Thursday, July 25, 2013

Old Speck, Maine

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Trip report:
Old Speck Mtn  Via Eyebrow & AT 4,170' ,7.8 miles, elevation gain: 3205, book time 5:30 .
This would be my 59th 4000 footer and my brother Clayton's first. I talked him into coming along on what I thought would be an easy hike, but it was a bit more than I expected, and a lot more than he expected. We did a loop trail going up the Eyebrow Trail ( "a steep and rough alternative" according to the AMC guide book - Sorry Clay)  until it met the AT then up to the summit which has an excellant viewing tower and back down the AT.   Book time is about 5:30 so I promised my brother it would be 7 hours MAX,  so of course we took a bit over 8 hours.  Despite a late start after driving up from Rhode Island and Plymouth Mass we did finish in time to set up camp at a private campground that I had reserved a site at and go for subs and beer before it got dark. Somwhere near the top and all the way down and on the drive back Clay swore this would be his first and last 4k hike. But after several weeks he was to do one of the VT 4ks with me  (Camels Hump) which should be half the time and distance of this hike.

I didn't really take many this trip, too busy talking with my brother I guess.

Clay going up the eyebrow trail. First time I've seen stanchions and wire rope rails on a hike - probably helpful when there is ice.

After the stancions they had metal staples to help you (I have seen these in the Whites)

View down to the trail-head parking lot from the Eyebrow

Zoomed in view. "Hey! What's that guy doing near my truck!"

Two Old Bros on top of Old Speck.
Notice that Clay didn't even break a sweat - he walks and works out every day
Viewing tower at the peak, we had to wait for a bunch of kids to get off it.
Unlike other peak towers I've seen, this one has a ladder not steps.

Clay and I on the tower. see how happy he looks :)

A few views from the tower:

Two pics of me and Clay half way down. neither of us look real happy here:

What!! We still have an hour to go??

Looking back up at the eyebrow from the trailhead. The eybrow trail goes right along the edge of the  area above the rock cliffs you see here.
Zoomed view of the Eyebrow cliffs.
Campsite we slept at. (Grafton Notch Campground)
Camp was very clean with great warm showers and close to the trail-head.
Only problem is that it was close to the road and logging trucks were zooming by all night.
 If you stay here, try to get a site in the back away from the road.