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 Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16 
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 Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
So I have been looking to get up the Rainbow trail for some time since I had heard rumblings it was quite a little gem. Since the weather was supposed to be gorgeous I decided to kill two birds with one stone and finally go to Mount Hight since I would be in the area. I know, you are asking why I had not been to Hight until now? Long story, mainly involving either a) no views, so why bother, or b) deep unbroken snow and no desire to push on to it. Another bonus was that apparently, as I discovered a few months ago when I stumbled across my old copy of the list, Hight was all that was left for me on the Y-Alp list. You may have never heard of the Y-Alp, but since it was compiled by the Goffstown YMCA (which is just down the road from where I live) I figured it was my duty to represent G-Town. :lol:

So fast forward Saturday morning and I found myself on Carter Notch Road at the new little parking area. It looks like they relocated the beginning of the Bog Brook trail, but I did not notice until I had gotten back at the end of the day. I instead chose to use the gated logging road, which I have used before, since it cut out the mucky part of the Bog Brook trail at the start which now appears to be no longer there. Oh well.

The gated road where the new parking area is.
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The road is wide open, fairly level, and is the reason I chose this instead of the actual trail.
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Eventually the trail cuts across the road, which is where I now picked it up to begin the real hiking part of the day.
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The trail meanders along pretty mellow with the occasional PUD and one ladder section.
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Since I was planning on making a loop by coming down from Carter Notch I used the opportunity to get some extra redlinging in by taking the Wild River Trail to get over to the Rainbow trail. I have nothing to say about this trail other than....it sucks. Massive suck. :x
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I had to take Bog Brook trail for a short ways to finally connect to the Rainbow trail.
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It starts out a green fern haven....
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...and morphs into a gorgeous birch glade.
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Once past here the heavy climbing starts. It is not SUPER steep, but it was a workout, especially in the rising heat. But I took my time and kept a steady pace going. As I approached the long ridge leading off the shoulder of Carter Dome the views start to poke above the trees.
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But what hit me as a big surprise was the little bump on the end of this ridge, which is bald and has the most astounding views considering what and where it is!
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I would almost go so far as to say it should be considered for our views list. And since it lacked any name on the map (since it really only has about 40 feet of contour I believe) I dubbed it Carter Bow, a mash-up of Carter Dome and Rainbow Trail.

Dipping back into the scrub I made the mostly mellow run up to Carter Dome's summit.
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The views from the summit ledge are just OK. I remember one year when snow was so deep you got a most stunning panorama, but under normal circumstances this is what you get.
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Now I continued along the AT to get to Mt. Hight. But maybe 100 yards down from the summit I noticed a cut trail of maybe 15 feet to a new views clearing that was not there last I had visited. I am not exactly sure how I feel about the viewscaping, but I guess one can't argue with the results as they are better than the summit itself.
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Time to head to Mt. Hight.
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So you may ask was it worth it to get there and see it all for the first time? Yes. Absolutely.
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I soaked in the views for a while, had a snack and a drink, and returned the way I came back to the summit of the Dome so I could continue my viewfully delightful day (I am copyrighting that saying :P ) by heading down into Carter Notch. The photos speak for themselves why.
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One of the Carter Lakes.
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And the other.
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Carter Notch hut.
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View from beside the hut.
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I would now use the Wildcat River trail all the way back out to the car.
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The trail passes right by the Hut's bunkhouses.
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The trail starts out a bit rough as it makes it's descent, but once it levels out the majority is amazingly well graded.
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As the name indicates you spend some time next to the river, with the occasional cascade to enjoy.
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Back to the road it was a simple walk back to the car. The odometer on my GPS clicked off 14 miles as I reached the car and boy did it feel like 14 miles. As my friend Scoutmaster Gary would say, my dogs were barking. :D I jumped into the car, pulled a nice chilled iced tea from the cooler and made my way back to Rt. 16 where traffic was insane. I decided to drive north a couple miles to pick up West Side Road to bypass going through Conway, but because of Bike Week traffic things were still slow going. I was running low on gas as I got close to the highway at exit 23 so I pulled into the Irving station and made an interesting observation....bikers at gas stations are like women at bathrooms. They have to go in groups. There had to be 40 bikes there! All gassing up. I decided to not bother and thankfully made it to Concord to gas up.

So all told it was a great day. On the warm side, yes. But the humidity wasn't terrible and the views incredible. And to close out the report we have the tale of the GPS.
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Brian


Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:27 pm
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
I vote YES!!!!!

We hope to redline (if I live to be a healthy old lady), so thanks for the report of those trails, I've been looking at that map lately.


Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:56 pm
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
The Wild River area is where the biggest dead zone is for me on trails second only to the Caribou/Speckled area. I won't say I am necessarily pushing to zip through the redlining thing, but it is a motivator. However, because of the long drive for me to that area it may be a while before I clear it of remaining trails. :D

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Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:00 pm
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
I've been wanting to get to this one since Joe mentioned it last year. It looks like an awesome route that can only improve the hike to Carter Dome from that side. If I didn't need the red line I'd stop at the bump and be perfectly happy I think. I also can't come up with much nice to say about the Wild River Trail. Some awesome examples of the destruction from Irene...and that's about it! :D Lucky you that Evans Notch still holds it's secrets for you. Awesome hiking and different terrain when you get over to it and a great addition to the wilderness system. Wish I could say the same about Wild River. Easily my least favorite of them from what I've seen. Maybe because it's relatively new it needs to mature a bit. That bump looks pretty sweet though. You can add it to the list as 4272. 8)


Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:35 pm
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
Did that loop in reverse in 2014, and just hit the height of land on Rainbow Ridge via the Rainbow Trail last year.
Yup, needs to be out on the new list in the R's and a route to Hight. :D

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Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:17 am
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
You guys are right, a worthy destination in and of itself!. If I had bothered to actually do more research (I mean I have the damn guidebook sitting in my car, but do I ever crack it open to read trail descriptions? Nooooooo :lol: ) and knew about Carter Bow I would have probably STILL been amazed. :shock:


Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:19 am
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
What a lovely trail. It's been on my to do list since I saw Ian (inquest) a few years back. It's been moved up. Only 1800 feet of gain? That seems like a leisurely stroll to enjoy.


Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:24 am
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
That can't be right (the 1800). Must be the starting elevation he was at when the pic was taken which would make 3000 to the dome and another 300 or so over and back to Hight.

Also, what's the mysterious Y-Alp list? Googled it. Got nothing.


Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:05 am
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
YMCA alpine list

http://www.peakbagger.com/list.aspx?lid=5174

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Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:39 pm
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
HardcoreIdiot wrote:


Thanks for the link. Just what I needed, another list. :roll: But I do like their style, and I'm 75% done already. Seems like the other I'm missing are almost all on the 52WAV. I think this one is going to happen whether I want it to or not! :D


Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:06 pm
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 Re: Carter Bow/Carter Dome/Hight via Rainbow Trail 6/18/16
Yes, the 1867 is the elevation of the parking lot. I WISH it had only been 1800 feet of gain. As GG mentioned actual gain would have been over 3000 feet.

I had heard about the Y-Alp list back when I first started hiking. I printed out the list, kept track for a while, and then one day tucked the list away having only about 1/4 of it done and forgot about it for a good 5 or 6 years. When I discovered it again a several months ago I noticed I only had 2 or 3 left on it. :lol:

Brian


Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:35 pm
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