Mt Kineo and Kineo East

Hiked Mt Kineo and Kineo East on 6/8/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was predicted to be clear in the morning and a 30% chance of showers after 2PM. It did cloud up some but never any precipitation. These 2 peaks are in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest just west of the town of Thornton. Not sure what sort of experiments take place but we saw lots of trees with orange flagging and one game camera. We drove in quite a ways on a dirt road and eventually reached the trailhead for the Mt Kineo trail which unfortunately doesn’t go to the summit. We saw a game camera near the trail which I assume is motion sensitive and takes a picture whenever an animal or hiker walks by. We hiked about a mile to the height of land and then bushwhacked over to the summit of Mt Kineo through mostly open woods with only about 300 feet of elevation gain.

Game camera near the trail
Summit area and canister

The tree on the summit that had the canister had snapped off and was leaning against another tree. It may not be tall enough in the winter to stick above the snow.

Bill and Diane, Bill with his bug net on

The black flies were swarming all around but didn’t seem to be biting. Repellant didn’t seem to work.

View from the summit

We signed into the canister and then went back to the trail where we ate our PBJs and then started the bushwhack over to East Kineo. This was a longer bushwhack and we had to go over several bumps to get to the summit. After about a mile we came across an old road and were able to follow it to about .1 miles from the summit, that was a pleasant surprise.

Oddly shaped tree
East Kineo canister

We went back to the old road and followed it as far as we could and then bushwhacked back to the trail and then back to the car. We found a structure that we couldn’t figure out what it was for, it could have been a deer stand but it was in the middle of a clear area which didn’t make sense. It must have been part of some forest study.

Unknown purpose structure

We made it back to the cars and escaped the bugs. Only 40 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Dorset Peak

Hiked Dorset Peak  in Dorset, Vermont on 6/3/2017. Weather was forecast to be clear but it was pretty cloudy in the morning and better in the afternoon. Temps were in the low 50s to start and warmed up to the low 60s. Pretty cool for June. No bushwhacking today all old logging roads, jeep trails and trails. Started up a logging road which turned into a jeep trail and eventually just a plain old trail. The logging road and jeep trail followed a stream for most of the way up. Shortly after starting up I met a hiker and his dog coming down. The dog was in the lead and started barking and snarling at me and then rushed at me. I tried to be friendly but it didn’t work. The hiker said don’t look at him he doesn’t like that. Well when a dog is attacking you, you tend to look at him so you can fend him off. The hiker apologised for the dogs behavior but it was a bad start to the day.

Stream and logging road
Waterfall near the jeep trail

I reached the height of land and took a left onto a trail and headed towards the summit.

Dorset Peak summit canister and pitcher

I then followed a path along the ridgeline to the shorter summit that was the site of an old firetower. On the way over a I saw the famous doorknob tree, don’t ask me why someone did that.

Doorknob tree
Firetower remains on the second summit
View to the north from the firetower site

I ate my PBJ here after putting on a long sleeved top and fleece vest, it was windy and quite cool. After eating I headed back to the car. Only 17 peaks left to finish the New England 100 Highest.

South Flat Mt

Hiked South Flat Mt on 6/1/2017 with Bill Schor. Showers were forecast off and on during the day but we had sun most of the day with one very minor shower. South Flat Mt is in Sandwich, NH near Sandwich Dome. We started up the Flat Mountain Pond trail for about .3 miles and then continued on a Forest Service road which went through some rather swampy areas. The mosquitos were ferocious at times.

Beaver dam and pond with a foggy view in the background

We continued along the road where we had a good view of Sandwich Dome.

Sandwich Dome

We continued further until the Forest Service road ended in a large open area. We turned left onto a logging road but it soon wasn’t going in the direction we wanted. So we bushwhacked heading toward the summit and found another logging road going in the right direction which we followed for quite a ways. The road eventually stopped going in the right direction and again we started bushwhacking to the summit. It was mostly open woods with nothing steep until the last 50 yards where there were some blowdowns and some thick spruce.

Approaching the summit

We found the summit and the small summit bottle.

Summit bottle

We brought with us a new canister to install. The canister was supplied by Larry Babcock who had been here a few weeks ago and noted the lack of a canister. Bill went to work doing the installation while I took a few pictures of the job.

Installing the bracket to the tree
Attaching the ring clamps to the bracket and canister
A little grimace while tightening the clamps
The final product

After that was done we ate our PBJs and looked at the views and then headed down.

Looking towards Mt Carrigain

We took a slightly different route down which was even easier than the route up. A very nice day except for the mosquitos. Only 42 peaks left to complete the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track

Mt Equinox

Hiked Mt Equinox in Manchester, VT on 5/27/2017. Equinox is on the New England 100 Highest list and since I don’t have too many left  on the list I thought it was time to do a few of them. Weather was forecast to be partly cloudy and it seemed like there was more sun than clouds but a pretty nice cool day. The trail is in the Equinox Mountain Preserve and leaves from near the center of town. There are quite a few trails in th Preserve but only the Blue trail goes to the summit. It starts off as an old road and starts going up almost immediately about half way up at a turn off to a spring it turns into a trail and continues going up. There aren’t any views until you get to the summit where there is 360 degree visibility. There used to be a small inn at the summit that was torn down in 2012 and replaced with the current Visitor Center. There isn’t any food available but there are bathrooms. You can also drive to the summit for a fee.

Visitor Center at the top
View looking north from the summit
View looking south from the summit

After eating my PBJ at a picnic table in the sun I headed over to Lookout Rock to see what the views were from there.

Manchester from Lookout Rock

I walked back to the trail and headed down to the parking lot and the long drive home. Only 18 peaks left to finish the New England 100 Highest.

Bear Mt

Hiked Bear Mt on 5/24/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was forecast to be partly cloudy with a chance of afternoon showers, luckily the showers held off and we didn’t get wet. We thought this would be short and easy bushwhack and then we would drive over to the end of Sawyer River Road and do Greens Cliff. That didn’t happen as this was a very tough bushwhack with steep slopes and lots of blowdowns. On some old maps there was a Bear Mountain trail that started about where we started but we didn’t find any evidence of it until we were almost at the summit. It took us almost 2 hours to hike the first 1/3 mile with all the blowdowns to navigate through then it opened up a bit and then we found the trail. Not many pictures as we were in thick woods all day.

Larry and I resting after the worst of the blowdowns
Summit canister
The four of us on the summit

Because we thought it would be a short hike Bill and Diane left their lunches in the car. I told them you should always have your lunch with you so they had no sandwiches to eat when we got to the summit at 11:30. Fortunately they did have some trail mix. I ate my PBJ and then we headed down. We took a different route to avoid the blowdowns that was a bit longer and we had to walk the Bear Notch road for a mile to get back to the car. It was a much easier and faster way to get down.

View from Bear Notch road

Only 43 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track for the day

Firescrew, Cardigan and Orange

Hiked Firescrew, Cardigan and Orange on 5/21/2017. Weather was clear and in the 40s to start and warmed up to the 60s by the finish. There were a few pesky black flies after it warmed up but they didn’t seem to be biting. Lots of spring flowers, good views from all 3 summits and very few people out except on the summit of Cardigan. I started at the AMC Cardigan Lodge where the parking lot was completely full but no one was around, I guess they were all inside eating breakfast. I took the Manning trail up to the summit of Firescrew. There were many false summits before you reach the actual summit. There were a lot of ledges which could have been quite slippery if they were wet or icy.

Painted Trillium on the way up Firescrew
Cardigan from near the summit of Firescrew
Looking Northeast from Firescrew
Camels Hump in Vermont

I headed over to Cardigan from Firescrew on the Mowglis trail. The map showed a short trail down to a Cave Grotto that I wanted to go see but I missed it and had to turn back to find it. Apparently the sign was missing or there never was one but I did find some faint blue blazes and followed them to a cave. The trail was hard to follow and had a significant cliff challenge but I made it down and back up without incident.

One of the caves

I then climbed the ledges to the summit where I took a short break and looked around at all the views. The firetower was locked. It was too early to eat lunch so I headed down the West Ridge trail and over to Orange.

Looking back to the summit from the West Ridge trail

I stopped to eat my PBJ at a good view point as I wasn’t sure there were views on the summit. Turns out there were views from the summit.

Wind turbines over near Plymouth

From the summit I took the Vista Mont trail down over to the Clark trail. On the way down was when the black flies started to be a nuisance.

Couple of Trout Lilies
Painted Trillium and Trout Lilies

There were a surprising number of really beat up trail signs and signs that were missing. Good thing I had a map so I could figure out which way to go.

Damaged trail sign

I took the Clark trail down to the Woodland trail and back to the lodge and parking lot.

Dwarf Ginseng growing in the trail

Only 44 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Whitewall Mt

Hiked Whitewall Mt on 5/17/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor. Weather was forecast to be partly cloudy, but it was mostly clear and warmed up into the 70s although a little cooler in the snowy areas. We hiked 2.5 miles up the Zealand trail to the AZ trail. There were nice views over the beaver ponds along the Zealand trail.

Beaver pond on Zealand trail
Another beaver pond view

Followed the AZ trail for about a quarter mile and then started the bushwhack to the summit of Whitewall Mt. We climbed a little steeply at first and then a gradual uphill the rest of the way. There was a lot of Hobble Bush which slowed us down going through it and trying to find a way around the really thick patches.

Diane making her way through the Hobble Bush

We struggled through the thick stuff and then into some snow that was knee deep in places and finally made it to what the GPS said was the summit, but it wasn’t. The true summit was about a quarter mile away. Near the summit we ran into a woman who was by herself and always hikes solo. She is working on a list of her own that she made up which is the 1000 highest peaks in the northeast. She hikes once or twice a week and isn’t retired. She owns her own construction business and takes every Wednesday off to hike.

Bill and I at the summit
View from the summit

We left the summit and headed over to the top of the cliffs to get some good views and eat lunch. We never did get to the top of the cliffs as it was really thick and we were going down rather steeply. We finally found a spot with a view and decided to stop there and eat our PBJs.

Lunch time
Slide on North Twin
Zeacliff

After lunch we found our way back to our original track and headed down. We decided we didn’t want to go through the Hobble Bush again so we headed down to the Ethan Pond trail but we ran into some really steep stuff but it was better than the Hobble Bush.

Zealand Hut through the trees

We eventually made it down to the trail and started the walk back to the car. It took us almost 9 hours to hike 9 miles, not a world record pace. Only 45 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Track for the day