Monday, July 31, 2006
The traverse over the Twins and Galehead proved to be one of our more challenging hikes this summer, but provided us some of the best views we have seen in the Whites.
The day promised to be crystal blue with highs in the valley of around 77. Today the forecast was accurate. We parked our car at the Gale River Trail and were met promptly by the taxi service, that we had hired the day before to drive us the 7 miles to the North Twin Trail to being our hike.
The North Twin Trail crosses the Little River three times. These crossings were impossible with boots on given the wet spring/summer we have had. The first two crossings were .5 miles apart and were able to bypass both with a well-developed herd path that was not challenging to follow. The third crossing we removed our boots and spends about 15 minutes studying the river for the point that seemed to be the shallowest and slowest moving to cross. This was not a trivial exercise, as we are inexperienced in wading across swift moving and bitterly cold mountain rivers.
The two outlooks from North Twin were spectacular and Deborah was amazed as Jordan, Kate and I stood and named perhaps twenty of the mountains that we were seeing from the east outlook. This would not have been possible a few years ago but hiking the 48 does begin to build a mental map of where everything is in relation to everything else. When we first began to hike we could only hazard educated guesses as to what we were seeing.
From the west outlook of North Twin the "beingness" of the mountains and the trees was palpable and amazing. We will definitely return to North Twin again.Across the ridge to South Twin we hiked and were greeted by an open 360 degree view. The summit was more crowded and somehow for us, even though the South Twin view is generally considered grander, the North Twin views took today's prize.
Down we went the Twinway to Galehead Hut. This was an unrelenting very steep, jarring trail that dropped 1100 feet in .8 miles. We are slow on such trails and today was no exception. From there we took the short ½ mile Frost Trail to viewless
Distance 12 miles; Climb 3800 ft; Elevation North Twin 4761ft; South Twin 4902 ft; Galehead 4024 ft.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
For the two weeks the kids are in Shakespeare Camp our hikes are limited to Saturday or Sunday. The weather promised to be less than ideal on Saturday but hikeable. The forecast was for a cloudy day with a 30% chance of isolated showers beginning around 4pm. The showers were due to give way to heavy rain overnight.
The Carters - Middle and South are not known for outstanding views and the trails up via 19 Mile Brook, Carter-Dome and Carter-Moriah are only steep around South Carter. A perfect choice for a limited view day and the threat of rain.
Until 2 pm the day was as promised. We were in the clouds with only an occasional view. At 1:30 pm it began to rain, by 2:30 pm it was raining heavily. The last 1 ½ hours of our hike we were in the heaviest rain we have ever experienced on a hike. We were soaked, but since we had made good time and were not on a steep trail when the rain began or above tree line we were safe. If you hike enough in the Whites sooner or later you will get soaked. Peaks # 40 & 41.
Distance 11.8 miles; Climb 3650 ft; Elevation South Carter 4430 ft; Middle Carter 4610 ft.