Archive for November 2014

Two Hikes at Squam Lake

Saturday Hikes to Red Hill and Mt Cotton

Tom Smith*, Larry Green, Fred Knight, Steve Smith, Scott Stuart, Ozzy Gunduz, Doug Anderson**


* could be over age 70
** way under age 30


startpic2pic3

The temperature started near 10 and got to near freezing. The snow varied from a few inches to ~8″ deep. The trails ranged from trampled to unbroken. The skies were clear. The team (mostly) met their challenges. There were one balaclava, two separate hikes, three opinions on the best nationality making baklava, four trailheads visited, five hikers on Eagle Cliff, six hours of hiking, and seven intrepid hikers on the team. Good fun!

We all arrived at the appointed trail head (Red Hill) at the appointed time. After placing the van at the proposed destination down Eagle Cliff, we (right and left pics) headed up Red Hill to the Tower for the view down to Squam Lake (middle pic) and with the expanse of Lake Winnipesaukee to the south. At this point, Tom and Steve went back down Red Hill while the rest of us did Eagle Cliff to the Tee-Dee spur, requiring a 1/4-mile roadwalk to get the van. Arriving back via the two routes at the same time, we all met again at the Red Hill Trailhead. Scott, Doug, and Fred were eager for another hike, so we parted, dropped Ozzy in the hamlet of Holderness to fend for himself, and headed to the Cotton Mt. Trailhead. Cotton Mt is quite steep (see topo map)! With Fred’s energy flagging and being short on time, we omitted the 0.4-mile spur to Mt. Livermore but did the loop: Cotton Mt Trail, Crawford-Ridgepole Tr, Prescott Tr, and Old Highway S, which is mostly a creek bed and only a highway for squirrels.

Summary:

~9 miles, ~5.5 hours, two peaks, varying teams from 3 to 7 hikers.

Bigelow Range: Firewardens/Horn’s Pond Loop

Fred Knight, Sunday Hike in Maine

startpic2pic3

I did a 13-mile loop in the Bigelow Range north of Sugarloaf Ski Area: up the Horn’s Pond Trail, on a section of the Appalachian Trail over two peaks, and down the Firewarden’s Trail. The temperature stayed near freezing; I wore my fleece on the ridge traverse; a few breezes in exposed areas. Good views from the ridge trail and the peaks.

I was surprised by the amount of snow, but I guess I should have expected some given last week’s storm.  All snow had melted at lower altitudes, but there were traces early on (say 2000′) and a couple inches on the ridge, so most of the hike had some snow cover.  Luckily traction was fine, with little ice and adequate footing with just my boots. Melting continued after Sunday.

I drove north from Long Pond about 1:20 and parked 1.4 miles down the Stratton Brook Pond Road, per the on-line directions.  A short second section of the road was blocked by a fallen tree (that was removed during my hike!), so I parked with a few other cars, including 2 vans from Unity College.

The hike had 5 sections per the map.  The video shows progress.  The trails were very nice, pretty smooth, lots of steps in the steep spots, fairly flat ridge, and okay traction even without microspikes, which I forgot to bring, thinking there would be no snow.

I met only one group, the students and 2 leaders from Unity College.  They were doing the loop over 3 days with overnights at Avery Campsite and Horn’s Pond.  They were traversing in the opposite direction from me, and we had a good conversation past South Horn on the ridge. Other than the Unity College group, I only saw trampled footsteps coming up and descending and only one other person’s footsteps on the ridge.

Summary:

13.6 miles (long one!), 7:25, South Horn (3850′) and West Peak (4100′), good time, big video, pics.