The Captain

Hiked The Captain on 6/19/16 with Bill Cronin, Bill Schor and Larry Babcock. The Captain is a New Hampshire 100 Highest Peak and a good portion of the hike is a pretty tough steep bushwack. It was a bright sunny day with temps predicted to go to the mid 80s. We started out on the Sawyer River trail.

Me, Bill C and Larry at the junction of Sawyer River and Hancock Notch trails
Me, Bill C and Larry at the junction of Sawyer River and Hancock Notch trails

We went about a half mile on the Hancock Notch trail and then went off trail and crossed Sawyer River and then bushwacked about .1 mile to an old logging road which we followed for quite a while. There were lots of pink and white ladyslippers along the road.

White ladyslipper
White ladyslipper

We continued to the end of the road where there was an emergency helicopter landing site and our first view of The Captain.

Helicopter landing site
Helicopter landing site
The Captain
The Captain

We approached the summit from the right hand or east side. There was a bit of a trail that continued from the end of the road which we followed until we got to the bottom of a landslide.

Bill S and Larry following the sort of trail
Bill S and Larry following the sort of trail

We followed the slide up for a ways but then turned off it and started the steep ascent through some really thick spruce. We went along the bottom of one cliff and along the top of another cliff.

Skirting the bottom of  a cliff
Skirting the bottom of a cliff

After starting the hike at 7:30 AM we finally reached the summit a little after 12. There was a lot of really steep slopes and some very thick spruce that just never let up.

Bill openingthe summit cannister
Bill opening the summit canister
Summit cannister
Summit canister
Pirates on the summit
Pirates on the summit

I had my PBJ on the summit. We decided to take a different route on the way down as none of us wanted to repeat the way we came up. At first that looked like a really bad decision as we went through about 15 minutes of spruce that was thicker than anything we had done previously. But eventually it thinned out. We almost lost Bill S when he was sliding down a steep spot and his pack got hung up on a branch. He was dangling with his feet about 2 feet off the ground he was able to extricate himself much to our amusement. We finally hit a drainage that was going in the right direction and we headed down it.

Larry working his way down the stream bed
Larry working his way down the stream bed

Following the stream worked out well even though there were some steep slippery spots and several waterfalls we had to bushwack around. There were also some openings with good views.

The view to the southeast from the stream bed
The view to the southeast from the stream bed
Labrador Tea growing on the open ledges
Labrador Tea growing on the open ledges

We got back to the sort of trail and then back to the old logging road which we followed all the way to Sawyer River Road. Near the end there was a nice little boggy area that had several bull frogs calling back and forth to each other.

Bull frog
Bull frog

We got back to the cars at about 5:15.  34 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 100 Highest list. Below is the track that we followed courtesy of Bill Schor.

The Captain GPS track
The Captain GPS track

 

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