Jeff and I originally wanted to get one last hike in before the end of winter, but when I couldn’t swing it we instead hiked the next weekend. The idea was to Grid the Wildcats and Carters, as well as do some White Mountain trail tracing, and a couple small AT sections for me. We originally planned to hike up Wildcat Ski Resort, but shortly after arriving we were turned around and told that there was no uphill travel while the ski lifts are running. So we adjusted our plans and landed on just doing the Carters from Nineteen Mile Brook to northern trailhead of Imp Trail (where my car was already planted). On the way up Nineteen Mile we decided to do Little Wildcat Mountain, a New Hampshire 200 Highest, on a whim. But the day warmed up, and the snow turned to mashed potatoes. By the time we slogged out Little Wildcat and ascended Carter Dome I was exhausted. We ended up just doing Mount Hight and out. A good example for future me of being flexible enough to change plans and route to ensure the day is enjoyable.
Parked at Nineteen Mile Brook parking on Route 16 in Gorham, NH
Hike Nineteen Mile Brook Trail to around 2650′
Bushwhack to Little Wildcat Mountain and back
Continue up Nineteen Mile Brook Trail to intersection with Carter-Moriah Trail
Left on Carter-Moriah Trail over Carter Dome and Mount Hight to intersection with Carter Dome Trail at Zeta Pass
Left on Carter Dome Trail to Nineteen Mile Brook Trail
Right on Nineteen Mile Brook Trail back to parking
Date: 27 March 2021 Distance: 10.8 miles Moving Time: 04:44:46 Pace: 26:24/mile Elevation Gain: 4524′
On a beautifully cold February day, John, Jeff, Richard and I snowshoed up to Nancy Pond so we could bushwhack to another New Hampshire 200 Highest peak, the viewless Duck Pond Mountain. A few inches of powder over a packed trail made for good traction, and the bushwhack to Duck Pond was a little thick but otherwise easy. The highlight of the day was the perfect sun halo, and snowshoeing over the frozen Norcross Pond to the view of the Bonds across the Pemigewasset Wilderness.
Parked Nancy Pond Trail parking off Route 302 in Hart’s Location, NH
Snowshoed Nancy Pond Trail to Nancy Pond
Bushwhack to summit of Duck Pond Mountain and back
Bushwhack across Nancy Pond and Norcross Pond and back
Snowshoed down Nancy Pond Trail back to car
Date: 13 February 2021 Distance: 9.2 miles Moving Time: 04:20:15 Pace: 28:25/mile Elevation Gain: 2785′
I hadn’t done Mount Paugus, and had a whole bunch of Tracing the White Mountains Trails to do, so I joined Jeff and Yudi for a hike. Not only did we enjoy the view at the south peak of Mount Paugus, but we also made the gnarly bushwhack out to the true summit for our New Hampshire 200 Highest lists. After Paugus, we continued to the always wonderful Mount Chocorua to finish up a few trails on its western side. It was a long but great day in the woods.
Parked at Liberty Trail parking on Chocorua Mountain Road, Albany, NH
Hiked up Chocorua Mountain Road to Whitin Brook Trail
Left on Whitin Brook Trail to Cabin Trail
Right on Cabin Trail to Lawrence Trail
Right on Lawrence Trail to south peak of Mount Paugus
Bushwhack to Mount Paugus true summit and back
Left on Old Paugus Trail to intersection of Bee Line Trail
Left on Bee Line Trail to Brook Trail
Left on Brook Trail to intersection with West Side Trail
Left on West Side Trail to Three Sister’s Trail
Right on Three Sister’s Trail to summit of Mount Chocorua
Down Liberty Trail to parking lot
Date: 21 November 2020 Distance: 15.1 miles Moving Time: 06:47:48 Pace: 26:58/mile Elevation Gain: 5021′
At the beginning of the Quarantine Summer of 2020, Lindsay and I camped for the weekend at Mount Blue state park and hiked the classic Tumbledown Mountain. The plan was to make a loop of all of the Tumbledown peaks and Little Jackson, starting and ending at Brook Trail. Our plans were foiled when a thunderstorm rolled in as we got to the most remote and true peak of Tumbledown, the north peak. We bailed and bushwhacked down to Tumbledown Pond, skirted around it and went back down Brook Trail. Of course, the sun was back out as we returned to Tumbledown Pond.
Parked at Brook Trail parking on Weld To Byron Road in Weld, ME
Hiked Brook Trail to intersection with Loop Trail at Tumbledown Pond
Left on Loop Trail to Tumbledown East Peak and Tumbledown Southwest Peak and back to intersection with Tumbledown North Peak bushwhack
Left on Tumbledown North Peak bushwhack to Tumbledown North Peak and col between Tumbledown Mountain and Little Jackson Mountain
Right on bushwhack around Tumbledown Pond back to intersection with Brook Trail
Left on Brook Trail back to parking
Date: 06 June 2020 Distance: 6.8 miles Moving Time: 03:44:38 Pace: 32:53/mile Elevation Gain: 2065′
Shelburne Moriah, the sometimes overlooked sibling if 4000 footer Mount Moriah, is one of the taller 52 with a View mountains. In mid-November 2016 I tackled this summit not just for its status on the aforementioned list, but because it was supposed to be a beautiful summit to behold.
I parked at the Shelburne Trail head and hiked on the Shelburne Trail until it intersected with the Kenduskeag Trail. I followed the Kenduskeag trail to the summit of Shelburne Moriah and little beyond, and returned via the same route. The trip was 11 miles long, included 3600 feet of elevation and took just under 6 and a half hours to complete.
Map of hike
After a moment of confusion and consulting my maps, I found my way to the parking lot at the start of the Shelburne Trail off of Route 2 in Shelburne, New Hampshire. It was cool, windy and cloudy, but there was only one other car in the parking lot, so I knew the hike would be a solitary one.
We accessed Davis Path from the Davis Path parking lot off Route 302 just south of Crawford Notch in Bartlett, New Hampshire. We took Davis Path to the intersection with the Mount Crawford spur path, which we took to Mount Crawford. We backtracked to Davis Path and continued along it until the intersection with Mount Parker Trail, which we took to Mount Resolution. We again backtracked to Davis Path and continued north to the intersection with Giant Stairs spur path, which we took to the vista overlooking Giant Stairs. We then backtracked to Davis Path and began the return trip to our car. At the intersection with Mount Parker Trail we took an old side trail to AMC Resolution Shelter (demolished) and returned to Davis Path. Midway between Mount Resolution and Mount Crawford we bushwhacked over an unnamed peak marked as 3088′ to a remote cliff. We finally bushwhacked back to Davis Path and returned the remaining distance to our car.
This hike and its many side trips and bushwhacks turned out to be nearly 12 miles long and accumulated over 3500 feet of elevation. Including several breaks it took us just under 9 hours to complete.
We started on the Signal Ridge Trail off Sawyer River Road . At the junction with Carrigain Notch Trail we took it. There was no official path to Vose Spur, but there was a pretty good herd path to the summit from Carrigain Notch Trail. Soon after passing Bushwhack Boulder we took the herd path on the left, stepping over a large birch log, and followed it to the summit. We then continued our bushwhack down the western side to the talus strewn col between Vose Spur and East Carrigain. The bushwhack continued up East Carrigain and then followed the ridge to the fire tower atop Mount Carrigain. We looped back to our car by taking Signal Ridge Trail back to the trailhead.
The hike was about 10 miles with 3600′ elevation gain and took us under eight hours to complete.
I knew when I hiked Mount Abraham in May I would want to return to explore the alpine area more thoroughly. It boasted the second largest alpine area in Maine by square acreage after Mount Katahdin. What I didn’t was that it would be less than two weeks later when I returned.
A friend and I drove up to Mount Abraham after work on a Friday evening. We got to the trail head clearing at 8:35 pm as daylight was fading. The temperature was mild and the sky mostly clear as we started up the Fire Warden’s Trail by headlamp. We made the mostly easy hike to the Abraham tent site by 10:35 pm. After setting up camp we ate dinner by a campfire and retired for the night at midnight. I remembered drifting to sleep as my hammock slowly swayed below the glittering stars.
On a rainy day in May I decided to take the long trek up to Carrabassett Valley to do the Mount Redington bushwhack. I figured there weren’t going to be many views from Redington, so it would be a good day to hike it. I awoke fairly early and planned on getting to the parking area on Caribou Pond Road by 8:00am. Those plans were thoroughly smashed when I got to Kingfield, Maine, the finish line of the Sugarloaf Marathon.
It took me an hour to go the final 10 miles of my drive, but I couldn’t complain. Four years previously I had made the Sugarloaf Marathon my first marathon. Seeing the utterly exhausted runners brought back fond and painful memories. I wish it had been cool, overcast and drizzly on my marathon day. Instead it had been sunny and in the 90s.
The Caribou Pond Road was a hot mess. The gravel was soft as if from a recent thaw and water was puddling up all over. That was on top of normal conditions of the logging road, sketchy wood bridges and all. Along the way I passed a mountain biker going the opposite direction and arrived at the trailhead at 9:00 am.
What do you do on the final full day of winter? Get in your last Winter New Hampshire 4000 Footer of the season of course. Since the weather was going to be mild, a couple of friends and I decided to bushwhack to Mount Isolation. It was a Winter 4000 Footer that none of us had, and since we had done the other difficult Winter bushwhack of Owls Head, we figured we would round out the season.
The night before, one of my friends and I camped out at Barne’s Field Group Campground. As drove through Pinkham Notch it started to snow, but it was not supposed to accumulate to anything. We were surprised to find many of the campsites were being used, it must have been due to the favorable forecast. We did dinner over a fire and hit the sack early.
We met our other friend at 8:00am at the Rocky Branch Trail parking. There were about 10 cars in the lot and the weather was sunny, in the 20°s and breezy. We were somewhat surprised that there was no snow on the ground, the forest floor looked more like May than March. The plan was to hike Rocky Branch Trail to the top of Engine Hill and then do Engine Hill Bushwhack to bypass all of the water crossings on Isolation Trail. We would then hike Isolation Trail after doing a single water crossing and finally Davis Path and Isolation Spur to the summit.