Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce

STATE: New Hampshire
DESTINATION: Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower, Pierce
ELEVATION:
TRAIL: Jewell Trail - Gulfside Trail- Crawford Path
DISTANCE: 13.5 Miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 5500 Ft (total)
HIKING TIME: 7 hours
SEASON: Winter
DATE: 12/25/2009
WEATHER: 25 degrees, 0-5 MPH wind, perfect
MAP: (Washington) (Monroe) (Eisenhower) (Pierce)


DESCRIPTION: The Jewell trail head was a challenge to find however recently traveled by an AMC group making the moderate - steep ascent easier than expected. The trail becomes a little more challenging above tree line to the Gulfside trail. The Gulfside trail looking down into the Great Gulf Wilderness is one of my favorite locations and didn't disappoint. Crawford Path was a mixture of rocks, ice and snow presenting a difficult decision as to which footwear to choose. Snowshoes were the footwear of choice. Crawford path was broken and well trodden from the Washington summit to the Highland Center. Some significant drifting occurred in a few places.

TRAIL DISTANCES:
Jewell Trail - Gulfside Trail = 3.7 Miles
Gulfside Trail - Mt Washington Summit = 1.4 Miles
Crawford Path = 8.4 miles

Round Trip = 13.5 Miles

HIKING TIMES: ~7 hours

NOTES / COMMENTS: A bluebird Christmas day in the White Mountains is a rare occurence and I'm honored the mountain Gods presented me the opportunity to spend a 25 degree windless day on the summit of Washington and 3 additional Southern Presidentials. The tourist trap was a ghost town giving the feeling of ultimate solitude. An undercast cloud cover at ~2500 Ft gave the appearance of islands poking out of an ocean. An absolutely beautiful sight to see making the ideal conditions a pristine day.



Monday, November 30, 2009

Dorset Mountain

STATE: Vermont
DESTINATION: Dorset Mountain
ELEVATION: 3775 Ft
TRAIL: Unmaintained snowmobile trail
DISTANCE: 7 Miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2275 Ft
HIKING TIME: 2 Hr 45 min
SEASON: Late fall
DATE: 11/29/09
WEATHER: 40 Degrees - clear skies
MAP: (Dorset)



DESCRIPTION: Dorset Hollow road splits into upper hollow and lower hollow then rejoins continuing North as Tower road. I didn't dare drive much futher along the class 6 road than approx 0.25 miles past the last houses at 1500 Ft elevation. Someone with 4 wheel drive and braver than myself could probably continue another mile to 1800 Ft.

From parking the road gradually increases elevation and continues North West approximately 1 mile to a Y intersection. Continue to the right past presumably a hunting camp at 1900 Ft. The trail steepens here and gains 1100 Ft in 1 mile. The trail is relatively easy to follow although contains several blowdowns. At 3000 Ft you'll encounter another Y intersection at the Rutland / Bennington county line shown on the map. Continue East / North East along the summit ridge another 1 mile. Continuing straight this direction is the most gradual approach however there are a few steep trails to the right leading up the steep slopes of South Dorset. I chose one of the steeper approaches and hit the summit ridge at the col between Dorset and South Dorset. Dorset peak is approx 0.3 miles to the North East.

TRAIL DISTANCES:
*note - trail descriptions are close approximations.

Parking - Hunting cabin = 1.0 Mi
Hunting cabin - 3000 Ft ridge - 1.0 Mi
3000 Ft Ridge - Dorset Summit - 1.3 Mi

HIKING TIMES:
Parking - 9:00 AM
Cabin - 9:20 AM
3000 Ft - 10:00 AM
Dorset Summit - 10:35 AM
South Summit - 10:55 AM
3000 Ft - 11:15 AM
Parking - 11:45 AM

NOTES / COMMENTS: The snow line started at 1700 Ft and quickly increased in depth reaching 4-5 inches at 3000 Ft elevation and 8-10 inches along the summit ridge. The mountain is peppered with trails but no club or organization will take responsibility for maintaining them therefore they are shown on few maps. The mile from the cabin to the 3000 Ft ridge was brutally steep. Winter conditions also made for a slower pace. The col between summits was covered with evidence of active moose.







Monday, November 16, 2009

Bread Loaf and Wilson

STATE: Vermont
DESTINATION: Bread Loaf / Mt. Wilson
ELEVATION: 3835 Ft / 3790 Ft
TRAIL: Skyline trail - Long Trail
DISTANCE: 9.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1865 Ft
HIKING TIME: 3.5 Hours
SEASON: Late Fall
DATE: 11/15/09
WEATHER: 55 degrees, overcast
MAP: (Bread Loaf) (Wilson)

DESCRIPTION: Skyline trail was damp but in pristine condition after yesterdays rains. Encountered a couple muddy spots and the river crossings were swollen but nothing a hop, skip and jump couldn't fix. A very gradual incline through a open hardwood forest as the woods transitioned to spruce views remained open making for an enjoyable hike. LT was full of puddles and the section from Bread Loaf to the Emily Proctor Shelter was an ankle deep stream.
TRAIL DISTANCES:
Skyline trail - Long Trail = 2.5 Mi
Long Trail - Bread Loaf Summit = 1.0 Mi
Bread Loaf Summit - Emily Procter Shelter = 0.75 Mi
Emily Procter Shelter - Wilson Summit = 0.35 Mi
HIKING TIMES:
Trail Head - 8:15 AM
Skyline Tr / LT junction - 9:15 AM
Bread Loaf Summit - 9:40 AM
Emily Procter Shelter - 10:00 AM
Mt. Wilson Summit - 10:10 AM
Emily Procter Shelter - 10:20 AM
Bread Loaf Summit - 10:35 AM
LT / Skyline Trail junction - 11:00 AM
Trail head - 11:40 AM

NOTES / COMMENTS: I carried winter gear but probably could have hiked in shorts and a T-shirt (slight exaggeration). Encountered zero snow or ice. The trails were almost completely wooded with a few outlooks along the way. The sum briefly peeked through the clouds as I traversed the summit ridge and started to mist on descent. A great hike.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mt Equinox

STATE: Vermont
DESTINATION: Mt Equinox
ELEVATION: 3825 Ft
TRAIL: Blue Summit Trail
DISTANCE: 6.2 Miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2840 Ft
HIKING TIME: 2 hours
SEASON: Fall
DATE: 10/17/09
WEATHER: 45 degrees, clear skies
MAP: (Equinox)
DESCRIPTION: The Blue Summit trail starts on a wooded road with a moderate incline that gets steeper and steeper as you progress. You'll pass several perpendicular trails passing the Thomson Preserve house after ~1.0 miles. Keep in mind you're hiking 2800 Ft in 3 miles, the first 0.5 miles is moderate, the middle 2 miles are steep the last 0.5 is a gradual incline to the summit.

TRAIL DISTANCES:
Parking - Thomson house = 1.0 Mi
Yellow trail junction (not marked) = 2.7 Mi
Summit = 3.1 Mi.

HIKING TIMES:
Trail head - 9:00 AM
Summit - 10:15 AM
Start of descent - 10:35 AM
Parking - 11:25 AM

NOTES / COMMENTS: This was a Jekyll and Hyde trail brutally steep on ascent and quietly simple to return. A thin blanket of crusty snow started at ~3000 Ft. Traction wasn't needed but will be withing a few weeks. The Summit was breathtaking with 360 degree views and the culture shock of an Auto Road, parking lot and abandoned Equinox Inn. Take the time to hike the 0.3 miles along the summit ridge to visit the spectacular views to Stratton Mountain and Manchester Center from "Lookout Rock".

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mt Passaconaway

STATE: New Hampshire
DESTINATION: Mt Passaconaway
ELEVATION: 4043 Ft
TRAIL: Dicey Mill Trail
DISTANCE: 9.2 Mi
ELEVATION GAIN: 2860 Ft
HIKING TIME: 4 Hr 30 Min
SEASON: Fall
DATE: October 4th, 2009
WEATHER: 55 Degrees, partly cloudy
MAP: (Passaconaway)

DESCRIPTION: Starting at the Ferncroft Rd Parking area hike 0.8 miles past the houses along Frencroft Road to the trailhead. The first 1.9 miles to the Blueberry Ledge junction contains a very gradual incline. At 2.3 miles you'll reach a stream crossing and approximately the 1/2 way point. The incline gets a little more challenging along the next 1.8 miles to the Rollins trail junction. The last 0.5 miles to the summit have steeper and more technical sections to a completely wooded summit. There is a open area to the North of the summit with great views of the Tripyramids.

TRAIL DISTANCES:
Ferncroft road - Dicey Mill Trailhead = 0.8 Mi.
Trailhead - 1st stream crossing = 2.3 Mi.
Stream crossing - Rollis Trail = 4.1 Mi
Passaconaway summit = 4.6 Mi.

Round Trip distance = 9.2 miles

HIKING TIME:
Trail head - 9:00 AM
Stream Crossing - 9:45 AM (0:45)
Passaconaway Summit - 11:15 AM (2:15)
Trail head - 1:30 (4:30)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Magalloway

STATE: New Hampshire 
DESTINATION: Mt. Magalloway
ELEVATION: 3383 FT
TRAIL: Coot Trail
DISTANCE: 1.4 Miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 813 Ft
HIKING TIME: 30 Minutes
SEASON: Late Summer
DATE: 9/19/09
WEATHER: 60 degrees, sunny

MAP: (Magalloway)
DESCRIPTION:

From Rt 3 take a right onto Magalloway road approximately 8 miles. Follow signs for the firetower lookout. Don't be fooled by the short distance and 800 Ft elevation. The Coot trail ascends 800 Ft in approximately 0.5 miles and is brutally steep. The summit 360 degree views are worth the effort. I highly recommend climbing the tower then continuing North along the ridge visiting several outlooks along the way with spectacular views to the East standing on Grand Canyon like hundred foot drops.

North and South Weeks

STATE: New Hampshire
DESTINATION: North and South Weeks
ELEVATION: 3901 Ft / 3885 Ft
TRAIL: York Pond Trail - Kilkenny Trail
DISTANCE: 12.1 Mi
ELEVATION GAIN: 2192 Ft
HIKING TIME: 4:15
SEASON: Late Summer
DATE: 9/19/09
WEATHER: 45 Degrees, Overcast - Windy
MAP: (N Weeks) (S Weeks)
DESCRIPTION:
Parking is located at the end of York Pond Road accessed through the Berlin Fish Hatchery. The York Pond Trail head is on the left side of the road. The York Pond trail starts off through open fields and is overgrown in many places. After a few stream crossings the elevation increases and trail becomes less overgrown. At 2.4 miles you'll reach the Kilkenny ridge trail intersection. Take a left and start your incline to the N Weeks summit. The trail goes through some open birch forests with some overgrowth. The N Weeks Summit is not obvious and not marked with no views. At the ridge top there will be several unmarked herd paths to unofficial campsites. It's another 2.4 miles over the Middle Weeks summit to South Weeks which has a more distinct summit however views are still limited.

DISTANCE:
York Pond Trail - Kilkenny Ridge trail = 2.4 Mi
Kilkenny Ridge - North Weeks Summit = 1.3 Mi
North Weeks - South Weeks Summit = 2.4 Mi

One way distance = 6.1 miles

TIME:
Trail head - 7:45 AM
N Weeks Summit - 9:15 AM (1:30)
M Weeks Summit - 9:45 AM (2:00)
S Weeks Summit - 10:00 AM (2:15)
M Weeks Summit - 10:20 AM (2:35)
N Weeks Summit - 10:50 AM (3:05)
Trail head - 12:00 (4:15)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mt. Nancy

STATE: New Hampshire
DESTINATION: Mt. Nancy
ELEVATION: 3926 Ft
TRAIL: Nancy Pond Trail
DISTANCE: 10 Miles
ELEVATION GAIN:
HIKING TIME: 5 hours
SEASON: Late Summer
DATE: August 29, 2009
WEATHER: Rain
MAP: (Nancy)
DESCRIPTION: