Saturday, July 30, 2011

Table Mountain - Hiking

Table Mountain (2,675ft)
Trail: Attitash Trail
Elevation Gain: 1,350ft
Distance: 3.8miles roundtrip
Duration: 3.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Table Mountain is located off of the Kancamagus Highway and a few of us from the New England Over 50 Hiking Meetup Group got together for this hike. The Attitash trailhead is off of Bear Notch Road and is easy to miss, for me anyways! This is a very pretty trail, not to mention the elevation is moderate with a couple of lookout ledges. Near the top there are several slabby portions on the trail. There are no trails to the actual summit which is wooded. So we spent an hour at the upper most ledge relaxing, eating our lunches and taking in the views. The weather was fantastic, sunny and warm with cool breezes! 

Sabbaday Falls

Trail: Sabbaday Brook Trail
Elevation Gain: 100ft
Distance: 0.6 miles roundtrip
Duration: 1.0 hours
Difficulty: Very Easy 

A scenic, 3-tiered Waterfall that is a short hike (0.3mile) from the parking lot. The trail is very well-maintained and is wide making it easy for all ages to hike. I saw several folks there on walkers. Lots of dogs as well. Off the parking lot there are several picnic areas with picnic tables. The place was packed full of families picnicking and many on the hike to view the waterfall.

This was supposed to be a stop for that Waterfall Photography Workshop I attended back in April 2011 but the trail was snowed in and I was the only photographer with snow gear. So our workshop skipped this waterfall.

I wanted to get on the other side of the stream past the waterfall to get some photos. As I was crossing, I slipped and fell. My butt went in first and I didn't know it at the time, but my sunglasses fell in the water. Luckily I didn't get my camera wet! :)

Soaked Gortex hiking boots!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mt. Jefferson via Caps Ridge Trail - Hiking

Mt. Jefferson (5,712ft)
Trail: Caps Ridge Trail
Elevation Gain: 2,708ft
Distance:  5 miles roundtrip
Duration:  5.5 hours (includes stops along trail and at summit)
The Terrifying Twenty Five List: Caps Ridge Trail
Difficulty: Strenuous
Danger: Medium to High (exposed/steep sections, rock scrambling)
Rock Scramble: Class II

This hike was originally scheduled for a Saturday but was moved to Sunday due to high temps. I had booked motel reservations to stay overnight in Jefferson Village and was able to move my reservations without any penalty fees. I stayed the night at the Skywood Manor - its a family-run business, out of a large converted farmhouse. Out back there is a pond well-stocked with Rainbow and native Brook Trout. A brook, the barn and a large vegetable garden were perfect for an evening photo shoot. The evening was tranquil and the sunset was amazing! 

In the morning I had a home-cooked breakfast of egg, sausage and  wheat toast in the large diningroom with the owners and other inn occupants. From our table I could watch the Hummingbirds at the feeders. After breakfast I went down to the pond to watch the trout get fed.

I took a drive to The Caps Ridge Trailhead the day before the hike - just wanted to make certain that I could find the trailhead. The trailhead is at an elevation of 3000 feet, the highest trailhead in the Whites! The trailhead was easy to find and 30 minutes from my stay. The morning of the hike I packed my pickup, checked out and headed to the trailhead to meet the rest of the folks. This hike was part of the 4 Seasons Hiking Meetup group and Kate K. was the organizer.

The trail left the parking lot and crosses several wooden bridges over wet areas. 

After a mile the trail reaches several large boulders with potholes that serve as a lookout point. Our group stopped here for many photos!

A view of the "Caps" from the lookout boulder
I meant to pack my camera away before scrambling up the caps, but the ascent 
in most places wasn't too steep and so I kept my camera out on the entire ascent.

The fun part - scrambling up the Caps!

Random shot of some guys having lunch
A trail well blazed
Tucker, a sweet boy we met on the trail 
Mt. Washington Observatory

Mt. Washington Observatory and Auto Road
At the summit
Mt. Adams from the summit of Mt. Jefferson
At the summit our group rested for about 30 minutes. It was sunny the entire hike and the summit had mild, but cold winds. On the descent I packed my camera away and used my trekking poles. Even though I have already peak-bagged Mt. Jefferson (read about my first hike to the Mt. Jefferson summit here), it was fun to ascend on the Caps Ridge Trail. The elevation gain is 2,700 feet in just 2.5 miles! And once above tree line, the views are spectacular! The trail was crowded but it was still fun to hike and every time I turned to look at the view below me (which was often), I was in awe!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mt. Moosilauke & South Peak - Hiking

Mt. Moosilauke (4,802ft)
Elevation Gain: 2,450ft
South Peak Mt. Moosilauke (4,531ft)
Trails: Gorge Brook, Glencliff Trail/Appalachian Trail, Carriage Road, Snapper
Distance: 6.9 miles roundtrip
Duration: 5.5 hrs
My 4000+ Peak #7
Listed 4000+: #10
Difficulty: Strenuous

It was a  beautiful day for a hike! Our group (NewEngland Over 50 Meetup) met up at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge in Warren, NH. We gathered at the turnaround at the end of the Ravine Lodge road before heading off to the Gorge Brook Trail. 

There were several foot bridges we crossed before getting to the junction of Gorge Brook and Snapper Trails. Our group continued uphill along the Gorge Brook. 

 At 1.6 miles we came up to the "Last Water" sign as well as the McKenney Forest Plaque. 

 Further up there were several outlooks with stunning views!

 Hazy views of Mt. Kineo and Carr Mountain!

  At 4,440ft!

 A bit of view of the summit
  Grassy ridge crest just below the summit

 The last 50 yards to the summit! 

Diapensia shrubland flowers grow along the upper trail

At the summit there was a good enough crowd and lovely scenery to photograph! Our group spent 30 minutes for lunch and enjoyed the calm, cool breezes.

Bagged my 7th 4000+ footer peak!

Our group decided to summit South Peak so we descended the Glencliff/Appalachian Trails, taking a right onto the spur path leading to the South Peak. At the South Peak summit we sat to admire more views!

 Mt. Moosilauke summit from South Peak and the trail along the ridge between the summits. 

Our descent continued along the Carriage Road and Snapper Trails, ending back at the turnaround. Before leaving we gathered for some cold drinks and pretzel sticks. We had a group of 13 for this hike...a really solid group of folks. And the company was very enjoyable, we couldn't ask for a better day!

There is lookout point along route 118 and I stopped on my way out to take a couple of photos.