Waumbek

Hiked Waumbek on 12/21/2014. This was peak 543 for “The Grid over 60”. Gary Tompkins¬†joined me for this hike. The trail was well packed out and was an easy hike. Views were limited by low-lying clouds. We stopped briefly on the summit of Starr King before we headed over to the summit of Waumbek.

View from the summit of Starr King
View from the summit of Starr King

It was a quick hike over to the summit of Waumbek through some nice soft snow.

Summit of Waumbek
Summit of Waumbek

Someone had stuck some feathers on the sign at the summit. Looked like maybe a Red Tailed Hawk and Crow feathers.

Feathers on the summit sign
Feathers on the summit sign

We went back to Starr King to have our lunch and we were attacked by very aggressive Gray Jays trying to steal our lunch.

Canada or Gray Jay begging
Canada or Gray Jay begging
Looking over the food situation
Looking over the food situation
Taking a picture of a jay
Taking a picture of a jay (Courtesy of Gary Tompkins)

Only 33 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

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Cabot

Hiked Cabot on 12/20/2014. This was peak 542 for “The Grid over 60”. Mike Lynch joined me on this hike. Trail conditions were almost perfect with a packed out trail and only a couple of blowdowns to deal with. The temperature was only 3 degrees when we started out but it warmed up into the 20s and with no wind it was a very pleasant day.

Snow and ice on the tree branches
Snow and ice on the tree branches

We made our way up to Bunnell Rock and admired the views and soaked up some sun.

Waumbek and Franconia Ridge from Bunnell Rock
Waumbek and Franconia Ridge from Bunnell Rock

We made our way past the Cabot Cabin and over to the summit of Cabot. There aren’t any views from the true summit but there are from the little knob just beyond the cabin.

Mahosuc  Range from behind Cabot Cabin
Mahoosuc Range from behind Cabot Cabin
Franconia Ridge from behind Cabot Cabin
Franconia Ridge from behind Cabot Cabin

We ate our PBJs at Cabot Cabin and were joined by a Canada Jay. It was not at all aggressive about stealing food. All it did was look at us and eventually flew away.

Cabot Cabin
Cabot Cabin
Canada or Gray Jay
Canada or Gray Jay

We left the cabin and made our way back to the car.

Cabot from the Bunnell Notch trail
Cabot from the Bunnell Notch trail

Only 34 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

Moriah

Hiked Moriah on 12/19/2014. This was peak 541 for “The Grid over 60”. Gary Tompkins joined me on this hike which turned out to be a pretty tough hike because of all blowdowns and snow encrusted branches leaning over the trail. The first 2.5 miles were no problem with hard packed trail, after that it was a lot of work dealing with all the trees and branches in the trail. Fortunately 2 other hikers had gone up before us and knocked off some of the snow and ice but certainly not all of it.

Making my way through the snow encrusted spruce
Making my way through the snow encrusted spruce (Courtesy of Gary Tompkins)
Heavily laden spruce
Heavily laden spruce
Gary making his way up the trail
Gary making his way up the trail

It was another day of no views because of the cloud cover but there wasn’t much wind so we were able to spend a little time on the summit.

Gary on the summit
Gary on the summit
The limited view from the summit
The limited view from the summit

After we ate our PBJs we started down through the mess again. The clouds lifted a little bit and the sun tried to come out but wasn’t very successful.

A short view to the east from one of the ledges
A short view to the east from one of the ledges

Only 35 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

Cannon

Hiked Cannon on 12/16/2014. It was peak 540 for “The Grid over 60”. Gary Tompkins joined me for this hike. We wore snowshoes for the entire hike. There was a couple of inches of new snow on the trail and some that had fallen off the trees. Not to far up the trail we passed two guys wearing microspikes who seemed to be struggling in the soft snow. They had left their snowshoes in the car. I wasn’t overly sympathetic with their choice. We didn’t see them again until we were part way down. It was a cloudy day and we never saw the sun but it was a nice temperature in the mid 20s.

Kinsman Ridge trail just before the path to the lookout
Kinsman Ridge trail just before the path to the lookout

We lost the trail ascending to the summit which is pretty easy to do. The cairns are small and paint on rocks doesn’t do much good when they are covered with snow. We headed off to the right to get on the ski trail and then found our way to the summit.

Top of the tramway in the clouds
Top of the tramway in the clouds
Looking down the groomed ski trail
Looking down the groomed ski trail

We left the summit and ate our PBJs down near the lookout which is also where we found the microspikers. We descended very quickly as the trail was nice and soft and there weren’t the usual rocks roots to worry about. The trail crosses a back country ski trail several times and looks like it will need several more feet of snow before it is can be skied on.

Ski trail that is going to need a lot more snow
Ski trail that is going to need a lot more snow

Only 36 more peaks to finish”The Grid over 60″.

Carrigain

Hiked Carrigain on 12/14/14. This was peak 539 for “The Grid over 60”. Hiked with Mike Lynch, Gary Tompkins and Guy Jubinville. Started by hiking the 2 miles of Sawyer River Road that isn’t plowed in the winter in our microspikes.

Gary, Mike and Guy headed up Sawyer River Road
Gary, Mike and Guy headed up Sawyer River Road

Once we reached the trailhead we switched over to snowshoes for the rest of the day. Fortunately a couple of hikers had broken out the trail the day before although in the higher elevations it was still pretty soft and needed further packing down.

Gary approaching the sart of the mile long uphill traverse
Gary approaching the start of the mile long uphill traverse

Once we reached Signal Ridge it was chilly and a bit windy but there were good views with some low hanging clouds.

Lowell cliffs with a cloud on top
Lowell cliffs with a cloud on top
Gary taking a picture with Mike supervising
Gary taking a picture with Mike supervising
Looking to the south, Attitash ski area in the distance
Looking to the south, Attitash ski area in the distance
Heading for the summit which was in the clouds
Heading for the summit which was in the clouds

We didn’t linger long on the summit as it was windy but there was time for a photo.

Guy, Steve and Mike under the summit tower (Courtesy of Gary Tompkins)
Guy, Steve and Mike under the summit tower (Courtesy of Gary Tompkins)

We had our PBJs and pizza just below the summit in a sunny non windy place.

Gary and Guy eating lunch
Gary and Guy eating lunch

Back on Signal Ridge there were a few more photo ops.

The Presidential peaks appeared in a hole in the clouds
The Presidential peaks appeared in a hole in the clouds

We wore our snowshoes all the way back to the cars. It was a long 14 mile day. Only 37 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

Moosilaukee

Hiked Moosilaukee on 12/11/14. It was peak 538 for “The Grid over 60”. Hiked with Mike Lynch, Bill Schor and Bill Cronin. It rained almost all the way driving up to the trailhead but stopped just before I got there. We had some light snow off and on during the day but it was a pretty good day for hiking despite the lack of views. There was a little crusty snow on the trail at the beginning that gradually got deeper the higher up we went.

Bill S in the lead with trees bent over the trail
Bill S in the lead with trees bent over the trail
Mike in the lead breaking trail in the deeper and crusty snow
Mike in the lead breaking trail in the deeper and crusty snow

Once we got to the Junction with the Carriage Road we put some more layers on and headed out on the final .9 mile to the summit. There was a bit of drifted snow in the trail but a quick hike despite the low visibility because of the light snow coming down.

Bill leading the way to the summit through the scrub
Bill leading the way to the summit through the scrub
Summit sign covered in rime ice
Summit sign covered in rime ice (Courtesy of Bill Schor)
"View" from the summit
“View” from the summit

We returned to the junction where we had our PBJs and then quickly descended to the parking lot. Only 38 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

Madison and Adams

Hiked Madison and Adams on 12/5/2014. These were peaks 536 and 537 for “The Grid over 60”. Mike Lynch joined me for this hike. We had another perfect day to be above treeline with temps in the high teens and low 20s, clear skys and low winds. We started up the Valley Way with just a dusting of snow on the ground and 4 or 5 inches as we approached the Madison Springs Hut. There were some sections with ice but very easy to navigate around them.

Approaching Madison Springs Hut on the Valley Way
Approaching Madison Springs Hut on the Valley Way

After a short break we headed up to the summit of Madison a half mile and 500 vertical feet away. There was some ice and very hardpacked snow on the way up but nothing very difficult. There were good views in all directions from the summit.

View to the east of the Wildcats and Carters
View to the east of the Wildcats and Carters
View of Randolph and the Crescent Range
View of Randolph and the Crescent Range

We didn’t spend much time on the summit as were hungry for our PBJs at the hut.

Mike headed down to the hut
Mike headed down to the hut

After our sandwiches we headed over to Adams which is about a mile away and 900 vertical feet up.

Washington, Clay and Jefferson from Adams
Washington, Clay and Jefferson from Adams
Gathering storm clouds over the Franconia Ridge to the west
Gathering storm clouds over the Franconia Ridge to the west
Madison from Adams
Madison from Adams

We headed back down Adams to the Valley Way and the long hike out to Appalachia.

King Ravine and Durand Ridge
King Ravine and Durand Ridge

As we drove home the tops of the mountains were hidden in the storm clouds. Only 39 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.