Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mt. Tecumseh - 2nd Solo Hike

Mt Tecumseh (4,003ft)
Elevation Gain: 2,200ft
Trail: Mt. Tecumseh
Distance: 5.0 miles roundtrip
Duration: 4.25 hrs
My 4000+ Peak #8
Listed 4000+: #48
Difficulty: Moderate

I was totally stoked because this was my 2nd solo hike! As with my 1st solo hike, I left detailed instructions with a family member. And I promised to Facebook "Check-In" along the trail taking photos as well. I had just purchased a Mophie Juice Pack  Air for my iPhone 4 the day before and put it to the test on this hike. 

Although it got sunnier on my drive up, I had packed extra clothes for rain as the weather forecast was for cloudiness with rain. The parking lot was easy to find and I was the second one there. Found the trailhead pretty quickly considering it's tucked in under the trees and easy to drive by it. There were two guys already heading out and two more guys had just come down the trail. I hurried just in case it started to rain. 

Instead of crossing the brook to continue up the trail, I went beyond the birch branches (gasp, I went off-trail!) that were laid across the trail and headed for the ski slope. Darn, I didn't get a photo of it but there is a huge pink bra hanging on a branch that marks an opening (former trail?) at the ski slope. I took a couple of photos here although not much for views.

I back-tracked onto the trail and a father and his two teen children had already started up ahead of me. I hurried as not to pass them, but to get to the summit as I knew the trail would be getting crowded.





A little over a mile the trail descended and re-crossed the brook

A slight climb took me to the old trail left of the open ski slope. The father and his two teen children were here resting and I stopped for a couple of minutes for water, beef jerky and photos.

After resting I continued up the trail which continued to climb moderately. It was rocky but easy to navigate! 

A little over 2 miles I got to the junction of the Sosman/Tecumseh Trail. If you take the left here, the Sosman Trail will take you to the top of the ski area.



Another 120 yards I reached another Sosman/Tecumseh junction. The Tecumseh trail forks right leading to the summit from the north.

While the Sosman Trail forks left leading to the summit from the west. I went left! :)

I reached the summit in 2.5 hours and shared it with the father and his two teen children. As I reached the summit, I felt a sense of accomplishment, something I didn't feel until I was back at the trailhead on my 1st solo hike to Cannon Mountain.

A cairn marks the summit which is mostly wooded but there are some views over and between the trees. I "Check-In" into my Facebook account, called my daughter and spent the next 30 minutes relaxing, eating lunch and taking photos. Just before I left, a solo hiker showed up. 


I descended the summit on the Tecumseh trail and found it to be much more steeper and mossier than the Sosman trail. There also weren't any good views worth photographing. It started getting warmer and humid on my descent and I was sure glad I had started earlier. On my descent I passed several other hikers (13) making their way up to the summit, including a pit bull making her first hike; another female solo hiker and several trail runners. 

Back at the trailhead my left knee was in pain! In November 2010 I bruised my left knee when I fell on it while roller skating (blog entry here). Had it x-rayed and was told to stay off it for at least two weeks. Well, my left knee started bothering me on the descent. Whenever I bent it deeply, it would hurt. I think I better start wearing a brace on it for my next hike/rock climb.

The Mophie proved to be worth the money. During the hike, I took/uploaded photos to my Facebook wall, checked Facebook News Feed, ran the GPS Kit app, made a call, and checked/responded to my emails. I still had power on it and my iPhone was still fully charged. 

So I've checked off another summit/bagged another peak! The views weren't plentiful on this summit, but the trail is pretty and I hope to hike it one day during the winter!

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