"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

Mt. Waumbec


Star King Trail
Sunday, March 16'th 2003
Gabe, Simone and John
7.6Time: 4.75hours
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site:

Mostley sunny, high 50's at the base, 40's on the summit

That sign on the Top of Waumbec is eye level in the summer! That's one of the best parts of what this hike was all about! # 47 for us. The first White Mountain's hike of the 2003 season! Hiking season is definitely here. The snow was great; the trail was very well packed in. Someone on a snow mobile had packed the first mile of the trail. We even saw Ski tracks from a few days before we had hiked. As the sun warmed the trail in the late afternoon we post-holed a few times in the col, but the Northwest side of Star King was pretty solid. The top 1-inch of the surface snow on the trail softened up enough to boot ski lots of the way down. The hike took us 2hrs. 45min. to reach Waumbec, it only took us 1hr. 45min, to get down. Gabe and I did a lot of intentional boot skiing down the side of this mountain. The temps had warmed up the snow enough to give it just the right consistency to get about 6 or 7 feet out of every lunge. This trail is 2.6 miles of steady moderate hiking up to Star King summit, and a moderate hike through the col between Star King to Waumbec. If there is a safe winter hike to take of the NH 4K's this one is of the safest (longer but safer than Tecumseh).

I suspect it might be a bit boring as a summer hike. The entrance to Star King Road which turns into Star King Trail is just 200 yards East of the junction of 115A on Rt. 2. We only saw 2 people on the trail all day; A father and his 9 year old son that was on his 46'th 4K, and was hoping to finish the list before his 10'th birthday. Nice people. Star King had several footprints of cleared tent sites on the summit. What a spectacular place to spend a night. We've always heard that the views were very limited on this hike, (primarily on Star King only) and that Waumbec was completely view-less because of the trees. On this day, the leaf bearing trees hadn't opened up yet, and because we had a 5+ft. advantage due to the depth of the snow, we had some of the best views of the White's a (from both peaks) person could ask for. This being the first hike of the season for us, we were dragging our buts a little bit. We had hoped that the regular cross-country skiing we've been blessed with this winter would have kept us in much better shape, but nothing keeps you in shape for peak bagging like peak bagging. My arthritic hip is beginning to cause me more pain than I want to begin to have to deal with, but if I hit the Motrin and stay on it throughout the hike I can get through days like this. We missed the crew on this one; they would have loved it.

Thank God for Gray Jays!!! What a special treat to have them visit us on the trail! I'm not sure what makes them so special? Is it because the only place we ever find them is on top of a few select hikes,,,? or is it because they are so freaking COOL!!! Wild birds that land on yout hand, (sometimes even on you head) just for a few pieces of trail mix. It's kind of like having a wild bird that has the personality of a beagle. If Gray Jay's exist anywhere in the world besides on the top 1/4 of a few select peaks in the whites, I could see where this personality trait could become a real nuisance.