Gonzo North - Gros Morne 2001

Olive and I are thankful to have spent the past week in Nfld. The tragic events in the USA were on our minds alot and during a two day extended stay in our tent on top of the long range we reflected on our good fortune and good friends. Hope everyone is well and the terrorists attacks did not reach into your families. We realize more than ever the importance of very good equipment, being warm and dry, knowing how to use a map and compass well and packing extra food. Our stay on top was very eventful and fog, high wind and unbelieveable rain made the crossing of the long range difficult.

The fog was the worst and it inhibited our travel for hours at a time, when it would break we would make a fast hard move until it settled in again (this happened many times and each stop ment setting up camp/tearing it down etc. We are very good at setting up our new Tern 3 Mountain Equipment Tent and can do it in hurrcaine winds and rain.Day one we made it to the top of the ridge and camped above Western Brook Pond,only boat was an afternoon boat so it made our day short.Day 2 great time and were on a schedule to finish in 3 days, Day 3 started early travelled 45 minutes got socked in and sat until 5pm, a break and we travelled for about an hour and were socked in again. Hurrcaine force winds that nite, heavy rain, Day 4woke up to rain fog and high wind, couldnt move because of visibility (our wifes were a bit afraid as it turned cold and we were damp but safe and warm). 3pm break in the weather (sort of ) and we hit the trail hard and fast, found the down climb right on (thank heavens) and got back to the vehicle at the base of Gros Morne around 7pm, tired but well.

Saying the weather is a factor in the Long Range is an understatement, one must be ready for it all and extra food is a must, I would also recommend a small powerful amfm radio, good rain gear is not a luxary it is essential. On the high side we saw 12 moose (Olive scared a cow and it ran right at Pop on the trail, Olive laughed) We saw many caribou but the highlight was while walking in the fog there was a partial clearing over a pond (lake) and not 100 feet from us was a stag (male) caribou with alarge rack swimming toward us (right out of National Geographic I swear). The planning of this trip is important and from New Glasgow to Rocky Harbour takes about 15 hours including the boat ride, it can be quite expensive, car gas, meals, ferry ride, park pass, long range pass,boat ride up Western Brook Pond, taxi from base of Gros Morne to Western Brook Pond (so your car will be waiting for you at the end), ferry and car costs home, we planned to camp but got a cabin the night we arrived (2am) and a cabin for the night we came off the mountain....

All in all $1000 for 4 people would about cover it and that is with no frills, basic meals, no liquor. I am very proud of Olive and she was tough throughout the trip, her comment when sitting on an outside toilet in the rain with no roof was *if my Mother could only see me now* Well folks, live your dreams, stay well and remember you cant fake fitness. Pop...Airborned and the Rasin were the folks with us who live in this area and did Mount Washington with us last year. Airborne is the best person I have ever seen with a map and compass.Strong fit people who live for adventure and we have learned a lot form them in the past two years.

The Northern Gonzos.