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About Dailey7779

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  1. Date of Hike: 4/25/19 Jewell Trail: 3.7 Miles / Gulfside Trail: 2.8 miles / Jewell Trail: 3.7 miles Total Miles: 10.2 (4,318 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT Trip Report: - Long time, no trip report! I have still been hiking with Sarge quite frequently, with an Instagram page for him here (sgt._pepper_goldendoodle). Also, all my hikes automatically get uploaded to Strava, so unless it's one of my original routes or one where I snapped some really good pictures, I will not be updating the blog as much. Luckily, there is a tremendous amount of reports on here for the past ten years making for a solid catalog of data and info for hikers to peruse through. My Strava profile is here (Chris Dailey Strava), you need Strava to view my hikes and follow me, but I do upload the links to the trip report page on this blog and those can be viewed individually. - On Thursday, Sarge and I joined Ashley for a spring hike of Mount Washington. Trail conditions have drastically changed over the past two weeks in the White Mountains, from deep solid snowpack to mud, running water, and snow with failing monorail. I chose the Jewell Trail because it melts out relatively fast compared to the Amoonoosuc Ravine Trail which holds snow much longer below treeline as it doesn't get good sun exposure. - The first two miles were mostly bare ground with a few tenths of a mile of rotting snow. The last mile to treeline was when conditions got really interesting, balance beam of snow, some solid, some failing. It was quite the workout, we made the best of it and laughed off our slip and falls. - When we broke above treeline conditions were still tedious as the previous days snowfall was melting fast but made things very slippery. We were hiking in thick clouds when all of a sudden around 5,800 feet we were suddenly above the clouds in bright sunshine! - We moseyed our way up to the observation deck enjoying the undercast. At the summit, Ashley went inside to visit her OBS friends who work up there, (fyi, the observatory is still closed to the public). Sarge and I basked in the sunshine and hung out on the deck until Ashley reappeared with some cookies the staff made! - After chilling on the summit and snapping photos we started to descend, and just as we started heading down the clouds broke open below us making for stunning views of the Great Gulf and the Northern Presidential Range. - We timed our descent perfectly, the views kept get better and the trail had now melted and dried up making our drop back to treeline much easier. Once back in the woods we battled the failing monorail for a mile before a relaxing last two miles back to the car. - It was a great day to head up to the rock pile, Sarge had a blast and so did Ashley and I. :) Below treeline, hiking on top of the rare Old Man's Beard monorail Sarge at the tracks wanting to see a train Still waiting for that train! Top of Mount Washington Sarge with a sea of clouds behind him Summit photo! Ashley on top of the tower Just hanging out Ashley and Sarge on Washington! Sarge enjoying the undercast I'm going to dodge it. train dodge, dig it! Trust me, this is his excited face! Clearing out of the Great Gulf This was pretty cool to see as we hiked back down Ashley enjoying the clearing of the Great Gulf Peekaboo Sarge, do you see him??!! View the full article
  2. Date of Hike: 3/8/19 Nineteen-Mile Brook Trail: 1.8 miles / Carter Dome Trail: 1.8 miles Carter Moriah Trail: 5.1 miles / North Cater Trail: 1.2 miles / Imp Trail: 3.0 miles / Camp Dodge Cutoff & NH16: 0.8 miles Total Miles: 12.6 (5,062 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT Trip Report: - Friday I took a vacation day to join Larisa and Todd for a high snow pack hike of Mount Hight, Carter Dome, South & Middle Carter. Also joining us were our furry friends Sarge, Toby, and Dylan. - The weather was in the low thirties with no wind, we wore our snowshoes from start to finish which were needed as the snow was soft along the ridge with wind drifts between Zeta Pass to Middle Carter before running into another pair of hikers. - The two highlights of the day were the amazing views from Mount Hight and the high snow pack above the shrub hike up to Carter Dome revealing views that I have only seen once before almost ten winters ago when the mountains last got hammered all season long with several snow storms and consistent cold temps. - The high snow meant hiking/fighting through the tops of trees in spots along the ridge but I honestly didn't think it was too bad considering what I had been reading from trail condition reports. Maybe it's the bushwhacking adventures I have gone on that has muted my response to hiking through a low trail corridor in winter. - Dylan, Sarge, and Toby had a blast running up ahead of us and playing with each other along the way. On the way up Mount Hight, Dylan even bushwhacked for a little bit before showing back up behind us on our way up Carter Dome, we have no idea where he went but he seemed to have fun wherever it was! - This was one of my favorite hikes of the Carter Range to date. Usually, they are not too exciting but with the high snow levels and the winter wonderland scene it makes it a much more enjoyable hike. :) Toby and Larisa hike up to Mount Hight Sarge on Mount Hight Sarge close up! Larisa and Toby with Mount Washington looming large across the notch Ravine of the Raymond Cataract and Huntington Ravine Sarge taking in the views :) Sage and his permanent old man face! Leaving Hight and on the way to Carter Dome Usually we are in the trees here Awesome view-full hike along the ridge between Hight and Carter Dome Making our way along the A.T. Way a day! The gang heads north along the A.T. South Carter summit Summit treats! Sarge hikes through the alpine meadow between South and Middle Carter Chargin' Sarge :) Hi daddy, do you have any treats for me on Middle Carter??!! View the full article
  3. Date of Hike: 3/2/19 Sawyer River Road: 2.0 miles / Signal Ridge Trail: 10.0 miles / Sawyer River Road: 2.0 miles Total Miles 14.0 (4,355 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT Trip Report: - Sarge loves hiking in the snowy White Mountains as he plucks away at his 48 - 4,000 footers of New Hampshire. Saturday was a puppy party on Mount Carrigain as Sarge got to hike with five other dogs! It was his biggest mile day yet and he loved every second of it while hanging out with other pups. All pics from everyone can be viewed by clicking here Sarge, Wish, Toby, Dylan, Piper, Bennett What do you have in there...treats??!! Piper, Toby, and Bennett leading the way! Sarge waits for daddy to catch up Come on daddy, catch up! Signal Ridge Sarge! Wish takes a selfie! Sometimes I lick the yummies off my nose Sarge with the Pemigewasset Wilderness behind him Piper, Bennett, and Toby play fighting Sarge always has "Old Man Face" when I ask him to sit for a pic Sarge playing with Dylan on Signal Ridge View the full article
  4. Date of Hike: 2/23/19 Jewell Trail & Snowfields: 3.4 Miles / Mount Clay Loop: 0.6 miles / Gulfside Trail: 0.7 miles / Mount Jefferson Loop: 0.8 miles / Gulfside Trail & Snowfields: 2.5 miles / Snowfields & Crawford Path & Mount Monroe Loop: 2.0 miles / Amoonoosuc Ravine Trail: 3.0 miles Total Miles: 13.0 (6,228 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT Trip Report: - The previous weekend I took advantage of the nice weather by heading up and down the Ammo to Monroe and Washington, this weekend I went up the Jewell Trail on my way to Jefferson then headed over to Washington and Monroe and down the Ammo. - The Jewell Trail does see some decent hiker traffic, but not nearly as much as the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail which also sees back-country ski traffic along with hoards of hikers looking to hike Monroe and Washington. - I got what I thought was a late start, 8AM, but after a half mile I caught up with two other hikers and then had the whole trail to myself while enjoying an easy to moderate trail breaking ascent to treeline. At treeline I stayed on the trail for a little bit, but I found snowfields off trail a better option and made a b-line up to Mount Clay for some nice views of the Great Gulf and Mount Washington. From Clay's summit I dropped back down to the A.T., ditched my snowshoes for light traction, and made the quick out and back over to Jefferson. I started bumping into a few hikers doing a Presi Traverse on my way to Jefferson and then on my way back along the A.T. around Mount Clay I started seeing hikers every few minutes. - I put my snowshoes on at this point and made my way up Washington bumping into my friends Todd, Larisa and her two dogs, and Sue & Chris. After catching up with them I jumped back off trail and used the snowfields to ascend to the summit of Washington. - On my descent from Washington I took a few shortcuts and stuck to the snowfields again. When I passed a few conga lines heading up, all in face protection, crampons, and some with ice axes they looked puzzled/concerned as to why I was off trail and only in snowshoes. It was a little funny as the snow conditions were sometimes much better off trail for safer travel! - After making it to Lakes of the Clouds and then the summit of Monroe I dropped off onto the eastern snowfields. There is a little chute about fifty yards north of the summit where you can drop in and easily make your way back to the Crawford Path if the snow conditions are right. For the second week in a row there was about a half foot to a foot of powder over crunchy snow, perfect for a fun controlled snow shoe ski descent. - After hiking back around the "Monroe Bend" along the Crawford Path (A.T.) I made a quick and quiet descent back to the trailhead before heading home, ending another perfect day in the White Mountains. :) Hiking up the Jewell Trail. In the winter/snow it is a much prettier trail below treeline The trail corridor is very well defined, although it gets a little narrow in spots Breaking above treeline and taking in the sun's rays :) I got to follow some footy tracks above treeline for a little bit! Just south of Mount Clay's summit, looking at another bump of Clay and Washington and Monroe Mount Adams as seen from Mount Jefferson The boulders are covered in rime ice and snow, making for a much softer look to the rock field of the northern presi's Monticello Lawn, Clay and Washington. The Great Gulf headwall in view Hiking south along the Gulfside Trail (A.T.) When the snow buries the rocks it makes for much easier footing along the trails Cog Railway and the Southern Presidential Range Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe zoom-in. If you look close enough you can see a few hikers ascending the Ammo, they look like little dots! Mount Clay Loop junction Clay, Jefferson, Adams, Madison Mount Washington Observatory Stage coach building Snow and ice blasted summit tower Heading down towards Lakes and Monroe Looking back up at the summit, I came straight down, the trail is off to the left and swings to the right higher up towards the tower Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Washington Southern Presidential Range Summit of Mount Monroe Early afternoon sun shining over Mount Monroe Pano of Lakes of the Clouds and Washington Zoom in of the summit cone, a few conga lines of hikers can be seen! Buried Lakes of the Clouds Hut. Looking back at the hut as I descend Sarge in charge! Sarge likes to hike too, here he is the day before venturing into Tuckerman Ravine! He has an Insta-face account, which can be followed here sgt._pepper_goldendoodle View the full article
  5. Date of Hike: 1/14/18 Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail: 2.3 miles / Crawford Path: 3.0 miles / Mount Monroe Loop: 0.6 miles / Ammonnosuc Ravine Trail: 2.3 miles Total Miles 8.2 (4,180 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920 XT Trip Report: - Monday morning I got up early and drove to Marshfield Station to hike Mount Washington. I lucked out with incredible weather, cold but comfortable (mid teens) with absolutely no wind above treeline on my way up Washington and only a slight breeze on Mount Monroe's summit cone. - Trail conditions were great, the televators and aggressive crampons on my snowshoes came in really handy for the steep sledded out luge from Gem Pool up to treeline below Lakes of the Clouds. From Lakes I kept my snowshoes on but I could have easily switched into light traction to motor my way up to the summit. The reason for keeping my snowshoes on was so I could take a few shortcuts on some steeper off trail sections on the way up and down. - When I reached the summit I took a few pictures and wandered around for about ten minutes before booking it back down to Lakes before making the quick out and back to Monroe's summit. - Unfortunately I had to head back down to get on my computer to work or I would have spent the whole day up there! Started my morning off parking in the upper Cog lot. Usually I park at the USFS Ammonoosuc trailhead, but since the government shutdown it's not plowed so I parked here, forking over $10 Beautiful morning above treeline as I approach Lakes of the Clouds Hut Lakes buried in snow, there is actually a little less snow than last month when Whitney and I took Sarge up to Mount Monroe On my way to Washington Passing by Lakes of the Clouds, you would never know it was under all this snow! Easy hiking up Crawford Path Approaching the summit towers Pano of the towers Mount Washington summit Northern Presidential Range (Jefferson, Adams, Madison) Looking towards Ball and Nelson Crag Looking north into Maine and the Mahoosuc Range Zoom-in on the Mahoosuc Notch! Summit area The chained down Stage Office If hiking Mount Washington from the east, the worst part of ascending from the Tuckerman Ravine Trail is the dreaded staircase! Hiking back down from the summit there were some cool ripple snow wave formations Descending Crawford Path Mount Monroe Zoom-in of Lakes of the Clouds Hut and Mount Monroe Twin Range and Franconia Ridge zoom-in As I was hiking down a helicopter flew over the summit, pretty cool! Lakes of the Clouds Hut Mount Washington as seen from Mount Monroe Lakes of the Clouds Hut Lakes of the Clouds Hut and Mount Washington Mount Washington Zoom-in Zoom-in of the summit towers Southern Presidential Range Mount Carrigain Lakes of the Clouds must have melted and flowed over and then flash freezed just north of the hut View the full article
  6. Date of Hike: 12/16/18 Avalon Trail: 1.3 miles / A-Z Trail: 1.0 miles / Mount Tom Spur: 1.2 miles / Willey Range Trail: 3.7 miles / Avalon Trail: 2.8 miles / Crawford Path: 4.3 miles / Mount Eisenhower Loop: 0.8 miles / Crawford Path: 1.2 miles / Webster Cliff Trail: 0.2 miles / Crawford Path: 3.1 miles Total Miles: 19.6 miles (7,892 feet elevation gained) Trip Report: - Sunday's plan was to head up Jefferson, Washington, and Monroe. However, as I was driving up Base Station Road I got the sense that the wind was whipping a little stronger than forecasted. With this in mind I decided to stay lower instead of battling the winds for an extended period of time above treeline. - I headed to Crawford Notch for an early hike of the Willey Range. I only saw two other hikers until almost back to the trailhead, The trails were well packed down and my snowshoes went for a free ride strapped to my backpack. - Views from the outlooks near the summits of Tom, Field, and Willey were great. The Presidential Range seemed so close and looked great covered in deep white snow. I was kind of regretting not heading up there but the wind was blowing pretty steady at 4,000 feet even as I was protected in the snow covered woods well below treeline. - As I made my way across the range and back down I realized that I was going to be done hiking around 10:45AM. My options were to head back to Gorham for some afternoon strength training at the gym, or walk across the street and head up Crawford Path. It was an easy decision to make as I ditched my snowshoes, changed into my winter trail runners, and motored up towards Mount Pierce with the option of heading to Eisenhower if the current conditions of partly sunny skies with high clouds held. - As I reached treeline I headed over to Eisenhower first, and other than seeing two older hikers who tried to scare me off about high winds, I had the ridge-line to myself. It was a fun hike up to Eisenhower, winds out of the southeast were burying most tracks within minutes. The final push to the summit was aided by this wind as it felt like I was drafting which made for an easy summit push. On the way down was a different story, the winds picked up tiny ice crystals and were blasting everywhere, if I had to guess the wind speed was above 40MPH, luckily temps were hovering around freezing so it felt refreshing to battle the wind back down below the summit cone. - Once reaching Crawford Path, I scooted back south and made the quick trip up to Mount Pierce while watching the clouds quickly move in high above in front of the sun making for an interesting shade/light scene. After snapping a few pics I quickly made my way back down below treeline and back to the trailhead, finishing at 1:30PM. - It was a nice way to spend the last weekend of the fall as winter officially starts next Friday afternoon! Presidential Range as seen from an outlook near Mount Tom's summit Looking over to West Field (I think) and Carrigain Notch Mount Field Tunnel of snow along the Willey Range Trail. I recommend hiking these peaks in snow, much more of a pleasant and beautiful experience Presidential Range from Mount Field's downlook Sun and clouds above the White Mountains Pano of the Presidential Range from the Willey outlook Crawford Notch Mount Carrigian Presidential Range as seen from Crawford Path at treeline View of Washington, Clay, and Jefferson from Mount Eisenhower's summit Heading back south along the ridge-line between Ike and Pierce Clouds starting to move in creating a really cool shady vibe along the Crawford Path This was really cool to hike as the clouds tried to block out the sun Looking back to Mount Eisenhower The snow drifts can be very deep through these pockets Making my way up towards the sun and the clouds Heading up to Mount Pierce One last look at Eisenhower, Franklin (tough to make out), Monroe, and Washington View the full article
  7. Date of Hike: 12/14/18 Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail: 3.1 miles / Mount Monroe Loop: 0.7 Miles / Crawford Path: 2.2 miles / Mount Eisenhower Loop: 0.8 miles / Crawford Path/Webster Cliff Trail: 4.5 miles Total Miles: 11.3 miles (3,816 feet elevation gained) Trip Report: - I used a vacation day on Friday to met up with Todd and Rich to do a Southern Presi Traverse. We were racing the weather of sorts as thick clouds were going to engulf the higher elevations making visibility less than desirable. - We started at 7am and made our way up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, enjoying the easy first two mile stroll to the gem pool. From here we got our steep elevation fix in, gaining 1,550 feet in one mile until topping out at Lakes of the Clouds Hut. - The hut was frosted over and the front was mostly buried in snow, it looked like mid February with the snow depths around Lakes of the Clouds. - The clouds covered the alpine zone so we decided to head south over Monroe and then onto Eisenhower and Pierce, instead of trying to add Washington into the mix. As we climbed up Monroe the clouds cleared off four about five minutes and we caught phenomenal views of Mount Washington's summit cone. - As fast as the clouds cleared off the came storming back, thicker than they were before. Visibility was low but we were unphased and continued on. Rich took out his GPS and put us back on course the two times we meandered off trail, once just south of Franklin, this spot I've actually lost in winter before in clear skies, small cairns and the trail slightly curves to the left, we went straight, immediately new we were off trail, and easily made our way back to the trail. The second time was a little more trivial as to how we missed a turn. Coming off Eisenhower there is a swithcback which is very obvious, well we just missed it, once again we immediately new we were off trail and cut over to our right and spotted cairns. - Once back on Crawford Path we motored over to Pierce and finally started seeing other hikers as we headed down to Crawford Notch, making it back to the car just before noon. Click here for collaborative album Rich and Todd cross over the top of the frozen falls Looking up above the highest water crossing Breaking out above treeline Making our way to towards the hut with Monroe slowly coming into view Rimed over Lakes of the Clouds Hut Sun trying to burn through above Lakes of the Clouds Rich and Todd make their way up the Mount Monroe Loop Skies quickly clearing off to the north Todd takes in the view A frozen and buried Lakes of the Clouds The tower on top of Washington starts to pop out above the clouds More clearing off the "Snow Pile" Mount Washington looking great under the sun Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Washington The clouds start rushing in so we start climbing Todd makes his way to Monroe We leave Monroe and enter low visibility In front of me is close to no visibility! Todd and Rich make their way up the Mount Eisenhower Loop Todd and I on Eisenhower Leaving Pierce and leaving the white abyss behind View the full article
  8. Date of Hike: 12/1/18 Zealand Road: 2.6 miles / Hale Brook Trail: 2.2 miles / Lend-A-Hand Trail: 2.6 miles / Twinway: 4.2 miles / Bondcliff Trail: 0.6 miles / West Bond Spur: 1.0 miles / Bondcliff Trail: 8.2 miles / Lincoln woods Trail: 3.0 miles Total Miles: 24.2 miles (6,063 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT **Click here for collaborative photo album** Trip Report: - On Saturday morning I joined a super strong group of hikers to tackle breaking out a majority of the Hale-Zealand-Bonds Traverse. The group was made up of Jason, Leah, Nate and his dog Piper, and Todd. - We started just after 7am and happily hiked the broken out Zealand Road and Hale Brook Trail to Mount Hale's summit. From here we would be breaking trail for the next eight hours over thirteen miles through one to two feet of snow with higher drifts in spots. - While breaking trail is nothing new for any of us, what made the day extra challenging and exhausting were the several miles of trees that were so heavy with snow that they were bent over across the trail. To navigate through these sections we spent a lot of time knocking ice and snow off of trees, then snaking around the trees slowing our progress considerably. - However, we were rewarded handsomely with some of the most incredible undercast I have ever seen, second only to a Presi Traverse from December of 2014 (Trip Report). - Views from Guyot, West Bond, and Bond were incredible. We caught sunset from Bond and hiked in the twilight along the Bondcliff Ridge while a sea of clouds floated everywhere below 4,000 feet as far as the eye could see. - We all took turns breaking trail and knocking the stunted growth pines free of snow and ice. It was a total team effort and impressive to watch everyone break trail and route find in places where the trail corridor would basically disappear in a maze of bent over trees. - We finally hit a broken trail at the last water crossing of the Bondcliff Trail, a much welcome sight, we still had seven miles to the car but at least we wouldn't have to route find in the dark. This made hiking much easier and we were able to cover the last seven miles in under two and a half hours finishing just after 8PM . - What an incredible day, spent with an easy going, strong, and energetic group! Near Zeacliff on the Twinway. From here Leah did a great job route finding through a section were many start going the wrong way Jason heads up the Twinway Leah with Hale behind her Hiking towards Zealand Breaking above treeline on North Guyot Looking at the undercast surrounding Mount Carrigain Presidential Range Guyot and West Bond Todd taking it all in Mount Washington, Monroe, and Eisenhower Mount Carrigain West Bond Jason taking in the incredible views Southwest Twin and Garfield Piper! Todd hikes to the almost buried Bondcliff Trail junction South Twin Bondcliff slowly emerging from the undercast Bondcliff as seen from West Bond Franconia Ridge and Mount Garfield Mount Garfield Taking pics from West Bond The group enjoys the views from West Bond Looking to the north Presidential Range Presidential Range Looking back towards Zealand Mountain Bondcliff Ridge Hancock Range West Bond and Franconia Ridge Sea of undercast in the Pemi Widlerness Heading to Bondcliff Bondcliff Ridge Hancock Range Twilight hike to Bondcliff Bondcliff Ridge Goodnight Pemi! View the full article
  9. Date of Hike: 11/24/18 Valley Way: 3.8 Miles / Osgood Trail: 0.8 miles / Gulfside Trail & Airline: 2.0 miles / Valley Way: 3.8 miles Total Miles: 10.4 miles (5,075 feet elevation gained) Trip Report: - Finally after what seemed like forever, Saturday had weather conditions to not only go above treeline but to be able to enjoy it as temps hovered around freezing with minimal wind. - Todd, Nate and his dog Piper, took advantage of the optimal conditions and went for a morning hike of Madison and Adams. We put our snowshoes on at the parking lot and didn't take them off until we were back down. - Conditions were close to perfect for snowshoes and will be after another foot plus falls on Monday night. Full winter conditions started very early this year, shortening the much loathed shoulder season that is a royal pain in the ass. - Not much else to say other than it was another kick ass day in the mountains, enjoy the pictures. Click here for combined album from Todd, Nate and I on Google. Reaching the alpine zone and passing the weather warning sign on Valley Way Nate, Piper, and Todd make their way to Madison Springs Hut Todd heads up Osgood Trail with Mount Adams to behind him Rime ice blasted boulder JQ Adams and Mount Adams Mount Washington and Adams The Great Gulf Carter Dome, Carter Notch and the Wildcat Range with the ski area in view Mount Madison Summit area Mount Adams as seen from Mount Madison Nate and Piper make tracks up the Gulfside Trail Todd with the summit cone of Madison behind him Piper, Todd, and Nate hiking along Airline The guys make their way to to summit Summit of Mount Adams. We spent about a half hour up here enjoying the weather Mount Jefferson, Clay, Washington Mount Jefferson Great Gulf Mount Washington Great Gulf headwall Looking down at Mount Madison from Mount Adam's summit Edmands Col and a zoom in on the Jefferson snowfield, already filled in like it's mid winter Piper and Nate descending Airline View the full article
  10. Date of Hike: 10/6/18 Zealand Trail: 2.4 miles / Twinway 4.1 miles / Bondcliff Trail: 0.8 miles / West Bond Spur 1.0 miles / Bondcliff Trail: 4.7 miles / Bushwhack: 0.9 miles / Abandoned Wilderness Trail: 0.7 miles / Wilderness Trail 0.9 miles / Thoreau Falls Trail: 5.1 miles / Ethan Pond Trail: 2.1 miles / Zealand Trail 2.4 miles Total Miles: 25.1 miles (5,517 feet elevation gained) Trip Report: - Peak foliage is arriving in the White Mountains. I took advantage of the nice weather and headed out for a big loop up high and down low starting and ending in Zealand Valley. The colors were very good, still some green in sections but peak should be here this week through next weekend. Hopefully I can get in a few more big hikes / runs this month before the days get shorter. - Highlights from this hike; I got to see the clouds come rolling in over the Pemi Wilderness, traveled the Black Brook and found remnants of the original Bondcliff Trail, hooked onto an abandoned section of the Wilderness Trail while crossing at the site of the old East Branch Pemi River suspension bridge, traveled the WWII era section of the Thoreau Falls trail along the North Fork rail grade, checked out New Camp 22 relics, and visited the Miller - Quinn plane crash memorial. Early morning on the approach to Zealand Pond View into Zealand Valley from Zealand Falls Hut Pano of Zealand Valley over to Carrigain Notch Whitewall Mountain, this makes up the northern border of Zealand Notch, with Zeacliff making up the southern border Looking over to Carrigain and the Hancocks Zealand Notch Looking down into the North Fork, I'll be coming through here later in the afternoon View from Guyot Clouds overtaking the Franconia Ridge Owl's Head and Franconia Ridge Owl's Head and Franconia Brook Valley West Bond, Owl's Head, and Franconia Ridge Slides of Redrock Ravine Bondcliff Pemigewasset Wilderness Lincoln, Lafayette, and Garfield Hellgate Ravine and Bondcliff Hellgate Ravine Black Brook (left). Old section of the lower Bondcliff Trail (right), it used to cross the brook several times before being re-routed decades ago. Some parts are easy to follow but are a muddy boot sucking mess, other spots have been washed away from years of storms. It was easier to just rock hop the brook Trestle 16, half of it finally fell last year during the October 30th storm. It had been standing for around 100 years View of the Trestle from above the Black Brook Looking down at the trestle Ground view of what is left of Trestle 16. This should stand for many more years as the brook doesn't flow directly under this spot. Traveling the abandoned section of the Wilderness Trail, still in good shape (left). East Branch Pemi crossing where Trestle 17 used to be and later the suspension bridge was located. Easy rock hop across the river today. Thoreau Falls Bridge, not in service anymore Thoreau Falls Bridge Looks just like it did in May, the bridge is being dismantled, looks like they're taking their time removing it. Glad I got to see it one more time. Camp 22 relics Heading off trail and hooking onto an old RR grade just south of New Camp 22 New Camp 22 relics New Camp 22 clearing to the left, RR grade to the right Last year's storm washed away several items but it also uncovered some new items to look at. I hadn't seen the wheel before, which was neat to study! I remember seeing the bottles and they still smell like medicinal alcohol or something like that. I first stumbled upon this bottle three years ago, it was not broken then but has since cracked and broke in three parts. Plane crash memorial site. Here are two articles if you're interested in learning more about the tragic story. For an article with some stunning photos (click here). For an in depth article about before / during / after (click here) Small clearing where the memorial is Back on trail, colors changing fast along the North Fork Stunning colors along the banks of the North Fork Vivid yellow colors near a semi clearing along the Thoreau Falls Trail. I first thought this was Camp 23 but never found any relics back in 2009. Then I found Camp 23 just across the brook where jumping brook is located when I first went off trail along the North Fork in 2015 Thoreau Falls Walking back through Zealand Notch View the full article
  11. Date of Hikes September 23-25 9/23 Black Cat & South Branch Mountain - Pogey Notch Trail: 1.8 miles / South Branch Mountain Trail: 4.7 (Total Miles 6.5 / 2,060 feet elevation gained) 9/24 Mount Katahdin & The Owl - Tote Road: 1.2 miles / Abol Trail: 3.2 miles / Hunt Trail: 1.0 miles / Saddle Trail: 0.5 miles / Baxter Peak Cutoff: 0.9 miles / Hunt Trail: 3.4 miles / Owl Trail: 4.8 miles / Hunt Trail 1.1 miles (Total Miles: 16.2 miles / 6,470 feet elevation gained) 9/25 All by Ourselves 50K - Wadleigh Brook Trail: 1.4 miles / Frost Pond Trail: 6.7 miles / Freeze Out Trail: 13.0 miles / Wadleigh Brook Trail: 9.9 miles (Total Miles 31.7 / 2,956 feet elevation gained) Trip Report: - Whitney and I spent a few days in Baxter State Park, staying in the northern end of the park at the South Branch Pond Campground. We were even lucky enough to snag the most coveted lean-to at the campground, for those of you who have stayed or hiked around here before you definitely know which one we stayed in! - We drove up from New Hampshire on Sunday and got in a quick afternoon hike around the pond and up and over two small mountains, Black Cat and South Branch. Views from Black Cat were great, South Branch not so much, the guide book said it had views but it was in the woods! - When we got back to our lean-to we got a fire going and had dinner before retiring to our double sleeping bags as temps quickly plummeted into the low twenties. - Monday we woke up and made the long drive up the Tote Road to Katahdin Stream Campground. From here we road walked to the Abol Trail and started up Mount Katahdin. - The Abol Trail used to head up a slide but was rerouted a few years ago because the slide slid again and became unstable. The reroute makes the trail much easier to hike, although it's kind of a bummer since you're in the woods longer, but you do hook onto the original route higher up and the last half mile to the junction with the A.T. is a lot of fun with some scrambling up big boulders. - When we reached the A.T. we joined that to the summit and ran into a half dozen or so thru-hikers finishing their journey. Whitney got a little emotional as she finished her thru-hike almost four years ago to the day. - The weather was perfect for late September, mid 30's and no wind, and very easy to stay warm. From the summit we wandered above treeline for a little bit before descending the A.T. to The Owl trail junction, where we headed up to the summit of the Owl. - The trail is easy going until the last half mile, then it takes on the feel of ascending Wildcat E Peak from Glen Ellis Falls, steep and rugged! The steep ascent is worth it as there are great views from the Owl of Baxter Peak. - After taking in the views we booked it down to Katahdin Stream, hopped in the car and drove back to our Lean-to where we made a fire, had dinner, and went to bed. It was in the low thirties the second night so it was another comfortable night sleeping snugged up in our double sleeping bags. - Tuesday the weather warmed up into the 50's and we decided to get in some big miles on lightly used trails. We made a 30 miles loop hiking the Wadleigh Brook, Frost, and Freeze Out trails. We hiked for just over 10 hours and never saw another person the whole day. The trails weren't the most exciting ones in the park or the most difficult ones, but they definitely are some of the most secluded ones. - We really timed this hike perfectly as it looks like there had been some major blowdown removal recently throughout the thirty miles. There were well over fifty removed making our progress and navigation much easier than expected. - This loop ended up being a great hike, I don't think we'd ever go back to Wadleigh or the Frost trails again but the Freeze Out Trail is definitely worth revisiting. - Once we completed our hike we made the short drive back to the campground, the wind was whipping but we got a good fire going and made dinner and just relaxed before retiring to a fitful night of sleeping as the wind and the rain came right off the pond into the lean-to, it felt like a mini hurricane! Still, the wind and rain couldn't put a damper in our stay in Baxter State Park as we had a great time. :) Pano of South Branch Pond Looking over to the cliffs of Center Ridge View from Black Cat Mountain of the Peaks of the Ridges South Branch Pond Dawn at South Branch Pond Looking down Abol Slide. The reroute comes in right around here, skipping the slide shown down below. Hiking along the A.T. to the summit Looking down the Hunt Trail toward the Gateway. The Gateway is where you pop up onto the vast plateau. Tip-Toe back at her A.T. finish spot! South Basin and Chimney Pond Pamola and Chimney Peak Chimney Pond The Knife Edge Tablelands Hamlin Peak Looking across to The Owl, with Doubletop OJI, Coe, and the Borthers behind it Baxter Peak Whitney on The Owl Taking in the views Coe, the Brothers, and Fort Frost Pond Old logging road that is now the Freeze Out Trail Second Matagamon Lake. The lake has been drained for damn work Webster Brook and East Branch Penobscot River confluence Sunken logging boom anchor Hiking through a pretty pine knoll Old logging relics Mossy bog bridges Trail was a little obscure in spots More mossy bog bridges Wadleigh Bog Colors starting to change fast up in northern Maine! View the full article
  12. Date of Hike: 9/8/18 Nineteen Mile Brook Trail: 7.6 miles / Valley Way: 7.6 miles / Zealand Trail: 5.6 Miles / Crawford Path & Mizpah Cutoff: 5.2 miles / Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail: 6.2 miles / Gale River & Garfield Ridge Trail: 9.4 miles / Old Bridle Path: 5.8 miles / Lonesome Lake Trail: 2.8 miles Total Miles: 50.25 (18,150 feet elevation gained) A.M.C. White Mountain Guide Online Trip Report: - A little twist on visiting all the huts in one day, doing them all individually from their respective trailheads! - Starting at midnight, I left 19 Mile Brook Trail and beat feet up to Carter Notch Hut and back down in the cool temps, passing one other hiker attempting the standard H2H. Once back down I drove 13.5 miles over to Appalachia. As I started up Valley Way the temps continued to fall making for great night hiking on the way to Madison Spring Hut. On the descent I started seeing hikers around 4:30AM, in fact I'd see about two dozen over the last mile, yowzers! - Leaving Appalachia, I drove 24.6 miles to the Zealand trailhead and trail ran back and forth to Zealand Falls Hut. During the ascent I was happy to ditch the headlamp making things much easier. The trail was very quiet as I only saw a few hikers near the end of my run. - Next up was a 9.9 mile drive to the Highland Center for a quick up and down to Mizpah Spring Hut. On the descent I started seeing quite few hikers, I was happy to get out of Crwaford Notch before the conga line formed! - From the notch I made the quick 9.6 mile drive up Base Station Road to the Ammo trailhead. I made relatively quick work up to Lakes of the Clouds, mainly because there were a lot of goofers on the trail. Usually I say hi to everyone, but this was head down and get out of dodge time on the descent. - The morning portion of the rally was over as the clock struck noon during my 17 mile drive to Gale River trailhead. The hike up to Galehead was not that exciting but the trails were basically empty until closing in on the hut, which had no baked goods, a major disappointment! I ran back down from the hut making it to the Jeep just before 3PM. - Now was the most difficult part of the day, finding a place to park in Franconia Notch! Luckily, I hit the notch during a sweet spot timing wise, as there were plenty of open spaces on both sides of Lafayette Place. (11.4 miles driven) - The hike up to Greenleaf Hut was a rough one, not that I was too tired but as I was going up a hundred plus hikers were coming down, what a zoo! I reached the hut just before 4:30PM, it was a madhouse inside so I just turned around, forgetting to sign the guest book. I was dreading the run down but luckily it was only congested during the first mile followed by several good gaps for running down low aided by taking the hut croo shortcut. - As I reached Lafayette Place, I motored my way up to Lonesome Lake Hut, signed the book, snapped a few pics, and ran back to the car finishing at 5:56PM - It was a challenging and extremely fun day visiting the huts and traveling around the Whites. I also rolled the Jeep over 200K miles during the outing. :) Stats: 17 hours 56 minutes total time / 14 hours 40 minutes hiking / 3 hours 16 minutes driving and gearing up / 90 miles driven between trailheads / 140 miles driven door to door. 19MBT 12AM, Carter Notch Hut 1:03AM, back down at 1:53AM / Valley way 2:21AM, Madison Spring 3:48AM, back down 4:50AM / Zealand Trail 5:37AM, Zealand Falls Hut 6:18AM, back down 6:51AM / Crawford Path 7:27AM, Mizpah Springs 8:20AM, back down 9AM / Ammo Trail 9:21AM, Lakes 10:32AM, back down 11:27AM / Gale River Trail 12:10PM, Galehead Hut 1:41PM, back down 2:45PM / Old Bridle Path 3:17PM, Greenleaf Hut 4:24PM, back down 5:07PM / Lonesome Lake Hut 5:37PM, back down 5:56 PM Elevation over distance profile map of route, trails and driving (16, 2, 115, 3, 302, 93, Zealand Road, Base Station Road, Gale River Road Hut signs: CN 1:53AM / MS 3:48AM / ZF 6:18AM / MzS 8:20AM / LOC 10:32AM / GH 1:41PM / GL 4:24PM / LL 5:37PM Trails taken Mizpah Cutoff. Well placed rock step have stopped erosion along this trail, if not it'd be a deep half pipe tunnel Gem Pool on the Ammo Trail Approaching Lakes of the Clouds with Mount Monroe in view Descending Ammo Trail I love this old little sturdy ladder along the Ammo Trail Twin Brook & Franconia Brook valley Mount Lafayette & Lincoln. It appears that Lincoln is higher than Lafayette but that's not the case, it's just the angle from where the pic is snapped Lonesome Lake and Kinsman Ridge as seen from Agony Ridge Greenleaf Hut and Mount Lafayette Lonesome Lake I nabbed the best spot in Lafayette Place, right at my finish line!! View the full article
  13. Date of Runs: 8/19/18 & 8/25/18 Crawford Path & Webster-Cliff Trail: 4.3 miles / Mount Eisenhower Loop: 0.8 miles / Crawford Path: 1.2 miles / Mount Monroe Loop: 0.7 miles / Crawford Path: 1.6 miles / Gulfside Trail: 1.1 miles / Mount Clay Loop: 1.2 miles / Gulfside Trail: 0.8 miles / Jefferson Loop Trail: 0.7 miles / Gulfside Trail: 1.4 miles / Lowe's Path: 0.3 miles / Airline: 0.6 miles / Gulfside Trail: 0.3 miles / Osgood Trail: 1.0 miles / Valley Way: 3.8 miles Total Miles: 20.0 (8,306 feet elevation gained) A.M.C. White Mountain Guide Online Wild River Road: 0.6 miles / Shelburne Trail: 3.1 Miles / Kenduskeag Trail: 4.1 miles / Carter-Moriah Trail: 8.3 miles / Rainbow Trail: 2.5 miles Wild River Trail: 3 miles / Eagle Link: 2.7 miles / Meader Ridge Trail: 2.0 / Basin Rim Trail: 1.4 miles / Basin Trail: 2.2 miles Total Miles: 29.9 (9,144 feet elevation gained) A.M.C. White Mountain Guide Online Trip Report: - The past few weeks I have been on a time crunch while Whitney was off hiking the John Muir Trail, I'll have a tab located on the top menu with her write up and pictures in a week or two. With just Sarge and I at home, I have been taking him for his usual short hikes during the week while mixing in a quick hike up and down of the rock pile (Washington) after work from time to time. On the weekends I set aside a day for me to push myself and get in miles all within nine hours (door to door). - On Sunday the 19th I ran a northbound Presidential Range Traverse, starting from Crawford Notch. I set off at 7AM and quicked hiked to Mount Pierce reaching the summit in 51 minutes. - I had incredible weather during the morning, cool temps with some good wind gusts. I was able to run and quick hike as I made my way up in elevation past Eisenhower and Monroe before grinding out the last big climb of the morning up to Washington. Eisenhower in 1 hour 16 minutes, Monroe in 1 hour 51 minutes, and Washington in 2 hours and 29 minutes. - For the first half of the run I stopped twice, once to layer up and put my hat and gloves on before Mount Monroe, for those of you not familiar with the jagged summit cone of Monroe it can be very windy and cold. My only extended break was at Lakes of the Clouds, here I reloaded my water bladder, had a baked good, and some iced tea. This was probably a seven minute break before heading up to Washington, other than taking pictures and delayering later on, this would be my last stop of the day. - As I zoomed past Washington it was time to take on the rugged footing of the northern presi's. The good news is that going northbound through the range is faster (for me) than heading southbound. The climb up Clay, Jefferson, and Adams are all much easier in this direction, while Madison is the same if using Valley Way followed by and out and back of Osgood Trail. - As I headed past Clay, 2 hours 50 minutes and then to Jefferson 3 hours 17 minutes, it became clear that not only was I going to break the sub 6 hour goal I set for myself but I could actually challenge my personal best of 5 hours 24 minutes that I had for last year's north to south traverse, something I did not think was achievable since I thought that going north to south was faster. - I kept on making really good time and beat feat up to Adams making it there in 3 hours 54 minutes. - Next, I zoomed down to the hut and aggressively hiked to Mount Madison, standing on the summit 4 hours and 20 minutes after I started. - After taking a few pics it was time to rock hop run off the summit cone of Madison and into the woods for the quick descent to Appalachia. Descending is still my specialty so I was able to run aggressively, yet carefully, to the bottom in 46 minutes, finishing in 5 hours and 6 minutes after I started. - I was very happy to have run the Presi's this quickly and even happier for the short drive home to see Sarge and spend the afternoon relaxing in the river with him. - Unfortunately I deleted my pics, but I did upload them to Strava before they were deleted and they have captions, not great quality and they are out of order, but there are some nice ones in there. (Click here for Strava details). Saturday, the 25th I drove to the Wild River Campground and parked my car at the Basin trailhead to circumvent the Wild River Wilderness. First was a short and easy road run to the Shelburne trailhead, from here I walked to the river bank which has been mostly destroyed. I dropped down to a few rocks where I removed my shoes and socks and waded about fifty feet from shin to quad deep to the rocky and sandy shore on the other side where I put my socks and shoes back on. I then quickly lost the trail from all the damage and ended up on the Highwater Trail, thankfully I knew where I was and then took what is left of the Highwater Trail to the junction of the Shelburne Trail, quite the excitement early on! - Once past the washouts I motored up the secluded and beautiful Shelburne Trail. The were a few blowdowns but overall the trail is in excellent shape. The trail makes an easy to moderate climb up to the Howe / Shelburn Moriah col. - Now came for one of the many highlights of the day, summiting Shelburn Moriah, it has tremendous views of the Wild River Valley, Moriah-Cater Range, and the Mahoosucs. The views were very muted on this morning as it was getting humid and very hazy but still a great place to take in a quick view. - From Shelburne I dropped in elevation to the Moriah Col before the steep burst up to the summit. Moriah and its southern ledges along the A.T. have very nice views as well, from here I can see the small neighborhood I live in and almost my house! - As I made my way through to the Carter Range the heat and humidity was getting worse. I was still making good time but I had to throttle down to conserve my water since there was nothing good to filter from until dropping down to the wild River. - The climb up to North Carter is a steep and nasty one so that slowed me down. Once I summited North Carter I made decent time through Middle and South before slowing down again on the steep burst up to Mount Hight. I was very happy to be on top of Hight as from here on out the run is pretty easy. - Even with all the difficult sections behind me I still paced myself up to carter Dome and then the descent down the Rainbow Trail to wild River Valley. From Carter Dome until finishing I would see only five more hikers, how cool is that on a Saturday! - The Rainbow Trail, Wild River Trail, and Eagle Link all have summer overgrowth encroaching the trail but everything was still easy to follow. It was great to have all the trails to myself and the Birch glades along Rainbow and Eagle Link are always a pleasure to pass through. - I finally was able to filter water and electrolyte drink when reaching a good flowing source along the Wild River. This rejuvenated me and I made great time up to Meader Ridge, along the ridge, and down to the Rim Junction. From the Rim junction I turned up the speed and finished in just under 7 hours and 30 minutes. - Some takeaways of the Wild River Loop; It would be an easier run in the fall when the overgrowth dies out, cooler temps, and when it's drier. I'm pretty sure I could run a sub seven hour loop in better conditions and with more water for the Carter-Moriah section but I'm still happy with my time. - After finishing, I quickly drove home to see Sarge and we immediately headed down to the river where I cooled of and relaxed while Sarge fetched sticks while swimming. :) Elevation over distance profile Map of the route! Sloppy section of the Kenduskeag Trail north of Shelburne Moriah's summit The sun shinning through the clouds and hazy sky Mahoosuc Range as seen from Shelburne Moriah Some very well place bog bridges along the Kenduskeag Trail The final steep burst up the Kenduskeag Trail towards Mount Moriah Descending the open ledges of the carter-Moriah Trail just south of Mount Moriah Just below North Carter's summit and just above the difficult steep rock section Beautiful view from Mount Hight, looking back at the Carters and Moriah way off in the distnace from a knob just east of Carter Dome's summit looking back at Carter Dome The Birch glades of the Rainbow Trail Traveling through the glades, it's even more beautiful in the fall! The Wild River Trail is a little overgrown in spots! Perkins Notch tentsite, old spot of the lean-to Some recently added bog bridges (within the past two years) along the Wild River Trail Eagle Link Trail, just a little overgrown in spots, but still easy to follow Gaining the Meader Ridge Eagle Crag Basin Pond from just south of the Rim Junction Signs spotted along the way! Sarge on Goose Eye during one of our hiking days Sarge loves the swimming holes :) View the full article
  14. Date of Run: 8/11/18 Tripoli Road: 0.7 miles / Livermore Trail: 3.6 miles / Mount Tripyramid Trail: 2.8 miles / Kate Sleeper Trail: 3.3 miles / Blueberry Ledge Trail: 0.7 miles / Tom Wiggin Trail: 1.1 miles / Dicey's Mill Trail: 3.2 miles / Rollins Trail: 2.6 miles / Kate Sleeper Trail: 0.8 miles / Downes Brook Trail: 2.3 miles / Bushwhack: 1.3 miles / Sabbaday Brook Trail: 2.0 miles / Mount Tripyramid Trail: 3.3 miles / Livermore Trail: 2.6 miles / Tripoli Road: 0.7 miles Total Miles: 31.4 (10,700 feet elevation gained) Trip Report: - Another August and another fun trail run with a great group of runners of all ages. This year's course had us running through the Sandwich Wilderness over some of the more enjoyable running trails, along with two super steep one mile bursts mixed in, and a bushwhack to make things interesting. - Some runners started at 5AM, others at 6AM, while Ben, Jerimy, Nate and his dog Piper, Stas, Tim, and myself started at 7AM. - Stas was the rabbit for the first half of the run, he set off ahead of us setting a blazing pace through the Tripyramids and the Sleepers, we last saw him at the top of the north slide and wouldn't see him for awhile. The rest of us stayed together throughout the run while leap frogging from time to time. During the run, I would go a little faster on the downs (Tom Wiggins and leaving Passaconaway's summit), while everyone would catch me on the ups and pass me (Dicey's Mill), I'd settle in with the group during the minor up and downs (Kate Sleeper, Rollins). - The weather was close to perfect, so hydrating and fueling was not an issue, especially with two water and fuel stations at mile 11 and 21, many thanks to Todd, Alan, Levi and Katrina. - As we headed up Passaconway's summit cone we caught up to Stas and ran with him to the summit before parting ways as we reached the Rollins Trail. - I held my own most of the day over this very fast route, probably 75% was made for running/fast hiking, where last year's route in the Great Gulf and King Ravine was probably 10-15% runable! - When we reached the bushwhack section along the Downes Brook Trail we decided to stick together, the route was originally flagged but someone had gone in and taken down the flagging, they probably thought we weren't going to take it down once finished. It wasn't a bad whack but it was thick and scratchy but not a knife fight. It did slow us down quite a bit at first but then Tim got us on a good line and we made our way over to the Sabbaday Brook Trail. My original goal was to run a sub 8 hour but without the flagging I reset my goal to 8:15. - Once we hit the Sabbaday Brook Trail we all went at different paces. Ben went into over drive with Tim following along for a little bit before Ben pulled away. Nate and I struggled together up the steep last mile to the ridge, it was brutal but we made it! - Once back on the Mount Tripyamid Trail, Piper and Nate took an extended break so Piper could get some water, relax, and cool down before the steep descent on the open south slide. I continued on motoring down the slide. - I made great time down the slide but was unable to catch Tim over this technical section, once back in the woods the trail levels out and is built for speed so there would be no catching Tim on this day, but I was still thrilled with my time back down to the Livermore Trail and Tripoli Road finale. - I quickly made my way back to Osceola Vista Campground with four straight sub eight minute miles to finish strong and come in at 8 hours and 11 minutes, four minutes behind Tim and twenty-two minutes behind Ben, good enough for third! - After finishing, I relaxed and ate a tremendous amount of food while cheering on the other runners coming in and finishing and talking about hiking, running, and coming up with unique running/hiking routes with everyone until well past sunset. :) Click here for the whole photo album that has multiple contributors. Elevation over distance profile Map of the route Ben and Jerimy jogging up the Livermore Trail Tim makes his way up the start of the north slide Stas sets a blazing pace up the slide Tecumseh and Osceola's Ben and Tim taking a breather while Stas motors ahead Nate and Piper make their way up the slide Kate Sleeper Trail View from the Blueberry Ledge outlook Mount Passaconway Nate and Piper head up the relentless steep half mile up Sabbaday Brook Trail View the full article
  15. Date of Hike: 7/3/18 & 7/4/18 Tuckerman Ravine Trail: 1.2 miles / Huntington Ravine Trail: 0.5 miles / Nelson Craig Trail: 0.3 miles / Bushwhack: 1.6 miles / Alpine Garden Trail: 0.4 miles / Lion Head Trail: 0.4 miles / Tuckerman Ravine Trail: 4.6 miles Total Miles: 9.0 (4,213 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT Trip Report: - Ravine of the Raymond Cataract has been on my to-do list for several years, and this July 4th as the mountains were stuck in a brutal week long heat wave was the perfect opportunity to venture up it to check out the waterfalls. The plan was to do a recon hike on Tuesday, July 3rd, followed by a hike with Whitney, Kyle, and Todd on the 4th. - Pre WWII, there was a herd path by the waterfalls and then up through the brook bed to the Alpine Garden. Pre 1955 guidebooks state, "Although there is no regular trail up this ravine there is a trodden way nearly the whole distance." and then it goes into a description of the route, see image below. 1955 to 1976 guidebooks stated, "There is no trail up the ravine. The following suggestions may be of some assistance but underbrush has completely covered the former footway." followed by the description from the old guidebook. Post 1976, there is usually just a blurb stating brush has covered the former path and falls can only be reached by skilled bushwhackers, also it mentions that water may be unfit to drink from summit building runoff, excellent! - Tuesday, I woke up early and had my feet on trail at 6AM, easily making my way up Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Huntington Ravine Trail, and Raymond Path to the Huntington Ravine fire road. From the fire road I stepped off trail at the brook leading to Raymond Cataract. I followed the brook, staying to the left of it up through mostly open woods and gentle grades, following a decent herd path for a few tenths of a mile to the lowest waterfall, where I crossed the brook and headed steeply up the right side of the cataract. - This is where the not-so-fun began, I kept getting dead-ended at a cliff ban that dropped auspiciously between the second and third falls. Twice I followed different routes of least resistance but twice I ended up here. So back down I went to the lower falls, recrossed and tried to head up left of the cataract, no dice! Again I was stumped, once by steep mossy covered wet rocks, and another time I was going too far to the left, so far left that if I had kept going I would have been closer to Lion Head winter route than the cataract. Attempt number five I headed back across the brook at lower falls and further right to an open glade that ended at a boulder field. I started scrambling up the wet slippery rocks and probably could have continued this way before making my way back over to the falls, but there was no way I'd feel comfortable taking three people up this way the next day, so I cut back over into the woods and figured tomorrow with more eyes on the whack we'd have better luck. - I felt defeated and just as I was about to give up I pushed over a random blowdown and looked up, bingo! What looked like a way to snake between the cliff ban and the boulder field appeared. As I started up I soon realized I was on the right path, and from here there were no more dead ends on the day. - With that being said I'll pick it up a day later with Whitney, Todd, and Kyle. As we snaked through this section to the upper falls, Whitney kept pointing out quite a few sawed off branches. The bushwhack was tight but since we were on what seemed to be a once semi-maintained tunnel we were able to maneuver our way up the steep parts easier than what I had expected. - Soon we came out at the crown jewel of the Ravine of the Raymond Cataract, Bridal Veil Falls and it's cascading waterfall. I carefully lead us to the overhanging falls and one by one we scooted behind the waterfall. It's a beautiful spot, from behind the cascading water you can make out the Wildcat Range across the notch. We stayed here for a few minutes before scooting back out from behind the falls. Next, Kyle found a way down to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls, where we were greeted by a mini rainbow that we could reach out and touch. It was well worth the effort and difficult whack to get to experience this secluded waterfall. - After taking several photos and cooling off from the mist of the falls we carefully made our way back up the embankment into the woods. Above Bridal Veil Falls we paralleled the cataract until popping out at the top of the waterfall, from here we would travel the brook bed almost all the way up. - Hiking up the brook was refreshing and fun, it was very hot out so the cool water felt great and it wasn't too difficult rock hopping up the waterfall. We stayed away from the slimy moss and picked our way up carefully, even passing right through two mini waterfalls along the way. - Eventually, the water level dropped and we were traveling up a mostly dry brook bed which was slowly getting narrower as we gained elevation. Towards the top of the open brook bed we hit a patch of snow, maybe about twenty feet long and ten feet wide. Here, we put on our long pants as I told the gang things were about to get tight, not horrible, but definitely pants on time. - Above the snow patch we were traveling through stunted trees, luckily it was not pine, what we came up on reminded me of rhododendrons. The whack became thick but the branches from the trees were easy to move so it made the swimming up through the branches and leaves not horrible. However, we were still in the brook bed so we had to be extra cautious with our foot placement while doing this. It was a tricky few tenths of a mile until a short reprieve where the brook bed opens up before seemingly ending about fifty feet up ahead. From just below this end point we took a right and in ten feet we plopped out onto a U shaped talus field. We took a break here to get ready for what I called the ten minute knife fight! - To reach the rock hopping part of the Alpine Zone just below the Alpine Garden we needed to travel just over a tenth of a mile through some of the nastiest pines I've ever dealt with. They were stunted and so thick that we were several feet off the ground at times, just fighting our way through this wall of tangled branches and roots, trying not to twist an ankle from falling into a small void between whatever it was we were trying to balance on. Having done this the day before I was having a blast knowing it would only take ten minutes, I think the others enjoyed it as well, to an extent of course! - Finally, we emerged from the knife fight with a few battle scars but no worse for the wear. From here we rock hopped our way to the Alpine Garden Trail with ease. It was just after 10AM and steamy out, we all needed to resupply on water so we headed over to Lion Head and Tuckerman Ravine trails and made our way up to the summit. - We were expecting a zoo on top of the rock pile but the cog train was just leaving and there weren't too many cars up top yet so it was very quiet for 11am on the summit. We restocked on water, got some grub from the cafeteria, and relaxed for about a half hour. After about ten minutes Todd left to continue on and get in some heat training, he headed over to Jefferson, dropped down Randolph Path to King Ravine, ascended the Great Gully up to Adams, then made a pit stop at Madison Spring Hut before going up and over Madison and then out Osgood Ridge and following the A.T. back to his car at Pinkham Notch. Now that is a loop that will most likely never be duplicated. (Click here for Todd's pics from the day) - As for Whitny, Kyle, and I. . . we joined our closest two hundred friends and headed back to Pinkham via Tuckerman Ravine, there were only a handful of hikers descending like us at 11:30 but well over a hundred ascending, it was crowded but almost everyone we saw was enjoying the mountain even if it was disgustingly hot out. - We made it back to the Jeep around 1:15PM, made the quick drive home, cracked open a beer, and sat in the Peabody River to cool off. - It was quite the way to spend the 4th of July, it'll be tough to top this one! :) From the 1946 AMC White Mountain Guide After a few miles along the trails we duck into the woods off the Huntington Ravine Fire Road at the Raymond Cataract brook crossing We head up to the left of the brook, a very easy bushwhack at this point After just a few tenths of a mile we head down the river bank and cross at the lower falls Whitney enjoys the cool air that the falls provides From the lower falls we head up the river bank and push our way up the right side of the cataract Picture from my recon hike, twice I dead-ended here on the right side of the cataract, in between waterfalls. There was a huge slimy cliff band just to my right, and a hundred foot drop to my left! The crown jewel of Raymond Cataract, Bridal Veil Falls We carefully make our way down to the falls (Todd's pic is on the right) The awesomeness of the hanging falls Another shot of the falls Whitney snaps a pic as I go behind the falls! View of the Wildcats from behind the falls, pic from recon hike Bridal Veil Falls Whitney makes her way behind the falls and snaps a nice pic Todd reaches out and touches the cascading water Todd loving it! (Whitney's pic) Todd using the falls to cool off Pano from Bridal Veil Falls We bushwhack down to the bottom of the falls and are greeted by a rainbow! Bridal Veil Falls What a beauty! Kyle takes a bite out of the rainbow!! Whitney and I loving the falls After heading back into the woods to the right of the cataract we pop out a few minutes later at the top of the falls Next up is a cool, slick, refreshing boulder hop through the brook Small series of cascades we hike up Todd and Whitney carefully maneuver around some of the tighter/trickier spots along the brook bed Another refreshing cascade to hike up! Whitney takes it all in, and Todd captures a pic of us making our way up the small cascade After awhile the water almost disappears as the brook bed narrows, here there was one last patch of snow remaining. Pic from recon hike Taking a break to cool off before the thick parts of the bushwhack starts The vegetation starts to enclose upon us, here comes the rough stuff! Now that's whackin'! After a thick but semi-difficult whack up a dry brook bed we reach our jump off point After a short reprieve through a small talus field, we head northwest into thick as hell scrub. I'm a few feet off the ground, walking on snarled branches in the left picture that Todd took. Whitney and Todd swim through the scrub, this section I deemed the "ten minute knife fight!" One last push to being completely above treeline and an easy rock hop a few tenths of a mile to the Alpine Garden Pano from the Alpine Garden. This pic is two of Todd's pics combined that I ran through photoshop. The headwaters for the Ravine of the Raymond Cataract (Todd's pic). "This water is unfit to drink, as it consists largely of drainage from the summit house." - 1936 AMC White Mountain Guide . . . "This water may be contaminated by drainage from the summit buildings." - 2017 AMC White Mountain Guide. Yikes! Tuckerman Ravine The headwall View from Hermit Lake Mommy and baby moose, from recon hike View the full article
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