Four Hiking Days in April 2012:
Day 1(15 April) - Waumbek and up to Cabot
Night 1/2 - overnight in Cabot Cabin
Day 2(16 April) - Down Cabot and RT to Mt Moriah
Day 3(21 April) - Owl's Head
Day 4(28 April) - Mt Isolation
Fred's Home

Here are 4 trip reports from April 2012 for hikes to five peaks in the Cabot and Carter Ranges and Pemi and Isolation Wildernesses.


Sunny Patriot's Day: Panorama from Mt Moriah
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Panorama


28 April: Panoramic view from Isolation
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Panorama Note: constructed with Steve Smith's method in Photoshop: Photoshop>File>Automate>PhotoMerge... Auto, Blend, Vignette Removal, Geometric Distortion Correction.


On Boston Marathon weekend, I did 25.4 miles over two days with drives between the peaks. The weather was hot, but there was snow on the peaks. The best refresher was ice-cold water from melting ice at the top of Mt Moriah. The Cabot Cabin, where I spend Sunday night after a long day of hiking RT to Waumbek and up to Cabot, is built at the top. How did people do that? I had anticipated making a loop to get views from The Horn, but the foggy morning motivated me to descend and go up Mt Moriah. Monday had temperatures in the late 80's. I saw one other group and a solo guy. See the panorama above.

The next Saturday, I went for the longest hike to Owl's Head, using the well-traveled bushwhack along Franconia Brook. RT was still 14+ miles, but I managed to add some slogging to that after missing the scramble up to Owl's Head and taking a meandering route through the forest to the top of Owl's Head. Coming down wasn't fun either because it was steep. The three first-timers whom I had met after we all lost the trail were camped at the start of the Franconia Brook section when I saw them with 5 miles to go. I made it back to the car at Lincoln Trailhead by about 5:30pm. The predicted rain started about 3:30pm and came down hard intermittently until I reached the trailhead.

On the next Sunday (28 April), I went for Mt Isolation. After just making it across the Rocky Branch Creek, I decided to bushwhack to the top using the compass bearing calculated the night before. The woods was mostly not too dense. I kept checking the bearing and got one glimpse of Isolation on the way up. I ended up just south of the peak by about 15 minutes on the trail. After wondering why I hadn't reached the vista, I realized that a short spur trail just past the highest point on the trail took me to the apex. Nobody had taken t since the snow early in the week. See the vista above. I took the trail (Davis Path and Isolation Trail) back and met a solo guy (MTNHKR on his NH license plate) and a group of four. When I reached the final stream crossing the ice was gone and the level down an inch so getting across was not an issue. Arrived back at the car at 4:40pm, 8:40 elapsed time. A very nice day.

Summary: 56+ miles over 3 weekends, 5 peaks (Waumbek #43, Cabot #44, Moriah #45, Owl's Head #46, and Isolation #47).

--Fred (aka tarpman)
previous next Fred's Home 21 images
Monorail on the way to Waumbek
Monorail on the way to Waumbek
Warm day, but microspikes for footing
Warm day, but microspikes for footing
Mt Starr King
Mt Starr King
met father and son doing Waumbek
Mt Starr King fireplace
Mt Starr King fireplace
a clearing and this monument to the past
Below, no hint of snow
Below, no hint of snow
Second hike of the day; heading to Mt Cabot
Second hike of the day; heading to Mt Cabot
Cabot Cabin
Cabot Cabin
sleeps 8. I was there alone.
At the Cabot Summit; in fog; 6:30am
At the Cabot Summit; in fog; 6:30am
I was going to continue toward The Horn where there's a view---of more fog.
Descending on Kilkenny Ridge Tr
Descending on Kilkenny Ridge Tr
Gorgeous trail scene
Looking back at Bunnel Notch (left and Mt Cabot (right)
Looking back at Bunnel Notch (left and Mt Cabot (right)
From the road
Carter-Moriah Tr
Carter-Moriah Tr
4.5 miles and 3400' up
Mt Moriah Medallion
Mt Moriah Medallion
Refreshing ice water from nearby melting
Franconia Brook Bushwhack
Franconia Brook Bushwhack
Toward Owl's Head
Toward Owl's Head
before loosing the trail
end of bushwhack; end of hike
end of bushwhack; end of hike
many keep going--stay west of brook
Rocky Branch Tr
Rocky Branch Tr
start of the Isolation hike
Mt Eisenhower from Isolation
Mt Eisenhower from Isolation
Mt Washington from Isolation
Mt Washington from Isolation
Mt Isolation Medallion
Mt Isolation Medallion
4000'er peak #47 for me
Rocky Branch brook
Rocky Branch brook
trailside, descending toward home
Ice tentacles
Ice tentacles
extruded from wet ground