Friday, June 21, 2013

Sugarloaf, Spaulding, Abraham Maine 06/21/13

CLICK HERE O TO GO TO Maine/Vermont Hikes.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO New Hampshire Hikes.

I hiked these three Maine 4000 footers (ME4k) on 6/21/13. This makes 10 of the 14 ME4K. This was a long and fairly hard hike for me. Other than Owl's Head this was my longest one day hike. 17 miles, 0530 - 2000 14.5 hrs. I started where the Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses the Caribou Valley Road (CVR) - just across the road from where I started the Crockers hike. There is a river crossing (Caribessette River ) right near the beginning of the trail that is often difficult but the water was low enough that it wasn't a problem. The black flies and other biting flying bugs were out in full force but keeping covered with bug spray (Ben's DEET) kept them at bay until the late afternoon when I think the DEET resistant bugs come out.  Almost a week later I was still covered with bug bite bumps. - One of many reasons why  I prefer winter hiking.

Pictures: Didn't post these until 8/07 so excuse my lack of details.

Carrabessett River crossing. I Started the hike from Carabou Valley Rd CVR at ~ 0515 after sleeping in my truck  on the CVR for ~ for 4 hours after driving up from RI

Appalacian Trail (AT) well marked with blazes and arrows here, but I still managed to wander off trail for 15 minutes while day dreaming. But it was easy to pick it back up without using my GPS 

Lady Slippers

View of slides between Sugarloaf and Spaulding

Trail Spur off the AT to peak of Sugarloaf

Spur trail up to Surgarloaf.

AT trail marker, not sure why this is not actually on the AT

Cairn on top of Sugarloaf. First time I wore this hat and lost it in the wind later that day.

Views from Sugarloaf (SL)

Back on the AT looking back at SL

Easy Ridge trail over to Spaulding

One of the Maine's infamous black flies. They kept their distance until late in the day.

Mt Spaulding is another short (fairly steep) spur off the AT. No views on the peak but there is a short trail to a view North of the peak, (next few pics)

Blurry black spot is a black fly


Zoomed in view of Sugarloaf from view point north of Spaulding
Spaulding Lean-to. This is where the unidentified woman hiker said that she had met the missing Tenn. AT hiker ("inchworm")  a month later. I had a quick bite to eat here and dropped my main pack (bad decision) and went onto Abraham with my bug-out pack.

Spur trail off the AT to Mt Abraham. (1:10 minutes after leaving Spaulding Lean-to)

Trail was flat through marshland with much moose skat then came across a kiorsk in the middle of nowhere, with pencil and forms to fill out for the Maine AMC , I guess to track trail usage. 



Trail breaks out of the woods into talus fields looks like Abraham may be just over that ridge.



Or 30 minutes and 2 false peaks later - Just over that ridge.

Or this one! Actually it is this one, you can just make out the tower.

On top of a windy Mt Abraham.
Stone wind shelter at base of tower.
There is actually a very small stone shelter with a roof nearby, but I didnt get a picture.

An hour later I'm back at the juction with the AT. I didnt realize it when planning this trip but there is a wide heardpath/logging trail that goes almost straight down to the CVR from here (below). If I hadn't dropped pack at the lean-to I would have gone down here andsaved time and grief.


After picking up my pack and going several hundred yards down the AT I reached the spot were I had decided to Bushwack down to some waypoints of an old overgrown logging road that I had gotten off a site. At first this looked like a start of a easy bushwack marked with red ribbons on trees (see above) on the direct azimuth I needed to get to my first waypoint. However it eventually got thicker and thicker through thick sharp dead spruce and the ribbons disapeared and eventuially I was on the bushwack from hell climbing over piles of dead trees tso deep hat I couldnt even see the forest floor.  Got scratched big time from the brush and eaten alive by the DEET resistant bugs.

 I finally wacked my way to my first waypoint and the rest of the way down was an easy wack through overgrown logging roads and moose paths and finally I broke out into the open.

Back onto the CVR with a 1 hr road hike back to my truck after a tough 1 hour bushwack.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO Maine/Vermont Hikes List.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO New Hampshire Hikes List.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Bigelows (3 ME4Ks)

CLICK HERE O TO GO TO Maine/Vermont Hikes.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO New Hampshire Hikes.

06/09/13 the Bigelows: Avery Peak, West Peak,  South Horn (NEHH list),  & North Horn (not on a list but the best views)

Wet,  muddy,  murky , muggy day.  -

Rest of trip report: Unfortunately I didn't write this until  ~3 weeks later so I don't have a real good memory of this hike. That is actually why i write these reports so i can remember what they were like. - Not for you, for me!

Pictures: some captions still TBD
My original plan was to drive and sleep a few hours at Sugarloaf
ski area in their skiing parking lot (like i did at saddleback). But I had trouble finding it. I did however run across a baby moose drinking from a puddle in the road. I tried to take his picture many times but my camera wouldn't focus with the flash in the dark. The best picture i got is below with just his eyes.  I was almost tempted to get out of the truck and take a closer pic, but then I realized that momma or pappa moose were probably close by.

I ended up sleeping  for few hours on Straton brook rd in an area a bit before the Appalachian trail crosses it. The trail head for

tough  river crossing, only if you were trying to keep dry boots.

this seemed like a perfect spot to seee moose ., but none

 Registration box set up by Maine Appalacian Trial Club , who maintainmost of the trails in Maine.

Moose skat. Saw a lot this hike but still no moose. Since finding the moose shed antler on the last hike I always slow down when i see a lot of signs of moose and look around in the wood sfor another shed.

getting muddy.

moose falls campsite half way up to the col with a welcomed outhouse

part of the trail was stone steps, but a lot of water coming down them.

fog and rain started on the way from the col to Avery Peak

Avery Peak , Bigelow

old stone foundation near Avery peak

Survey markers inside the foundation

Back down to the col and up to West Peak - still misty and fog
fog starting to lift, sharp drop offs after W. Peak

high winds on the ridge, narrow trail with steep, drop off

fog strting to clear giving views of  TBD lake

Bigelow South Horn, my third 4,000 footer for this hike

Bigelow North Horn, not on any of my lists but the views were worth the extra half hour. That's west peak behind me.