Mt. Cabot (4170)
Trail: Unknown Pond Trail & Killkenny Ridge Trail
Date: Saturday & Sunday 06/14&15/2003
Attending: Gabe, Simone, John Chicoine, & Gary Gilchrest
Miles: 8 Time: 7+ hours total.
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: Unknown Pond campsite
Weather: Rainy and very damp on Saturday, Overcast and wicked muggy on Sunday.
“Well, we knocked the bastard off!” Sir Edmund Hillary
# 48!!! What crappy weather to end a 5 year quest to finish the 4K’s before Gabe reached his 16’th birthday, BUT WE DID IT!.
Thank you Gary and Shawn for keeping us company on Soooo many trips up to the Whites and encouraging us along the way.
We planned for the damp and the mosquitoes, (we had both, in way more than our fair share). We scheduled our Saturday 2.2-mile hike from the Mill Brook Road in Stark New Hampshire, up the Unknown Pond Trail to the designated campsite so that we would get there by 7:00PM. We didn’t want to have to hang around the site too long before we hit the sack. The Campsite was very damp and there was no chance we would dry off the sweat and rain through the night. I’m generally against campfires while hiking but I had to try and get one started that night. Everything was totally soaked from a week of rain before we got there. But, thanks to following strict Royal Ranger protocol for a starting fires in damp conditions I managed to start the much needed fire to fend off the damp / chill / and Mosquitoes! We hit the sack by 8:00PM.
We were up by 6AM and on the trail early in hopes to manage to get off the mountain before the predicted “Thunder Showers by afternoon”. (The weather never cleared up much during our entire hike and stayed mostly cloudy / partly sunny thought the day). We hit the trail by 7AM and managed to bag Cabot summit by 9AM. Of all our hikes in the whites this was our least favorite hike. Other than the milestone of being our last 4K peak, this hike, campout and summit was one that none of us would even remember other than the wet, cold, and mosquitoes. There was absolutely no reason to hang out at the summit much longer than it took for Gary to hand out some celebratory gifts and a few Snickers-bites. Gary gave Gabe a bottle of Military strength foot-powder, (Gary’s been Gabes Tent-mate for most of these hikes!). He gave Simone a Thermometer zipper pull and for some reason felt it was appropriate to give me a bottle of camp soap; just what are we implying here!
A tip for other 4K hopefulls,,,,, Don’t leave this peak as your last one! Pick one that will be memorable!
As we headed back towards the Horn we began to see a few small breaks in the thick overcast so we opted to hike to the Horn in hopes of enough favorable openings for a few views. That’s exactly what we got, a few quick views of some of the neighboring peaks. Our Spirits weren’t lifted much by what we saw, (or didn’t see). We didn’t hang around long. We trudged back to the campsite hungry and in need of replenishing our water for the short hike out. We suffered through the mosquito infestation long enough to whip up some Tuna-Wraps and break camp. We were on our way down the last leg of the hike by 1PM and we weren’t slowing down for anything. The temps were reaching the low 70’s and the infestation of Mosquitoes were drawn to our sweat drenched bodies like flies to dung. We managed to make it to the car by 2PM, beat from the humidity and our mad rush out.
On our ride home we meandered through Stark, (visiting John Stark’s impressive statue) and all the various sites in Stark. (both of them) After that 5-minute diversion we started the 4-hour drive back home. This was definitely one hike I can surely say it was nice to be home; our trip and our 5 year quest were finally done.