Category: New Hampshire 4Ks

Adams

Mt. Adams (5774ft.)

“Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.” Theodore Roosevelt

I would have to say that this could clearly be the motto of the Randolph Mountain Club. . . . They get it!


Trail:
Lowes Path
Date:
Monday 8/16, 8/17 1999
Attending:
Gabe, Simone, & John Chicoine
Miles:
4.1 Time: 6 hours total to summit. 4hr. 30min. to Gray Knob hut & 1hr. 20min. to summit on day 2.
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site:
RMC Shelter Gray Knob
Weather:
Day 1: Cloudy, 70 to 75, at the base, 50 at Gray Knob Camp.

Day 2: Cloudy with thunderstorms likely for Adams Summit wind 35 – 55 Temp 35

 

This was #23 of the 48 in our goal of having hiked ½ the 48 4K’s by Aug 20. (1 year anniversary) We had hoped to bag Madison too on this trip to reach our goal. We didn’t. This was a long hard climb on day 1 (only 3.2 miles, but steep, and with full gear it took us 4.5 hours). After a short rest, we tried to bag Adams on day one, but after scrambling up to Mt. Sam Adams summit, I just couldn’t take another step and we had to turn back. Adams would have been a full 3hr. round trip for us from Gray Knob, so we left it for day 2. The next morning the forecast on day 2 changed from partly cloudy (no rain)/ wind 15 – 25, to T-Storms possible, wind 35 – 55. All 3 hours from Gray knob to Adams and back are above tree line and very exposed. Our caretaker wasn’t willing to decide for us to go/no go for our Adams summit, but he did tell us to keep a watchful eye and get out of there A.S.A.P. if a storm blew in. He told us that the shortest route to safety/cover from Thunderstorm Junction, would be to head to Crag Camp and take the link trail from Craig Camp back to Grey Knob. This is an awesome mountain and somewhat daunting! The wind was relentless.

 

Gabe and I never felt very comfortable on Adams’s pinnacle type peak. The wind presented itself as a steady flow from an unobstructed jet stream moving over the peak. (A power of nature that can make a person realize just how small and inconsequential he is. At times it would gust just enough to cause us to steady our footing for a moment and wait for it to pass before taking another step. From the point of the summit, the South-East slope drops steep and steady into the tree line and continues down into the base of the Great Gulf. This is one of the few places in the whites that has a summit to floor slope that drops away from the viewer. You really see and feel all 5774 feet of this mountain.

Although my original plans were to bag both Adams and Madison, Madison would have added another 2+ hours of waking to an already wind weary crew; and once we got back to Gray Knob, we would still have to carry our full packs down from the hut another 3.5 hours more to get to our car. The weather (though very daunting) was holding out in our favor; the solid gray turbulent ceiling of clouds was very high above us and we had views clear to the horizon. Once off Adams summit we could relax a bit so we decided to enjoy ourselves and take a little extra time trekking above tree line to visit Crag Camp.

You really do feel like you’re strolling on top of the world up here. There weren’t very many people in sight of us on this vast exposed space. We used the Spur trail .9mi. from Thunderstorm Junction to visit Knights Castle, (The teen-ager we stayed with at Gray knob helped lead the trail crew that recently reopened the Knights Castle spur.) Knights Castle out cropping (no larger than 10ft X 10ft.hangs out over King Ravine like a guardian of the cliffs. This picture of Gabe on Knights Castle doesn’t do it justice; just 2 feet in front of Gabe is a drop off into the base of Kings Ravine. Crag Camp is one of the most striking huts in the Whites. Hands Down! It sits directly on the edge of the wall of King Ravine and it’s porch hangs out over the cliff wall. The cabin is a very new post and beam structure with natural pine interior and a full wall of glass overlooking King Ravine.

We used the Gray Knob trail .4mi. between the two camps to get back to Gray Knob hut. Both huts are new and very beautiful. (If I ever get the opportunity to build one of my sons a house, it will be a replica of Gray Knob.) (And if I get to build both of them houses, the other one will be a replica of Crag Camp.) We hope to stay there several more times @ $8.00 a night per person. These huts are as nice as any AMC huts in the Whites. We slept on the upstairs floor of the Gray knob hut on matrices. (they had about 12 of them that people could use; first come first serve.) Our caretaker told us that between the two huts, in his last two summers as a caretaker he had only turned people away once, and they only had to hike over to Crag Camp. He had his guitar with him and played Dylan tunes for a few hours that evening; Gabe was big time impressed! We shared Gray Knob with 2 wine drinking Canadians that ate like kings; They prepared a spaghetti sauce with meat and wine. They had carried up three bottles of wine, one to cook with, one to give to the care taker and one to drink that night. The next morning they cleaned themselves up like they were at a resort. They put on cologne, clean shirts and gold chain necklaces, and then the put on their backpacks. There was another teen-aged couple that was in the camp when we got there. A 17 year old boy and his girlfriend. The young man was an avid hiker, he had overseen some trail work crews during the previous summer. His father owned a wood milling business in Littleton and was a big contributor of the lumber for the RMC huts. On the trip from Gray Knob to Rt.2 down Lowes Path, we all got a bit of, “God! When will this trip ever END!” We had been hiking from 8AM to 4:30PM before we reached our car. The heat and mosquitoes along the long flat slog through damp North Country forests out to Rt. 2, were working their magic and we were all getting a bit snippety. What a long day. All in all, between the two days I believe we only walked about 11 miles, but this was a tough trip for us.

Washington

“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.” Theodore Roosevelt

Mt. Washington (6288)

Trail: Amonoosic Ravine Tr., Lakes In the Clouds Hut, Crawford path, Mt Washington, Gulf Side trail, Jewell trail.

Date: August 20 1998

Attending: Gabe, Simone, Noah, & John Chicoine

Miles: 9+ Time: 10 hours

AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: Lakes in the Clouds hut

Weather: Sunny, 75 to 80, at the base, 45 at Summit.

This was the first of our White Mountain hikes. Little did we know that this was only the beginning of a very long goal of hiking all 48 of the 4K’s in the White Mountains. Nor did we know how much it would cost us… But I digress; back to this hike. We left home @ 6:15AM, we arrived at the Mt. Washington State Park parking lot (base of the Cog Railroad.) at 9:30. We started up the Amonoosic trail, spirits high, bookbags full of food, water and winter jackets. The Amonoosic has several nice waterfalls to view as it follows along the Amonoosic river.


One of the many treats on the Amonoosic Trail is Gem pool; Pictured here.

The trail was quite vigorous. I would clasify this as the high side of moderate difficulty. We arrived at the Lakes in the Clouds hut at 12:55, I was beat! There are several steep sections near the top third of the trail. The springs on the trail were running quite briskly adding to the difficulty with slick water crossings. I wasn’t excited about going down the Amonoosic if there was any other reasonable option. After a short rest and a short 15 minute class by one of the hut care-takers on above treeline plant life, we pushed on through the next 1.2 miles along the Crawford path to the Mt. Washington summit. What a surprise!!! People everywhere! We’de never been on Mt. Washington and climbing up from the west side, we had no idea the summit would have a carnaval atmosphere until we stepped into the middle of it!

Little did we know that we were enjoying some of the best viewing from the summit, on one of only 20% of the days each year that you have any kind of view at all. While we were sitting on a bench relaxing and recovering from the strenuous ordeal we’d just been through to get here, one very elderly gent, (70’ish) fit as a fiddle, had just hiked up Hunington Ravine and sat down beside us. (He looked less beat than I felt.). Did I mention I was beat!

At 3:45 we started down Crawford path .2 miles to the GulfSide trail .8 miles, (The Gulfside trail is absolutely one of the most awesome trails in the Whites. It looks down into the Great Gulf; It makes you want to throw a rock because it looks like the rock would fall 1000 feet or more. Plus, the views of the Cog as it puffs past the hikers is worth the time it takes to get there. We then connected to the Jewell trail for the final 5 miles to the parking lot. (this rout is an easier/gentler, but a far longer way off this hill.) We arrived at the base of the Cog Railroad again at 7:30, just as dusk was setting in. In the time it took us to walk from the trail-head to the car it was dark. Note to myself! Don’t bother to do this loop in this direction again. Jewel Trail is very long, and though the Gulf Side trail is a must see, it’s rocky and a pain to hike. Just go back down the Amonoosic.

 

Jefferson

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Edmund Hillary

Mt. Jefferson (5712)

Trail: Caps Ridge to Mt. Jefferson, Castle Tr. to Link Tr. back to Caps Ridge, to Rt. 16

Date: Sunday 9/26/99

Attending: Gabe, Simone, John, and my brother Ralph Chicoine

Miles: 7 Time: 3 hours total to summit. 8 hour total hike

AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: None

Weather: Sunny, 50ish, very light winds.

This was #25 of the 48. And the third highest peak in the Whites. When planning this hike don’t forget that! It’s a serious hike and although the Caps Ridge trailhead starts from the highest parking lot in the Whites, you still have to do a lot of work! And you’re still going to spend a lot of time above tree-line.

The day was as good as anyone could ask for, not a cloud in the sky; We even got a little sun burned. And the wind was just enough to dry the sweat without causing a chill. We parked on Jefferson Notch Rd; The Caps Ridge parking lot was already full. The Caps Ridge trail was muddy at the base. The first 1/4 mile was flat and swampy. The trail turns to a moderate hike for the next 3/4 mile up to the potholes rock, a great destination for a picnic for people that aren’t really into bagging summits, but want a nice hike and spectacular viewing. From the potholes rock the view over the Cog Railroad is enough to consider this location as a end destination for a great place for a picnic. This spot affords the best views of the southern presidentials for just a little bit of effort.

If these three clowns wern’t standing in the way, this would be a great shot of Mt Jefferson from the potholes rock.

This trail affords lots of great views of the west side of Mt. Washington, the Cog Railroad and the Lakes in the Clouds AMC hut. Things got steep shortly after the potholes and the ledge scrambling begins to get a bit more serious. The first ledge scramble is the hardest. But take heart although the rest of the trail has a few more tough ledge scrambles none are any worse than the first set. At one point we looked up to the summit and it looked as though the people far up ahead of us were walking up a 40-degree knife edge ridge towards the summit, but when we got there it was just the side of the mountain, and it was not at all as difficult as it looked.


Here we’re sitting on one of the caps having lunch and re-hydrating

It was a little bit daunting and the last .5 miles are really tiring. Lots of this hike is above the tree line so things look more difficult than they are, but that’s not to say that they are easy either. It’s all rock, (like Adams). The whole of the northern presidentials has vast amounts of “above the tree-line” hiking, both a blessing for it’s novelty, and spectacular views, and a curse for it’s potential for calamity. For the assent, Ralph really seemed not to want to descend the Caps Ridge trail, if possible. (Feeling adventurous). So after looking at the map, we saw that the Castle trail looked less steep and the Link Trail re-connected the loop back onto the Ridge of the Caps, way below any rock scrambling on the Caps. But it did add 2.5 extra miles. The Castle trail was exceptionally beautiful, far nicer than the Caps Ridge. Although over-all the Castle trail was a more gradual assent this just meant a longer rocky path and it proved to have as many difficult ledges to descend as the Caps.

The Castles are spectacular. A must do hike!

Don’t let anything I said here keep you from hiking this trail yourself. It’s really worth the effort it takes to hike it!

The Link trail was a 1¾ mile tedious, wet-root, tree riddled, mosey bolder dodge, deer path that hiked slower than 1Mph. Plan for it, and expect to pay it’s dues because it’s the only way to turn this hike into a loop and it’s still worth it all.

My hard-learned rules still stand:
— “Never change your itinerary on the fly”.
— “Always do your research first”.
None the less it was a great day and a great hike, (3 miles of trail above tree line) and we know about three more trails.

It was, as it always is great to have my brother on the trail with us today. It doesn’t happen often enough.

Monroe

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

Mt. Monroe (5382)

Trail: Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail

Date: Monday 8/2/99

Attending: Gabe, Simone, John Chicoine

Miles: 6.8 Time: 5 hours round trip with 30 minutes

(warming up) in the Lakes of the Clouds hut

AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: Lakes in the Clouds

Weather: Cloudy, 70 to 75, at the base, 20 on the summit.

 


Lakes Of the Clouds hut from Monroe summit

This was #22 of the 48 in our goal of having hiked ½ the 48 in our first year. This was also the second time we hiked the Ammonoosuc. Check out Gem pool There may be no more popular pool in the Whites that invites you to jump in and refresh yourself. What a tease… it’s got to be one of the coldest bodies of water I’ve ever tried to get into. I watched several people boast of how they were “going in for a swim” only to barely get their knees wet. One of these days I’ll have a picture of Gem pool with me swimming in it.

Our first time up this trail was our very first White Mountain hike ever 8/20/98. We never even tried to bag Mt. Monroe on that hike; we were headed to Mt. Washington. At that time, we thought that the bump next to the Lakes of the Clouds hut was just a shoulder of Mt. Washington. Our first time up this trail we chose not to descend this trail, but now as a bit more seasoned hikers we see that it was just a typical hike. We made it to the hut in just over 2hrs, even though the book says 2hrs, 40min. Monroe is just an easy 15 minutes from the Lakes of the Clouds hut, but on the day we chose to hike it, there were 40mph winds and the wind chill was down to 20 degrees. I didn’t have an extra jacket and I was just dressed in a shirt and shorts (Who would think we’d be below freezing on the second of August.). We only stayed on the summit long enough to snap 1 picture and back to the hut we ran; I think we learned to never hike the Presidentials without the packable jackets again.

We were glad the Lakes of the Clouds hut was there for some shelter, and some hot drinks to warm us up. Monroe was clear most of the day, except when we were on it, but the summit of Washington stayed in the clouds all day. The Ammonoosuc River was a good place for the traditional foot washing, (at the bottom, we were hot and muggy) the water was cold. All in all, it was nice to have another short hike given the 175-mile ride it takes to get to the base where the Cog Railroad starts. This was our second attempt to bag this guy. We tried it once on a day that we hiked Edmonds path to Mt. Eisenhower. We almost made it, but just 1/4-mile from the summit, we ran out of steam, and time. That was the day that we learned that even if a summit looks “just over there” it really is a couple of miles away and a 3-mile round trip.

 

Bonds

“In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world – the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.” John MuirMt. Zealand, Guyot, West Bond, Bondcliff, & Bond

(4260, 4630, 4540, 4698, 4265)

Trail: Zealand Tr., Twinway, Bondcliff

Date: May 28 & 28 1999

Attending: Gabe, Simone, John

Miles: Time: 2 very long days

AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: Guyot Campground

Weather: Sunny, 70ish, Very light winds.

This was our first over-night backpacking trip in the Whites. It was also our first extended hike with full backpacks. Simone’s pack @ 30Lbs, Gabe’s @ 15Lbs, and mine @ 35Lbs.

Day one: The trip in to Guyot campground from the Zealand Trail parking lot was app. 7 miles. The first 2 miles to the Zealand hut is a wonderful walk in the woods past scenic beaver dams, mountain streams, ponds, and marshes, with an almost unnoticeable elevation gain. There is steep 100-yard stretch up to the Zealand hut with waterfalls, and spectacular views. I can’t wait to try this section as a snowshoe hike. From the hut to Zealand Mountain is a long and arduous trip with only one lookout spur along the way. It’s a really nice overlook into the Pemi, facing the Willey range. The summit of Zealand is off a .1 mile spur that leads you through a narrow path to a muddy clearing who’s only point of interest is a rotting old Zealand sign nailed to a tree that it’s a required stop. It’s ugliness mocks the effort you just invested to get there.

From Zealand to Guyot is a short elevation drop of several hundred feet and app. 1/2-mile long. Then a long tough stretch up 600-ft. elevation gain to a beautiful open summit, (it reminds me of Moosilauke). It’s unfortunate that Guyot is not an official 4K, it is well deserving of the recognition. From Guyot summit to the Guyot Campground spur off the Bondclif trail is about .8 miles with a few hundred feet of elevation drop. The Guyot Campground spur is only .2-miles, but drops quite steeply for its duration. The campground and shelter are among the nicest in the Whites. It is my observation that this trip would be almost undoable if the fragile spring that provides water at the campground dries up, (as it sometimes does in mid summer). This was the only water source between Zealand, and the Pemigewasset wilderness. The leg of the trip from Zealand Trail parking lot to the campground took 6.5hrs., and seemed endless. The 40+ blow-downs had taken their toll. Gabe and I were quite frustrated by this point but the night with the nice group of people in the hut put us back on top of things. I cooked us up a pot of Ramen stew and we ate a few treats and settled into our sleeping bags in the hut with the rest of the people.

Day two: Sleep! Did anybody sleep? The morning comes as a reprieve from the night. We were on the trail by 8AM, we stashed our packs at the top of the Campground spur and headed over the Bondclif Trail to the West Bond Spur; A one mile round trip back and fourth. There was a bit of snow on the trail (That was cool) but nothing much to cope with. With the temps hitting the 70’s this snow would soon be gone to where the snow goes. From the view from West Bond we could see the full length of the trip we had ahead of us, (and back). All that was just to be our morning’s hike before we even started the long and almost overwhelming hike back to the car from the Guyot campground.

Back on the Bondclif trail, we then headed over Bond, an easy 3/4 mile stretch up to the summit, the tallest of the three Bond summits. When we got there we met a couple that were out of water and they asked us if we had any to spare, (We didn’t, “have spare water” but we did share a third of what we had. Now we headed west out over a wide knife edge sag to Bondcliff yet again another mile almost all in the open. (Nice to look at, no shade, needed lots of water, but now we were running very low). From the top of Bond it’s a steep rock scramble through the crumholtz 100 yards or so, then it levels out a bit before it heads up to Bondcliff. Bondcliff is one of the most unique spots in the Whites. We were standing out on a precipice that is set in the middle of the Pemi. COOL! REALLY COOL!

This is where we met a retired couple (late 60’s, just friends). She was a very experienced hiker. She made all her own ultra-light gear. She made a Tyvek floorless pup tent utilizing her hiking poles, a Tyvek tube backpack, Tyvek rain poncho, she cooked with a solid fuel Isbet tablet stove and only cooked in a 1 cup tin. She can pack for a 7 day summer hike at under 20 pounds, including food. (In contrast: we were carrying 80Lbs. between 3 people for 2 days.) She was helping her friend who had just started learning/bagging the 48 4K’s. All his gear was store bought and considerably heaver.

We then reversed this last leg of the trip back over Bond and back to Guyot Campground spur to pick up the packs. By this time, we were getting very thirsty,,, We had been out of water for at least the last hour, and the sun was warming things up into the 70’s. We knew it, and the black flies did too. I had to make a quick trip all the awy back down to the campground to stock up on more water. We had lunch at the spur junction. (So did the black flies.) This is where our day should have ended, we had already done 5 miles and it was now 1:00. But our plans were to get out of the woods today. There was no way to contact the people at home that were expecting us to make it home. The heat, the bugs, and the blow-downs were taking their toll again. We were all getting a bit buggy. At one point I was looking for some yogurt covered pretzels and I couldn’t find them in my pack. I was sure they were in Simone’s pack, she was sure they weren’t,,, I knew we weren’t having as much fun as we had thought we would, when Simone tipped hew pack upside down and dumped the entire contents on the ground just to show me that the yogurt covered pretzels weren’t in there. They weren’t! We headed .6-miles over to Guyot and back-tracked the Twinway through the 40+ blow-downs over Mt. Zealand to Zealand hut. A grueling 4.2 miles. After a short stop at the bathrooms, we started the last leg of the trip. We reached our car at 8PM (a 12 hour/ 12-mile day). A total of 18 miles, and up over 8 total summits (including the backtracks) in 2 days.

My original plans were to exit out over South and North Twin. (That would have killed us!) I had a bicycle stashed in the bushes of the parking lot at the trailhead of the Twins. I was going to ride the bike back to the car and come back for Simone and Gabe. We met some hikers that had come in from the Twins and they told us that there was still a lot of snow on the north sides of South and North twin, and there were a lot of blow down going out that way. When they heard our plans they advised us against it. Thank God I came to my senses and didn’t try that. We wouldn’t have finished hiking until 11PM, and I would have a 10-mile bike ride to the car. It would have been a very nice plan for a three-day hike.

 

in all I’d say the trip did us more damage spiritually than physically. The false summits of Zealand, the endless length of day two and the blow-downs (so many blow downs) wore us down. Our feet were killing us. We just wanted it to end and we weren’t talking about doing another one soon, if ever!

The first thing I did when we got home (After a good night’s sleep) was to sit down and toss out everything I would be replacing with lighter equipment before I ever packed my pack again. Then I went through every pack and evaluated what we could do without and what was worth upgrading. Then we started planning our next backpacking trip. We may have been bruised, but we weren’t beaten.

Cabot

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.

Cannon

“It is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.” Theodore Roosevelt

Mt. Cannon (4100)

Trail: Kinsman Trail, from the Cannon Tramway parking lot to Cannon summit

Date: September 19, 1998

Attending: Dawn and Scott Hinkle, Gabe, Simone, & John Chicoine

Miles: 4.2-mile Time: 2.75 hrs. up, 2.5 hrs. down

AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: Cannon Summit Ski lodge

Weather: Sunny, (except on Cannon summit, thick fog) 60’ish,

The day was supposed to clear up into the PM hours so we decided to go for it. We talked Scott and Dawn Hinkle into attending this peak with us. This was their first hike in the Whites and even though Simone and I thought we had been really clear as to what 4K peak bagging was all about. We had never done this trail before so we could only hope for the best. The trail starts at the Cannon Mountain Ski Area parking lot; immediately climbing up steeply as it passes through lots of eroded crumbling sand-stone gullies. There was lots of erosion of the trail (I personally believe this trail needs to be re-routed or shutdown). The second half of the trail has lots of loose rock and gravel. This trail is really showing it’s excessive use and is in need of serious maintenance.

As we progressed into mid morning the clouds thickened instead of dissipating and the summit became damp and fogged in. Gabe was hiking just up ahead of the rest of us; (We were just barely a minute behind him) and at the first of the lookouts Gabe had a great view of the Franconia Notch for just a few seconds and then like a curtian closing, the clouds fogged everything over just as we rounded the corner to the lookout. We saw nothing but a thick white wall of cloud. At one point Simone was standing 40 yards away from the Tram Lodge and she thought the eve of the lodge was another summit off in the distance. At least the Tram lodge had restrooms and a cafeteria for us to sit and relax for a few moments. The summit was damp and the wet and the wind pushed the cold down into the bone. The temps were actually in the 45’ish range. After warming for a few moments in the lodge we started our slow descent.

As fate would have it that day, just as we walked out of the woods into the parking lot the sky cleared and we could see the Tram Lodge clearly from the parking lot. We consoled ourselves with a pizza at the pizza shop in Lincoln. This did not make for a great first hike for Dawn and Scott; bummer. (They commonly refer to this hike as “The Hike From Hell”.) As for us, it was just one more peak in the long list of 4K’s. One that I doubt we’ll ever repeat even on a great day. I have since seen someone with a great idea for this mountain. He is saving this mountain as his last 4K peak so that when he bags this peak he can have all his non-hiking friends and family take the tram up and celebrate with him when he gets there. That is a great idea!

Carrigain

Mt. Carrigain (4680)


Trail:
Signal Ridge Trail
Date:
Sunday 10/7/2001
Attending:
Gabe, Simone, John Chicoine, Gary & Pete Gilchrest, & Shawn White
Miles:
10 Time: 7+ hours total.
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site:

Weather:
Partly cloudy, 35 to 45. Snow flurries.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir

What a wonderful crew to hike with and possibly no better day of the year to do it on. The temps were comfortably cool and the foliage was at full peak. Mt. Carrigan is one of the finest in the Whites and it’s located just about right in the heart of it all. Today was a day of extreme contrasts between the bright sun shining through the clouds, the spectacular snow squalls scattered throughout the entire mountain range, and the stunning bright colors of the peak fall foliage on the mountain sides. It’s no doubt that we were standing in the midst of some of God’s finest work.
So this is what is meant by Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”

looks like homeless bums hanging out at the base of the tower.


The trail starts 2.5 miles down Sawyer road off of Rt.16 just north of the center of Bartlett. (Side note! Bartlett has no gas available! Bear Notch road is 27 miles to the nearest gas or you can fill up 6 miles southeast on Rt. 16.) The first 1.7 miles of this trail is easy flat hiking along an old access road. There are a few river crossings that are of no consequence at low water but some of the river crossings didn’t have pronounced riverbanks so I suspect they could flood wide areas at high water. At 1.7 miles the more serious hiking begins and doesn’t let up for the next 2.5. Although I can’t say there are any particularly steep sections on this trail, I wouldn’t say that this is an easy hike. The trail maintains a steady strenuous assent up to the open ridge ½ mile from the summit. This trail has a unique 1-mile long section of birch lined trail. This entire stretch of trail is cut like one long stair step up the side of the mountain with the white birch trees on the down hill side of the trail. The open ridge is mostly flat for ¼-mile with the last ¼-mile ascending steeply through a protected wooded stretch.

The Summit of Carrigain would be a wooded summit if it were not for the man made clearing where there is a wonderful lookout tower that offers some of the best views in the Whites. In the last wooded section of the hike just before the summit there are several very nice tenting sites. But for my money if I were to pack a full overnight pack up this close to the summit I would be very tempted to sleep on the deck of the tower.

Despite the awesome views, one of my most memorable moments of this hike was seeing the expression on Shawn’s face when a Gray Jay zoomed in over his shoulder and landed on his outstretched hand to snatch up his offering of trail mix. Shawn had never before heard about the feeding habits of the grays. There seemed to be lot of such moments for all of us on this hike. The sites were absolutely awe inspiring. The tower was an indescribable treat. Hiking in the snow squalls added another memorable aspect to this adventure. Gabe couldn’t resist the opportunity to show off to Pete and did a full immersion into one of the pools in Sawyer brook. (At the time, the temps had noticeably dipped to into the 30’s.) Gary encouraged Gabe with an offer of a Snickers bar if he went through with the swim.
Of Course, Gary didn’t actually have a Snickers bar on him at the time. (A point that Gary neglected to mention.) but he did bring Gabe his reward the next time we got together.

On the drive home Scar Ridge had never looked so beautiful. The Snow Squalls had painted a fresh coat of white powder onto the hills like a sprinkling of powdered sugar onto the deep rich greens of the pines and the vibrant reds and yellows of peak foliage season. Simply breath taking and well deserving of a few pictures if we hadn’t used up all the film already. All things I’m sure we will all fondly remember for a long time to come.

Another part of this trip I hope I remember is the ride home. For future reference: Never attempt another hike on Columbus Day weekend that requires a drive on the Kanc on late Sunday evening. It took 5 hours to get home retracing the drive that only took 3.5 hours in the AM.

Till next time! *** May God Bless ***


This was #’ 42 for Simone and I, # 40 for Gabe.

Carters

“I am always glad to touch the living rock again and dip my hand in the high mountain air.” John Muir

Carter Dome, Mt. Height, South Carter, Middle Carter

(4832, 4600, 4430, 4610)


Trail:
19 Mile Brook – Carter Dome, Carter/Moriah, North Carter, lower Imp
Date:
Oct. 2&3 1999
Participants:
John, Simone & Gabriel Chicoine, Gary Gilchrist, Shawn White, Will Gilchrist, & Nick Paddock.
Miles: Day 1
6-miles to Dome & back to Mt. Height Time:7hrs
Miles: Day 2
7-miles from Mt. Height to Rt16
Time:
7.5hrs
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site:
None
Weather:
10/2 Sunny, high 60’s, … 10/2 Cloudy, drizzle, rain.

The Carter Dome Trip Report By: Gabe Dude

 

Just this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2 & 3, our little group hiked the Carter Dome, so I’m gonna tell you all about it. Really early Saturday morning, John, Simone, Shawn White, and I left Gardner, Massachusetts at around 5:30a.m. We made a stop at Burger King (which is a horrible place to get breakfast) in Conway, made our last bathroom stop, and then headed on to the Carters. We arrived at the Nineteen Mile Brook Trailhead at around 10:00a.m.There we met up with the other hikers at around 10:15. As we were pulling gear out of the car trunk, I saw that Shawn, who had decided to go minimalist for the hike, had a huge, nearly four foot long pack. Yikes! I’d hate to see him hiking when he’s not minimalist. As we started the pretty gradual ascent, I noticed that the foliage was not the greatest this year, but the trail was still very pretty. I would recommend the first mile or so as a nice family hike. It has a lot of nice spots to swim in, since it follows a river for the first couple miles.

We then connected to the Carter Dome Trail, and hiked for a while till we reached Carter Dome. I would like to add that Carter Dome doesn’t have much of a view at all. It is a treed in summit. But there are a few spots where you peer through the trees for some nice views like this one looking out over the Carter Moriah Range. Here, we are looking out over our next day’s hiking trip, South, Middle and North Carter.

We then came back down the trail a ways until we got to where the Carter Dome Trail and another trail meet at Zeta Pass. Then we hiked over to Mount Height. Somewhere near the Summit we camped out. Just in case any park rangers are out there reading this, we camped out legally. J We had a good dinner (but not before Gary broke out into the Spam Anthem, Gary and Will had Spam,), then headed to bed. Gary chose to sleep without any tent or tarp although we did set up Shawn’s tarp in case the weather got bad. Gary was lucky that we did set up a tarp, because it did rain that night with pretty bad winds. My mother and father and I slept in a tent.

The next day we packed up, ate, and then hiked out. About a mile down the trail we said goodbye to the others who were to hike down the Carter Dome trail. We continued down Carter-Moriah trail to get South Carter and Middle Carter. By that time we were getting a pretty bad drizzle and strong winds. We then went down the long and exhausting last five miles down Imp Trail. Finally, we reached our car which Gary had moved to the other trailhead for us. The last and best stop on our journey was The Subway grinder we had for supper. J

For your info, this is our route in order:

From Route 16 take 19 Mile Brook Trail to Carter Dome trail, to the Carter-Moriah Trail via the Zeta Pass to Mt. Carter Dome. Then, the Carter- Moriah Trail back to Mt. Height cut off. Day 2 Back to Zeta Pass then, with the Carter-Moriah to South Carter and over Middle Carter. Then you come down the North Carter Trail to the Imp Trail and down to Route 16. The hike between the two parking lots is just about 1/2 mile.

Eisenhower

Mt Eisenhower (4761)

Trail: Edmonds Path to Eisenhower loop

Date: Sunday 9/20/98

Attending: Gabe, Simone, & John Chicoine

Miles: 3.3 mi. Time: 3 hours to summit. 5hr 45min. total.

AMC huts, / shelters / camping site: None

Weather: Cool and clear fall day, with a nice breeze on the summit

 

To get there from Rt.3, take Rt. 302 past Mt. Washington Rd. to Mt Clinton Rd. just across from the Crawford Notch R.R. Station. Drive two miles up Clinton Rd. to Edmonds Path Trailhead parking lot on the right. We really like this trail. It’s very well maintained and the trail is very interesting. Quite a distance up, there is rock gateway built onto the trail! (It would be cool enough to find this a few hundred feet into the trail, but to find it so far along, it represents lots of hiking for lots of days just to get to the location.) There are two bridges at the start of the trail over a nice foot-washing stream that we always like to see as we start out a hike because we know that we’ll be cooling off the dogs later in the day. (Refreshing!!!) We took only one 5-minute break on this climb, but the trail is not excessively tiring. For those of you willing to risk large fines by camping in illegal camp sites, we noticed a possible camp site 2/3 of the way up. The trail loops past and around the summit, then up (Eisenhower loop) bolder climb, (not ledge) steeply up a 100ft. rock pile that makes up the dome like summit of Eisenhower.

On the summit we met a nice family that had been over-nighting on the Southern Presidentials and planning to spend another night in the gulf below Mt Franklin. The husband had just finished his 4K’s and had planned to re-do them with his Wife and two girls 7 & 10 years old. The 10 year old had 7 peaks and the 7 year old was just starting out. This was our 4’th peak and attempting to complete all 48 was hardly a flickering thought, but they strongly encouraged us to go for it. (It was quite an encouragement to see his family enjoying themselves out here.) After lingering quite a bit, we got it into our heads that we might be able to get to Mt. Monroe, (only 1.5 miles) away, if we hurry! (it was after 2:00 by now.)

Society speaks and all men listen,
mountains speak and wise men listen.”
John Muir

Hiking Lesson # 1; (1.5 miles one way is 3 miles round trip.) You’d think educated people like us would be able to figure that out before trying it out.

Hiking Lesson # 2; (Never change your itinerary just because a summit looks like it’s “just over there”.)

Needless to say, we never made it to Mt. Monroe. (This is the second time we were just 20 minutes from the top of Monroe but didn’t summit. I ran out of steam and we just ran out of time, under a 1/2 mile away from the summit. We did hike over to Mt. Franklin (Not an official 4k summit) but it has very nice views none the less. Although Mt. Eisenhower was a moderate hike, do-able in less than 6 hours round trip, we added 2+ hours to the day by trying to “bag” Monroe. We were beat by the end of the day. I remember just wanting to nap in the cool mossy patch by the car. But, we still had the long 3.5-hour ride home so after only a 5-minute nap, off we drove.