Trip Report: Madison and Adams Overnight at Cragg Camp 8/17/2013

Over the weekend I led a group for an overnight trip to the Northern Presidentials. I’ve done similar trips before, and it’s just amazing if the weather cooperates. Midweek the forecast looked great, and we were all quite excited. We arrived at Joe Dodge Lodge/Pinkham Notch Visitors Center late Friday night, and went right to bed, it was going to be an early morning start. The original plan was to drive over to Lowe’s Store, ascend the Lowes Path to Cragg Camp, get bunks and have lunch, and then head up to hike Adams and Madison with lighter packs, leaving our unnecessary weight at the cabin. This part worked out great, the views were fantastic, there were no bugs, and a comfortable breeze. We got back to Cragg Camp early and went about making some dinner. We were treated to a fantastic sunset that night, and I made sure to get up early on Sunday to catch sunrise. The views from Cragg Camp into King Ravine are just stunning. Our Sunday plan was to hike over Jefferson and Washington, and back down to Pinkham. Everyone was a bit tired so we decided we would take our time with breakfast, and after some group discussion, we decided to hike down Lowe’s path rather than over exert the group. It was a fine plan and left lots of time to have a shower at Pinkham, and a fine late lunch at Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery!
This is one of my go-to weekend getaway trips. The effort, the price, are very low compared to the payout of the amazing views!

Distance: 13.47 mi
Time: 28:19:52
Avg Moving Pace: 32:54 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 6,893 ft







Trip Report: New Enlgand Hundred Highest – Mt Elephant 8/3/2013

I joined an AMC event in Pinkham Notch this weekend, and decided it was close enough for me to make a return to Maine and finally cross this one off the list. I’ve been really getting after the New England Hundred Highest list this year, can’t slow down now. I am hoping to finish by the end of the year, with luck. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to find someone to join in on the bushwhacking, as there were many more big view fun hikes planned with the group, but thankfully a friend of mine, who by chance had hiked it just 2 days earlier, decided he would join me. We headed out to Maine and on the way drove through some interesting parade happening outside of Andover, there were two fully restored tanks driving down the road!
Eventually we made the turn off to South Arm Road, and then to Elephant Mountain Road. My TomTom driving GPS had no idea it was even a road, but thankfully my companion knew exactly where to go. Elephant Mountain Road is completely passable with an Impreza, with only a few rocks sticking out, I enjoyed driving quite fast through the turns. We parked the car and got onto another less car friendly road for a bit, before getting into the thick of things. I had been told this was a very easy hike, and it proved to be true. The path is worn in well enough to follow with ease, and the woods aren’t very thick to begin with. All in all it was about 2 hours of actual moving time. I had a GPS track to follow, and for the most part we kept on it following a 355ish bearing. We flushed several grouse just inside the last contour line, other than that, no wildlife aside from a small snake we came across on the herd path. We signed in at the canister, and then proceeded back down pretty much the way we came. No bugs, no major water crossings, just a very easy half day hike. We headed to Sunday River Brewing Company after for lunch a brews, because one should always be working on Views and Brews!

I’ve now reached the summit of 91/100 on the list.

Distance: 2.63 mi
Time: 2:25:45
Avg Pace: 55:26 min/mi
Avg Speed: 1.1 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,170 ft