I have attempted to calculate the daily distances and elevation gains of the eight day 4,000 footer adventure, based on my guesses as to which trails were used. I believe that any errors will be minor, with little impact on the totals.

It was while computing this table that I was finally able to understand this achievement. Previously it had seemed incomprehensible: not merely was it beyond my ability to emulate; it was beyond my ability to understand. With increased understanding came more, rather than less, respect.

Let me begin with day 4. I have done the Bonds/Twins traverse, and found it exhausting. I certainly could not have done any hiking for a couple of days after it. Not only did they do it in the middle of daily hikes, but before starting on it they also did the Hancocks, a "mere" ten miles!

I have attempted two Presidential Traverses, in both cases ending at Pierce and bypassing a few summits. Again, an exhausting hike requiring a few days of recovery. They did the traverse going over all the peaks in the middle of a week of intense hiking. And instead of going gently down from the summit of Mount Washington to Lakes of the Clouds Hut, they made a "slight" detour. They went down (with a few ups) the Davis Path to Mount Isolation, then descended to the Dry River, and finally climbed out of that valley to the hut. Instead of about a mile of downhill they hiked about 13½ extra miles with about 3,500 feet of elevation gain!

I invite the reader who is familiar with these peaks to look at each day; to try to imagine the effort required to do it; and finally to imagine stringing these trips on consecutive days, with no rest in between.

Daily Distances and Elevation Gains
Day Summits Miles Feet
Day 1 Moosilauke 7.4 2,400
Kinsmans and Cannon 13.0 4,700
Tecumseh 5.0 2,200
Total 25.4 9,300
Day 2 Osceolas 8.4 2,950
Tripyramids, Whiteface, Passaconaway 17.4 4,900
Total 25.8 7,850
Day 3 Flume, Liberty, Lincoln, Lafayette, Garfield, Galehead and Owlshead 34.2 9,950
Day 4 Hancocks 9.8 2,650
Bonds, Zealand, Twins 22.8 5,900
Total 32.6 8,550
Day 5 Tom, Field and Willey 8.5 3,100
Carrigain 10.0 3,250
Total 18.5 6,350
Day 6 Wildcat and Carter-Moriah Ranges 18.7 7,100
Day 7 Presidentials (including Isolation!) 33.7 12,250
Day 8 Cabot 7.8 2,750
Waumbek 7.2 2,650
Hale 4.4 2,300
Total 19.4 7,700
GRAND TOTAL   208.3 69,050

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