12/25/15 – Old Speck

image image image image imageFor the Christmas holiday I climbed Old Speck for my 3rd time, under sunny skies and very warm temps. We made great time and didn’t find too much ice.I ran into some hiking friends on my way down.





Trip Report – Mount Isolation – 2/28/2015

It’s sure been a while since I got back here and wrote some trip reports. Mostly I have been away form the mountains, or exploring smaller woods closer to my home. I wanted to help a friend of mine working on his NH 4000+ footers list so we decided on Mount Isolation. I’ve been here two or three times before, and its always a great adventure. I find it to be much easier in winter however, due to the Old Engine Hill Bushwhack.

We started out around 8:30AM from the Rocky Branch TH, a team of 8 in total. We bare booted for a short bit, then quickly switched over to snowshoes. We followed the Rocky Branch trail until the Engine Hill Bushwhack began. This year it seems to have moved from years passed, but worked just fine. When we emerged from the beautiful birch glade woods, the path was less packed down. There was 1 gentleman form Canada ahead of us. We trudged on and finally reach the summit, very steep and deep drifts on that last bit. IT was getting late in the day so we did not spend much time on the top, but the views of Mount Washington were quite spectacular.

I’ll put a GPS/GPX link in soon.

Trip Reports: I’ve been slacking

Wow, I haven’t gotten to writing a trip report in some time. I’m going to make a catch up post here, mostly just to share the GPS tracks, as I hope some find them to be of use.

Pierce and Eisenhower
Distance: 9.32 mi
Time: 8:08:41
Avg Pace: 52:26 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 3,290 ft

Lake out the Clouds Hut
Distance: 7.05 mi
Time: 10:39:13
Elevation Gain: 2,604 ft

Semi-Presi Traverse (Jefferson to Pierce)
Distance: 14.50 mi
Time: 11:53:12
Avg Pace: 49:11 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 5,019 ft

Mount Marcy and Mt Skylight – ADK46
Distance: 17.41 mi
Time: 13:01:28
Avg Pace: 44:54 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 4,525 ft

Flags on the 48: The Hancock’s
Distance: 9.52 mi
Time: 6:26:30
Avg Pace: 40:37 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 2,597 ft

Welch Dickey Loop
Distance: 4.76 mi
Time: 3:14:37
Avg Pace: 40:54 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 1,850 ft

Full Presidential Traverse (overnight at Grey Knob)
Distance: 20.37 mi
Time: 24:44:54
Elevation Gain: 8,842 ft

Trip Report: Owl’s Head 2-22-2014

I know, I’ve been slacking with my trip reports. In fact, I’ve been slacking with my winter hiking. Owl’s Head is my only winter 4k this year (so far). A friend of mine has been wanting to go there, so I decided it was time to check it off in winter. For no good reason, this was my 3rd trip to Owl’s Head. I’m not really chasing down the winter 4k’er list with much purpose, but Owls Head is probably one of the harder ones to get. Lets face it, there’s not much for views, no one likes to hike the wilderness trail, and it makes for a very long day. Now, I’ve taken a few different routes before, this time opting for the Black Pond/Brutus Bushwhack variation. We were on trail at Lincoln Woods for 7:00AM and made really good time to the turn off to Black Pond. I was really hoping that someone had broken trail after the previous weeks hike out to North Moat, where we were breaking trail with 22in of new snowfall. As it turns out, there was a few people out last weekend, some gave up, and 1 person made summit, so there was hope. During the week new snow fell, but not too much, or so we hoped.

From Black Pond the bushwhack remains relatively flat and was easy to follow magnetic north through the open woods. During non winter, going this low would probably mean swamp, but we enjoyed a semi broken out trail. In short order we popped out back on the trail right at the river crossing. Pressing on we had some views of our destination through the trees, including an interesting rock cliff I notified my climber friends about. Arriving at the last crossing before the start of the Brutus Bushwhack, we stopped to refuel. Here a smaller group of hikers came up behind us, they knew we were the AMC team out that day, and thanked us for breaking the trail out. One of them had been there last week after the big snowfall but hadn’t made the summit. It was nice to have some extra legs, because from here things got much harder. There was not much trace of broken trail at all here, and we had some 1500 ft to ascend still. Snow was waist deep and it was very slow going, needing 7 kick steps to make 1 in places. We had some VERY strong hikers on this team and although we might of been off course, we finally gained the ridge. Winds picked up and the temp dropped, but after some meandering through the forest, we arrived at the “new Owl’s Head summit. This being a wilderness area, no markers or the like are allowed, but there seems to always be something indicating the true top of this mountain. This time is was just the very top of a rock carin poking through the snow, and someone also did some wood carving.

We took out celebratory photos be began the long march out, combined with some great glissading back down Brutus.


Distance: 16.41 mi
Time: 11:27:55
Avg Pace: 41:55 min/mi
Avg Speed: 1.4 mph
Elevation Gain: 3,007 ft






Trip Report: New England Hundred Highest Finish – East Sleeper and the Tripyramids – 11/23/2013

This was it, just 1 peak left. There was a big group gathering of my AMC friends scheduled for the weekend, so I decided this would make for a good weekend to finally get to East Sleeper. I ended up saving this peak for last mostly due to the damage sustained from hurricane Irene a few years back. All the trip reports I’d read said that area on the Kate Sleeper trail was hit REALLY hard, so I kept putting it off, hoping that the trail would eventually get cleaned up. With a nice large group, we decided to spot some cars at the Downes Brook TH, and then shuttle over to the Pine Bend Brook TH to get our start. The ascent up Pine Bend was relatively easy and we made good time up and over the Tripyramids. It was nice to be able to look out from the limited view points, the last time here I was socked in some clouds. The trails were in great shape, and it was a great day for hiking. We stopped to celebrate briefly at East Sleeper, take some photos, but knowing we still had a long hike out we didn’t stay long. After leaving East Sleeper we got a good luck at the back breaking labor it must of been to clear the Kate Sleeper Trail. It seriously looked like someone dropped a bomb up there. Kudos to the army of trail workers it must of taken to clean that up. The sun went down and we slowly made our exit to Downes Brook, crossing the river at least 10 times, luckily, the only time someone went in the drink was the last crossing, just a short ways from the car. Victory beers a Moat after, what a great day!


Time: 11:07:40
Moving Time: 6:15:39
Elapsed Time: 11:07:40
Avg Pace: 50:18 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 28:18 min/mi
Best Pace: 4:05 min/mi

Trip Report: New England Hundred Highest Peaks – Mt. Breadloaf and Mt. Wilson

It’s been almost 2 years since I visited this area last, which was during the winter, and I had turned back after Breadloaf. I wasn’t really chasing the New England 100 Highest back then, and certainty didn’t think I’d ever come this close to finishing. Well here I am with 98 peaks done and Just Wilson and East Sleeper remain. On my last visit to the area, I read alot about how nice the Skyline Lodge was, so I decided it was a good way to add some camping to the hike this time around. David and I set off early on Saturday, visited Harpoon for lunch, and made it to the trail-head for a 3pm start. With only 2.5 miles to the cabin, we weren’t in any rush at all. The trail was in great shape, its very well cared for and the switchbacks are very forgiving. We only ran into one other guy making his descent, he informed us 3 other guys we’re also up at the shelter. We arrived up at the lodge in quick order, and decided we would do the out and back to Wilson, going over Breadloaf, as a night hike, making Sunday a very easy hike out. Me made a strong push, only finding some slippery sections between BreadLoaf and Wilson. about 1 inch of new snow covered the ground, not enough to require any type of traction devices yet. When we returned to the shelter, the 3 guys had left, so we had the place all to our selves, well, us and a mouse anyways. We made some dinner and turned in, I read the log book for some time, those are always full of fun writeups. We hiked out in the morning and got a proper VT breakfast down the road where VT125 meets VT100, great cider there!

1 Peak left to go!







The nondescript summit carin of Mt. Wilson


Distance: 9.79 mi
Time: 18:39:27
Avg Pace: –:– min/mi
Avg Speed: 0.5 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,807 ft
Moving Time: 4:38:57

Trip Report: New England Hundred Highest – East Kennebago

This was it, the last of the Maine 6 Pack. I’d hiked 30 miles of the last day and a half, but I wasn’t going to leave here without getting all 6. After our hike to Chain of Ponds Snow, we drove back to Stratton to refuel and gear up for our final hike of the weekend. Navigating the logging roads with some information Bob and Pam had, we were able to drive my Subaru almost to the landing, a common place to start this hike. Our intel said that from the landing one needs to hike on the logging road until a well defined county border cut crosses, and follow that left from the overgrown logging road. Several ATV paths come and cross, but we stayed on the logging road, as we knew the boundary cut would be a very pronounced right angle towards the summit. Soon we found ourselves at the cut, marked with just a wee small carin. This is not like the international boundary cut we hiked the day before, its very thin, marked with yellow blazes in some places, and eventually becomes more of a faint heard path. My legs were more than tired, but with rain in the forecast, we pushed hard and made it to the top quickly, even though it was very steep above 3k ft. Here we celebrated Bob’s New England 100 Highest finish, had a beer and some snacks, and singed the register. I really enjoy reading the entries in the canisters, this one went back for years! We got back to my car and just 15 minutes later the rain came. The 6 pack complete, we would all make the long drive home, useless and happy. I was always a bit intimidated by the Maine 6 pack, but with the right amount of research, a good team of hikers, anything is possible!

Now 98/100, the finish line in sight.

Distance: 5.07 mi
Time: 3:11:34
Avg Pace: 37:49 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 1,630 ft