wilderness Area the trails are no longer signed and it
is necessary to carry a map and compass to avoid getting lost.