Galehead Mtn + South Twin
2011 Nov 5
Fred Knight and Steve Smith
Fred's Home


Fred's panoramic 360-deg view looking from the top of South Twin: Mt Washington at center, Franconia Ridge at left with Garfield poking out to its right, North Twin at the right center, and Bonds split to far right and far left
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South Twin

Steve's panoramic 360-deg view looking from the top of South Twin: Mt Washington in the middle, Franconia Ridge at left, and North Twin left-middle
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South TwinNote: Both of these constructed with Steve's method in Photoshop: Photoshop>File>Automate>PhotoMerge... Auto, Blend, Vignette Removal, Geometric Distortion Correction then Photoshop>Edit>Puppet Warp. However, Fred used cylindrical geometric model and Steve auto. Fred didn't do the last step either (grayed out) but added Save as...jpg with 50% gray background..


Map Steve Smith and Fred Knight made a day of the gorgeous weather on Saturday with a hike up the Gale River Trail to Galehead Mtn, and an extension to South Twin. Wanting some views of Franconia and the Presidentials, we added South Twin (and another 1200' of elevation) for spectacular views of snow-covered peaks west and east. We returned back to the car by sunset as the 3/4 moon was rising. A thoroughly fun day.

The weather was perfect: high 20s starting out and nearly-cloudless sky all day. There was little wind, and temperatures must have been in the 30s during the day. There was no snow at the trailhead. We brought only microspikes, expecting, and finding, only a few inches of snow at the top.





A panoramic view from Gale River Trail looking toward North Twin.
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Toward North Twin


It's 4 miles up the Gale River Trail, starting very gradually. After meeting the Garfield Ridge Trail, it's another 0.6 miles to Galehead Hut at 3800'. The snow was only a few inches deep, but there were some icy rocks, so we put on microspikes and kept them on until coming back down to low elevations on the return. We made it there in about 3:20. Then we took the Frost Trail to the Galehead summit, which has one view out toward North and South Twin, Guyot, and the Bonds but is otherwiase covered with trees---not particularly nice. Since it was early, Steve suggested adding South Twin, so we struck out for the steep ascent about 12:40. The peak didn't disappoint: glorious 360-deg view of the entire White Mountains.


A panoramic view from Galehead Mtn looking toward South Twin on the left and Galehead Hut at the far left in the saddle below.
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Toward South Twin


Steve captured the entire trip on his iPhone with the gps-app from MotionX. See plot from export of gps data to kmz and plot in Google Earth. Coming back, we started down from the Galehead Hut at 3:30 and made it back to the car before 6pm.

Summary: 12 miles, 3855' rise, two peaks: Galehead Mtn and South Twin, clear, crisp conditions 8:25 start; 5:45 finish


previous next 8 images

Galehead South Twin 5Nov2011

Commemorating the start #1
Commemorating the start #1
Look at that outfit: 27 deg, no snow, and the trail ahead
Commemorating the start #2
Commemorating the start #2
Steve, ready for a day of hiking
Action in the trail
Action in the trail
Blurred by the speed and happy to be staying on top of some slippery stones.
Another stream with lots of dry rocks
Another stream with lots of dry rocks
Steve, taking the crossing with aplomb---all smiles.
Steve braving narrow slippery bridge over creek
Steve braving narrow slippery bridge over creek
On the way up the Gale River Trail a new section has bridges.
Galehead hut in bright sun
Galehead hut in bright sun
Steve had just finished the pizza, so he looks pretty happy.
From Galehead Mtn toward South Twin
From Galehead Mtn toward South Twin
The look-out close to the top gives local views but is too low to see far.
Frost Trail terminus at Galehead Mtn
Frost Trail terminus at Galehead Mtn
Peak #30 for Fred on his way to 48 NH 4000'ers
One view from South Twin
One view from South Twin
The cairn marking the summit of South Twin
Steve on South Twin
Steve on South Twin
Steve is also blocking the view of Mt. Washington. A gorgeous day on the 4902' peak.
South Twin at 2pm
South Twin at 2pm
Mt Washington is between myl legs
Double birch
Double birch
One trunk producing two upward trees, sahring the one root system.