Michael and I signed up for the Sugarloaf Uphill Climb, a 2.2 mile race up Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley with roughly 2500′ of elevation gain. The average pitch was 20%, but at its steepest was 30%. The race was advertised as being 2.5 miles, so we were both surprised when we turned the last corner to find the finish line.
The race started from the quad lift
We ran up Binder Trail to summit
The finish was a few hundred feet below the true summit
Date: 11 October 2020 Distance: 2.2 miles Pace: 18:04/mile Elevation Gain: 2362′
Not surprisingly, the races I planned to run this year were cancelled due to Covid-19. So I was pretty pumped when I heard that the Beast of the East half marathon was going to happen. It had been on my radar for a couple of years, so I signed up for it right away. Bibs were sent out to runners and the start was done in heats of 50 people socially distanced by cones with bib numbers on them spaced out six feet apart. I was grateful for some normalcy and the day was perfectly cool and dry for a race.
The race started from the beach at Echo Lake
Ran south on Echo Lake Trail to Bryce Path
Turned left on Bryce Path to Bryce Link
Turned right on Bryce Link to Cathedral Ledge Road
Followed an unnamed trail along Cathedral Ledge Road to top of Cathedral Ledge
Jumped on Bryce Path to White Horse Ledge Trail
Turned right on White Horse Ledge Trail to White Horse Ledge and on to Red Ridge Link
Turned right on Red Ridge Link to Red Ridge Trail
Turned left on Red Ridge Trail to Moat Mountain Trail
Art the top of the ridge, turned right on Moat Mountain Trail to North Moat Mountain summit and continued down to Red Ridge Trail
Crossed the river to take Red Ridge Trail back to Red Ridge Link
Turned left on Red Ridge Link back to White Horse Ledge Trail
Continuing right on White Horse Ledge Trail to Bryce Path
Turned right on Bryce Path and headed back toward Echo Lake Trail
Continuing left along Echo Lake Trail to the beach at Echo Lake and the race’s finish
Date: 20 September 2020 Distance: 13.1 miles Pace: 16:30/mile Elevation Gain: 4429′
Time: 03:35:13 Place: 81/130 M40-49: 20/31
Completed Red-Lining Trails: Red Ridge Trail Red Ridge Link Bryce Link
In early 2017 my friend Michael and hike snowshoed a loop of Mount Whiteface and Mount Passaconaway. I was grabbing them for my Grid and Winter New Hampshire 4000 Footers lists, and he was getting them for his New Hampshire 4000 Footers list.
Parked at Ferncroft Parking of Ferncroft Road
Walked down Ferncroft Road to Blueberry Ledge Trail
Snowshoed up Blueberry Ledge Trail to intersection with Rollins Trail
Continued up Rollins Trail to Mount Whiteface summit and along the ridge to Dicey’s Mill Trail
Turned left at Dicey’s Mill Trail and hiked up to Passaconaway summit and to Walden Trail
Turned right on Walden Trail and down to Wonalancet Ridge Trail
Turned right on Wonalancet Ridge Trail to Hibbard Mountain and Mount Wonalancet, and then down to Old Mast Road
Turned right on Old Mast Road and returned to Ferncroft parking
Date Hiked: 04 February 2017 Elevation Gain: 4500′ Distance: 11.0 miles Book Time: 7:45
Completed Red-Lining Trails: Blueberry Ledge Trail Wonalancet Range Trail Wonalancet Short Cut
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.
In early November 2016 a friend and I camped out near Grafton Notch in western Maine. The next morning we hiked the two peaks of Baldpate Mountain. Baldpate was supposed to be a great hike above treeline, so we had to check it out.
We parked at the Old Speck parking lot and crossed the street to follow the Appalachian Trail north. We took the side trail to Table Rock and rejoined the Appalachian Trail to both peaks of Baldpate Mountain. We returned along the Appalachian Trail with a short side trip to see Baldpate lean-to. The hike was just short of 8 miles with 3800 feet of elevation gain and took us a little less than 6 hours.
Map of hike
At around 9:30 am we pulled into the parking lot along the Appalachian Trail on Maine Route 26 at the Old Speck Trail head. It was mostly cloudy, 30 degrees and there was only one other car in the lot.
After a quick hike up Mount Major for a sunrise that never really showed its face, I headed to Orford, New Hampshire to meet a couple friends and hike Mount Cube. I thought that Mount Cube would have a square shape to it, but in fact its name is a local corruption of Mount Cuba. As legend has it, the mountain was named after a dog that fought a bear on its summit.
I first caught sight of the mountain as I drove around Lower Baker Pond on Route 25A, its rocky north summit stood high above the water. I passed by our starting point, the roadside parking for the Appalachian Trail and hooked around the northern side of the mountain. I was meeting my friends on the dirt Baker Road on the west side of the mountain at the Cross Rivendell Trail head, where we would be completing our hike.
They arrived soon after I go there and we headed back to the Appalachian Trail in my friend’s truck. We got to the start of our hike at 9:15 am. There were two other cars parked off the road and the weather was in the 40s and overcast. We started up the trail following a couple with a dog, and we were followed by a guy and his dog. We soon lost the trail and we all convened in a clearing slightly befuddled. In short time we discovered that we were on a logging road, not the Appalachain Trail. We headed back out to the road and found the trail on the western end of the parking area. It was signed and pretty obvious once we looked for it.
Much like in 2014 when we hiked Guadalupe Peak and El Capitan, my coworkers and good friends John and Michael made plans to explore the wilderness away from our normal haunts by tacking a vacation onto a work-related trip. This time we chose a lesser known wilderness area within the Stanislaus National Forest called the Emigrant Wilderness. The Emigrant Wilderness is noted for its granite and volcanic terrain and beautiful alpine lakes. It became our target because it was only a 3 hour drive from San Francisco, relatively low in the Sierra Nevadas (it was April after all), it was easy to obtain a backcountry camping permit, it was below the 9000′ restriction on campfires and bear cans were not required.
As the date of our trip approached the forecast made it clear that we would not be experiencing the typical Californian climate. Though the weeks before and after our trip were sunny and in the 70s, the forecast for our week was in the 40s with threatening thunderstorms. On the day that our conferences ended the forecast still wasn’t great but it looked like the precipitation was going to be low even if the thunderstorms did manage to roll in. At the worst, the highest elevation forecast that was available predicted less than an inch of snow with temperatures in the mid to high 30s.
As we drove to REI and Whole Foods in Berkeley to get supplies we were still discussing whether to ditch the mountain plans and spend four days exploring Point Reyes, on the Pacific coast where the forecast was favorable. In the end it came down to the fact that we had planned our trip for months and flown from Maine to California in order to experience the Sierra Nevadas. The worst possible forecast would be a mild New England spring storm. So we headed to the mountains.