Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mt. Majors, Straightback Mountain & Mt. Anna – Solo Summer Hike

Mount Majors (1,786ft)
Straightback South Mountain – South Peak (1,910ft)
Mount Anna (1,660ft)

Total Elevation Gain: 1,349ft
Trails: Mt. Majors (Blue), Blue-Yellow Merge, Quarry, North Straightback Link (Green), Brook (Yellow)
Distance: 7.3 miles roundtrip
Duration: 5.0 hrs, 10 min (includes stops at all summits)
Difficulty: Moderate

When I left my itinerary with my husband I had this hike down for a roundtrip of 4 miles. Oooops!  It didn’t occur to me that the 4 miles was one way until I reached Mt. Anna almost 3 hours after starting. I had depended on a website for mileage and didn’t realize that it didn’t account for the trip back. I don’t know what distracted me from estimating the mileage correctly, but I know better now! 

I didn’t mind bagging Mt. Majors for the 3rd time as the views were stunning! But I needed Straightback Mountain and Mt. Anna, so spent only a few minutes on the crowded summit snacking on my PB&J sandwich and snapping a few photos. I came across no other hikers on my hike to Straightback Mountain and Mt. Anna...the solitude was wonderful! On my way back down, I took the Quarry Trail which connected to the North Straightback Link (Green) trail. The top portion of this trail was steep but leveled out once in the woods. The trail connected with the Brook (yellow) trail and that’s when it became a freeway of hikers. Several families with toddlers were making their way down. Some of the small children gave me strange looks as I passed them with my Microspikes noisely crunching along the rocky wet trail and a black mosquito net to protect my head.

On the Belknap Range Summits: 10 down, 2 more left to bag! 

Mt. Major Summit (3)

I was just there last week! Belknap Mountain (left)
and Mt. Rowe (right) from Mt. Major summit
The summit of Straightback (south) Mountain

 The summit of Mt. Anna (2)

 At the junction of the Blue, Purple and Quarry Trails are open ledges.
I sat here eating my lunch and admiring the views of the lakes. 

Along the North Straightback Link Trail (Green)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Seek The Peak 2013

13 more days until the Seek The Peak 2013 Mt. Washington hike!

I'm just a bit short of my goal - please help me reach my goal of $200 by donating here:

Mahalo nui loa (Thank you very much) to those who have already donated! If I reach my goal of $200, I receive FREE Admission to the Seek The Peak 13 After Party. And to boot, I also get some really, really cool prizes, check it out!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rock Rimmon – Rock Climbing

Spent several hours climbing Rock Rimmon today. A bit muggy and the ground is trashed with broken glass and litter. But the rock is so good here - easy on the fingers and hands, and I love to climb it! Took some photos with my iPhone…..sorry for the blurries!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mt. Rowe, Gunstock & Belknap Mountains – Solo Summer Hike

Mount Rowe (1,680ft)
Gunstock Mountain (2,240ft)
Belknap Mountain (2,382ft)

Total Elevation Gain: 1,349ft
Trails: Ridge (White) Trail, Saddle Trail, Blue Trail, Brook (Yellow ) Trail
Distance: 4.5 miles roundtrip
Duration: 4.0 hours (includes stops at all summits)
Difficulty: Moderate

I bagged 3 more summits in the Belknap Range! I had put off peakbagging for 3 months to be able to take some AMC Rock Climbing courses. Today I wanted a hike that was an easy up and back down as I have more rock climbing the next day and  didn’t want to tire myself out with an 11-miler. I was expecting the Gunstock Mountain Resort to be empty, but I was wrong. There were folks walking around, swimming in the lake, and lots of folks on the Zip line. There were also folks taking the ski lift up to the summit of Gunstock and hiking down the Ridge (White) Trail.

That road up to Mt. Rowe was tough in the heat, it was hot with hardly any shade whatsoever! Now I know why I love winter hiking so much. I didn’t spend any time at the summit…..just  enough time to snap a few photos and then I headed out along the ridge toward Gunstock Mountain.

At the trailhead (2)

 Along the Ridge Trail

Cell Tower at the Mt. Rowe summit
The portion of the Ridge trail, just before the Yellow Trail junction,
is my favorite! I loved the open ridge and the views from it. 

That last portion of the Ridge trail (along the ski trail) to the Gunstock summit was steep.
Lots of loose gravel and soil made some spots slippery. At the summit I spent 20 minutes taking photos from the deck of the Panorama Pub and talking with the attendant of the Zip Tour. 

Along the Blue trail to the Belknap summit I met Bill of BRATTS
(Belknap Range Trail Tenders) who was raking the trail from the summit. 
At the Belknap summit a couple just left the tower so I had the
summit all to myself and spent another 20 minutes photographing,
and enjoying the 360 views and my PB&J sandwich in peace! 

Views from the Belknap Mountain fire tower (3)

On the way down, the Brook (yellow) trail crosses ski trails several times. I watched
as more folks came down the zipline above me hooting and hollering. I didn’t see any 
black  flies, but the mosquitoes were bad. I was able to hike the remainder in peace
with my head net protection. As I got to my truck, it started raining pretty hard. 
But it lasted only few minutes and the cool showers were a welcomed relief.