Appalachian Mountain Forest Service
>>>Summit Forecast for : Fog, High 64/Low 42, Wind 24 mph

WELCOME TO CLOUD CITY!

Nathan Wilky here, reporting for duty at the top of Mount Madahodo! As I hiked up the Hockomock trail this morning, America's "foggiest mountain" didn't disappoint, with less than ten feet of visibility once I got above treeline. Not the most fun climb I've ever done, but...I'm trying to think of something positive to say. Well, I made it. That's what counts, right??

In all seriousness, I'm thrilled to join Sally, Meredith, Keith, and George for what I hope will be a fun, educational, and above all, SAFE summer in the clouds. Hope you can join us!

Posted by Nathan on June 1, 2012

today's forecast calls for fog. and tomorrow's. And the day after. and the day after that...

You know, I'll be honest: Madahodo was at the absolute bottom of my list for summer hut assignments. But after spending a week getting used to living in a cloud, I have to say: it's actually kind of growing on me.

There's something truly ethereal when you spend morning til night surrounded by thick white mist. It muffles the noise. You can walk ten feet from the hut and not see it anymore. There's a moisture to the air you can't describe. It's like being in a different world.

Now, don't get me wrong - after a straight week of this, I'd KILL for a nice view once in a while. But it's not what I expected. People tell me that's a common reaction for Madahodo.

Posted by Sally on June 8, 2012

RESCUE POLICY

I don't know how we can make the Madahodo Hut rescue policy more clear to guests: there are no rescues, PERIOD.

Last night, two hikers showed up around midnight, frantic and begging us to help find a third friend who was still lost in the fog. We immediately notified AMFS Emergency Crew on the ground, then explained that rescue attempts are not permitted by the Madahodo summit croo, as it invariably opens up a Pandora's box of trouble: people get hurt (or worse), others get lost, the rescue operation becomes unnecessarily burdened...

Unfortunately, this logic didn't stick, and they began trying to round up hut guests to help them search. A few guests actually volunteered to go, and we almost had a fight break out trying to prevent a posse of seriously inexperienced hikers from going out into one of the most dangerous storms we've had yet.

Their friend was discovered this morning alive, but...I dunno, something was definitely off about him.

Again: NO RESCUES. We don't make the rules.

Posted by George on June 15, 2012

chez madahodo

Welp. Meredith here. Just spent five hours cooking tonight's hut dinner, only to wind up with a mess hall full of half-eaten plates and disgusted faces. I'd take it personally, except one of those half-eaten plates was mine.

Look, it's not our fault!! It's the water, or whatever's in it that gives everything that taste. Personally, I think it's even in the air, the fog...it gets into everything. I haven't been able to get the taste out of my mouth since I got here, no matter how many times I've brushed my teeth. Yuck!

Officially, the water is 100% safe. But word of warning: if you're not a fan of that certain je-ne-sais-quois of Madahodo home cookin'...You might want to bring a jar of peanut butter.

Posted by Meredith on June 22, 2012

the noises

I can't sleep. The noises are keeping me up again. The other croo members don't seem to mind as much, and I know they say it's just the mountain plates grinding underground, or something. But that's not what it sounds like. It sounds like the noise in that one worst nightmare you get that happens over and over. Every night.

No surprise that ear plugs are the most popular item at the hut store, but I swear they don't make a difference.

There was another one...I swear, it sounded like...I gotta get it together.

Posted by George on July 2, 2012

today's forecast calls for depression

Whatever I said about the fog, forget it. It sucks, it sucks, it SUCKS. There's nothing magical about it. You can't tell if it's morning, or noon, or evening. It's either light and white, and dark and black. That's it. It feels like we're trapped in limbo, a strange kind of purgatory.

I hiked up to Clouds today, and almost started crying when I saw the gorgeous view they've got up there. I know we've committed for the summer, but...I don't know if I'm going to make it.

Posted by Sally on July 7, 2012

SOMEONE WAS LOOKING IN THE WINDOW LAST NIGHT

I was walking back to the croo bunks last night. It was raining and storming as usual. Mess hall was empty. Lightening flashed - and something was standing at the window. Staring in. Not moving. Then, everything went dark and it was gone.

I swear I'm not lying. Except, no one could have survived in that storm. And you can't be sure what you see up here. The fog plays tricks on your eyes. It's not right.

I think I'm going to ask Nathan if I can take a leave this weekend.

Posted by Keith on July 13, 2012

only 57 days left

Well. I can't say the summer has been the wild and crazy hut experience I envisioned, but we're keeping on valiantly (though I'd be lying if I didn't say we're all silently counting the days down til the hut closes in September).

Needless to say, we've had a lot of fog. But things are looking up! For three hours yesterday, the clouds broke, and we had glorious views for as far as the eye can see. Then, almost like a punishment for too much of a good thing, one of the fiercest storms we've had yet started up, with two hikers just coming in with severe hypothermia.

But I've got a great little skit planned for the post-dinner show tonight, and I'm going to get the entire croo in on it. This will lift everyone's spirits.

Posted by Nathan on July 20, 2012

Why Won't The Noises Stop???

I don't know how much longer I can take this.

Posted by George on July 24, 2012

note

The AMFS has asked us not discuss the details of last night's tragedy on this blog. That said, we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Kenagy family. George was a beloved Croo member, and it has shaken all of us.

Posted by Nathan on August 1, 2012

why don't boyscouts have cookies too?

A team of young boyscouts came through today, and I think it helped raise everyone's spirits to see some bright smiles around the place (though man did those smiles disappear quickly when they tried the soup).

Of course, they all want to know about the cave. Tried to tell them it doesn't actually exist, but they weren't having any of it, and after a while, I gave up. After all, who wants to be the one to prove that Santa doesn't exist?

Want to have some real fun? Give a bunch of boyscouts some pencils and paper and ask them to draw a hockomock. The results will keep you awake for weeks! (no, I figured if they believe in the cave, might as well let them believe in the hockomock too).

Posted by Meredith on August 5, 2012

tom dodge body discovered

Tom Dodge's body was finally discovered on the mountain today, in a canyon about half a mile from the Hock 1.5 mile marker.

Dodge was my hero. Seven summits at 25, and from my hometown. When he disappeared on Madahodo last year, I didn't believe anything could be wrong. How could such an experienced climber get taken down by a minor mountain like Madahodo? Even when he was declared dead a few months later, I didn't believe it. There wasn't a body. But now...

I shouldn't have come here. I had my reasons, I thought I knew what to expect, but...This place is bad.

Posted by Nathan on August 10, 2012

Generator help, please?

Hey, AMFS: STOP IGNORING OUR REQUESTS. Generator's been acting up, and it needs repairs. I know Madahodo ain't the most popular summit hut in the White Mountains, but could you at least pretend to notice we exist?

Posted by Sally on August 12, 2012

jesus

Hiker caught in the storm being medivaced by AMFS rescue crew as we speak. I've never seen wounds like that. That wasn't frostbite. I've seen frostbite, not the bullshit kind, but the kind that turns your extremities black. That wasn't it. That looked like necrosis.

Posted by Keith on August 15, 2012

from amfs

On August 17th, 2012, Croo member Keith Tillery left the Madahodo Hut for a routine nighttime inspection and did not return. For information about the on-going search or to provide information, please contact the AMFS headquarters directly.

Posted by AMFS on August 21, 2012

this has to end

This is nuts. You don't just disappear within ten feet of a summit hut.

Sally, Merry and I have been talking about just leaving. Season ends the 15th, but I don't know if we can make it. And there's no way they could get a replacement crew up here in time to take over.

The world would be a better place if the hut closed and no one ever came here again.

Posted by Nathan on August 28, 2012

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Please make the noises stop. Please. Please.

Posted by Meredith on September 1, 2012

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its inside

Posted by Nathan on September 1, 2012

 


Name: Nathan Wilky
Nicknames: Wilco, The Plumber
Details: Able to whip up a mean veggie chili while simultaneously checking in hikers and unplugging overflowing hut toilets, it's no wonder this mountaineering virtuoso is our fearless croo leader. Whether jump-starting a faulty generator Norris-style, or risking his life in a Madahodo storm to save an injured white-throated sparrow, you can always depend on Wilky to save the day - and look damn good doing it.


Name: Sally Radner
Nicknames: Munchkin
Details: While neither long nor tall, Sally makes up for her below average height by being an above-above-above average climber. Radner set this summer's croo record for fastest hike to the hut, and if you're looking to challenge it, watch out - Sally's got a mean right hook to boot. While Madahodo wasn't her first choice (is it anyone's?) for summer assignment, she's making the most of it by spending her days staring out the window at beautiful vistas of thick white fog - and dreaming about what the Lakes croo is up to.

 

Name: George Kenagy
Nicknames:
Details: George is no longer a croo member at the Madahodo Hut.

 

Name: Meredith Taylor
Nicknames: Merry
Details: Merrily we stroll along - whenever merry Meredith is strolling with us, of course! A California ex-pat, Mer is has been studying the flora and fauna of the White Mountains as part of her degree at Amherst and loves professing her knowledge to hikers. Curious about a leaf? Ask Meredith! Wondering about those animal tracks? Meredith can tell you! Of course, we should warn you that Meredith is wrong about 75% of the time - but it's the thought that counts!

 

Name: Keith Tillery
Details: On August 17th, 2012, croo member Keith Tillery left the Madahodo Hut for a routine nighttime inspection and did not return. For information about the on-going search or to provide information, please contact the AMFS headquarters directly.

 

 

 

 


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