Click for Mount Washington, New Hampshire Forecast

Mt. Washington Temp.
Click pic for forecast.

...More Topics...

 

 

Get Firefox!

Backcountry ski and snowboard gear, camping

Donate towards my web hosting bill!

Made with CSS

Validated by W3C

       
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:08 am



Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
 The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016 
Author Message
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:40 pm
Posts: 1144
Location: Earth
Reply with quote
 The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016
After looking at the weather and seeing complete sunshine for the Maine High Peaks, I decided to hike the Bigelows in Maine, which I had put off for the longest time. They were #63 and 64 on the NE67. Good thing I did put it off until today- if I didn't do it now, I wouldn't have gotten the crystal clear skies and excellent views I got from both summits!

I got up at 2:50 AM and was out the door shortly after 3 AM. After a breakfast stop and a re-supply stop, I got to the start of the hike at Stratton Brook Pond Rd around 7:10 AM. Geared up, locked up, and started down the road around 7:25 AM. The road walk was mostly snow/ice with a few dry spots, so I microspiked it. Once at the summer trailhead, I veered left onto the old road to the new bridge over Stratton Brook. At the drop to the bridge, I put on Hillsound Pros to avoid taking a tumble on the sheet ice. Crossed the bridge and talked with a camper- the camper would be the only person I'd see the whole hike :D .

Once past the bridge, the trail made a series of turns on an old road to a sign for the Firewarden's Trail. The trail is blazed and marked starting at the summer TH, but I dunno whether or not the FW trail officially starts at this sign :? . Anyway, the Firewarden's Trail made a short, abrupt climb to boot, and then was rather mellow for a long way. It was at this abrupt climb that I made three traction changes- took off the Hillsounds, then barebooted, then put the microspikes back on. Kind of annoying :x .

The trail intersected with the Horns Pond Trail about a couple miles in, then made a mellow, uneventful approach to the real fun- the steep upper part. Started the steep part in spikes, then switched back to Hillsounds, and I'd keep them on for the rest of the ascent and most of the descent.

Soon enough, I came to the junction with the AT and was given a choice of which peak to hit first- West Peak or Avery Peak. I chose West first. From the junction in the col, the AT made an abrupt, then mellow, then abrupt climb into the alpine zone to the 4,155 ft. summit. The skies were crystal clear with no clouds or wind, and the views were excellent! Could see the Presidential Range and Mt. Katahdin, among other major peaks. Rested and ate a cookie then headed back to the col for the climb to Avery Peak.

The AT to Avery dipped down a bit and then skirted up the mountain side, eventually making a steep-ish climb to the 4,088 ft. summit. Views were mostly the same, but from a slightly different vantage point. The summit also had the foundation of an old fire tower. Guess the trail I took up is called the Firewarden's Trail for a reason :lol: ! I took a longer break here and just took it all in.

Eventually, I had to go back down. I had a long descent, plus a 4 hour drive back home. Fortunately, the descent was speedier than I thought, and I was back at the car around 2:10, 6 hours and 45 min. after starting.

Overall, this was one of the best NE67 hikes I've done so far. Good workout, nice long distance, treeless summits, crystal clear skies, and views for miles. I very rarely get days like this, and I took advantage of it. I'd say that today was a 100% complete success! Roundtrip distance was 13.8 miles with around 3,200 ft. of elevation gain, and it took a little over 6 hours not including my summit breaks.

Here's the video recap: https://youtu.be/f82TFF_q2vA

_________________
NH4K: 48/48 (Completed 10/4/2014)
NE67: 67/67 (Completed 7/25/2016)
NE115: 74/115
NEFF: 31/50
NEHH: 75/100


Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:03 pm
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:35 pm
Posts: 2763
Location: south of the notches
Reply with quote
 Re: The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016
WOW Spence....you don't waste any time getting out of the house. Was your car already running and everything????

Good for you - and isn't it great to get out there and have the place to yourself? Hmmmm.....perhaps I should shift my focus and work on the 67 list. Oh geez. Don't tell GG I said that. I'll never hear the end of it.

That very first entry looks a mess, but love the boardwalk/bridge.

Love the "privy" sign. Sure beats "toilet."

Lookit that blue sky!! WOW.

And don't the summits seem SO far off in the distance all the time? Or is that just me?

_________________
Life is a trip ~ pack accordingly


Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:16 pm
Profile
Hiking Forums Are My Crack
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
Reply with quote
 Re: The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016
Kathy wrote:
Hmmmm.....perhaps I should shift my focus and work on the 67 list. Oh geez. Don't tell GG I said that. I'll never hear the end of it.


Too late. I took a screen shot for proof! :D

You're really sticking to your guns about no more long drives Spencer! :wink: Quite the spectacular day however for one of Maine's finest mountains. As you mentioned in the video you've had a lot of crappy days on the NE67 peaks, but this sure wasn't one of them. I'll have to disagree on the view being better than Bondcliff, but to each their own. The hike itself on the other hand kicks the crap out of the LW route to Bondcliff.


Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:05 pm
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:40 pm
Posts: 1144
Location: Earth
Reply with quote
 Re: The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016
Kathy: I got everything ready the night before so I could just get up and go 8) .

I agree with you on the peaks looking far away. Sugarloaf for example seems so close on the map, but so far from the top. OTOH, the two major NE peaks (Washington and Katahdin) were far away too! Surprised I could see them from the top. Washington was 79 miles away, Katahdin 84.

GG: ...I had to go there, y'know :wink: ? When I saw the weather, I thought I might not get another day like this for a long time.

As for the views there vs. Bondcliff, I was caught up in the moment. The are way more peaks visible from the Bigelows than Bondcliff without a doubt, but Bondcliff's view is more unique. That said, I agree that the hike to the Bigelows kicks the crap out of the approach I took to the 'Cliff.

_________________
NH4K: 48/48 (Completed 10/4/2014)
NE67: 67/67 (Completed 7/25/2016)
NE115: 74/115
NEFF: 31/50
NEHH: 75/100


Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:27 am
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:12 pm
Posts: 1329
Location: Somersworth NH
Reply with quote
 Re: The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016
I made it there last year, and they're great peaks but I had a hazy day and couldn't see the Whites or Katahdin. It was a great day but I was a little bummed, I've still never so much as later eyes on K. This year I'll hit her!

I didn't watch the vid, but it sounds like you did an out and back? No loop for the Horns? They're a great reason to go back (plus NEHH), and probably would have been a more gentle descent.


Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:41 am
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:40 pm
Posts: 1144
Location: Earth
Reply with quote
 Re: The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016
Grindboy wrote:
I made it there last year, and they're great peaks but I had a hazy day and couldn't see the Whites or Katahdin. It was a great day but I was a little bummed, I've still never so much as later eyes on K. This year I'll hit her!


Hey now, what did Katahdin ever do to you :wink: ?

Quote:
I didn't watch the vid, but it sounds like you did an out and back? No loop for the Horns? They're a great reason to go back (plus NEHH), and probably would have been a more gentle descent.


Yup, did an out and back. Still a good 13.8 miles in my book :D .

I know I'm at 72/100 for the Hundred Highest, but... I don't want to get caught up in another list, but... that's what I said after I finished the 48... it's a never-ending cycle :cry:

_________________
NH4K: 48/48 (Completed 10/4/2014)
NE67: 67/67 (Completed 7/25/2016)
NE115: 74/115
NEFF: 31/50
NEHH: 75/100


Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:25 pm
Profile
Hiking Forums Are My Crack
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
Reply with quote
 Re: The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016
hiker0200 wrote:
it's a never-ending cycle :cry:


Therefore, whenever possible, thou shalt knowingly leave no stragglers. It's somewhere near the front of the peakbaggers bible. :wink:


Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:52 pm
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:21 am
Posts: 1820
Location: Lynn MA
Reply with quote
 Re: The Bigelows, ME (NE4K #63 & 64)- 3/20/2016
Granite Guy wrote:
hiker0200 wrote:
it's a never-ending cycle :cry:


Therefore, whenever possible, thou shalt knowingly leave no stragglers. It's somewhere near the front of the peakbaggers bible. :wink:



Heck. I did one peak twice last week. Now I can count it for winter and all season! :roll:


Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:01 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 8 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Hike-NH.com based on STSoftware.