West and East Baldpate

Climbed West and East Baldpate on 6/24/16. East Baldpate is a New England 100 Highest Peak, West is not but you have to go over it in order to get to East. It was the best day for hiking in a long time, nice and cool, bright sunny skies, a nice breeze and no bugs. It couldn’t have been better and it wasn’t a bushwack. The trail up to the West Peak was pretty nice with no real steep spots.

Trail up West Baldpate which is also the AT
Trail up West Baldpate which is also the AT

Right near the summit of West I saw a Geodetic Survey marker for the AT. I have done several hundred miles of the AT and this is only the second marker I have seen.

AT Geodetic Survey marker
AT Geodetic Survey marker

There were several species of wildflowers out including Clintonia or the Blue Bead Lily.

Clintonia or the Blue Bead Lily
Clintonia or the Blue Bead Lily

The summit of West Baldpate has trees on it so there aren’t any views but just a little ways along there are views over to the ledgy summit of East Baldpate.

East Baldpate from West Baldpate
East Baldpate from West Baldpate

There was still some Lapland Rosebay in bloom but most of it was gone by.

Lapland Rosebay
Lapland Rosebay

There was a very nice boggy area in the low area between West and East.

Boggy area with Bog Bridges
Boggy area with Bog Bridges

There was a lot of Cotton Grass in the bog and also some Labrador Tea.

Cotton Grass
Cotton Grass
Labrador Tea
Labrador Tea

Climbing up to the East Peak was somewhat strenuous because of the steep ledges but there was a good breeze to cool me off. This would have been a difficult climb if the ledges were wet but they were bone dry which made it easier. There were great views from the summit in all directions making it well worth the climb.

Summit sign on East Baldpate
Summit sign on East Baldpate
Looking west from East Baldpate with Old Speck in the foreground and Washington way in the back
Looking west from East Baldpate with Old Speck in the foreground and Washington way in the back

I headed back over to West and encountered the ladder again. It looked kind of beaten up, but it held even though the top rung was a little loose.

Ladder on West Baldpate
Ladder on West Baldpate

I had my PBJ just before the West summit where there were views and some Mountain Cranberry was in blossom.

Mountain Cranberry
Mountain Cranberry

On the way back down I took the short sidetrip to look at the Baldpate shelter which is built and maintained by the Maine Appalachian Trail Conference. It looked like a pretty nice shelter.

Baldpate shelter
Baldpate shelter

Further down I took the side trail out to Table Rock which has great views of the Grafton Notch area.

Sunday River Whitecap from Table Rock
Sunday River Whitecap from Table Rock

I then hiked the .9 miles back to the parking lot and did the long drive home. Only 28 left to finish the New England 100 Highest list.

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