Isolation – Trip Report

01/18/2015
Isolation 4, 003′
Rocky Branch, Engine Hill, Isolation trail, Davis path
13 miles

Finishing out the weekend a popular winter Bushwick over engine hill. Fog settles in over the ranges in Pinkham notch as we start out our day in spikes but change over to snow shoes quickly for added traction as the warm temperatures cause the snow conditions to become sloppy and slippery. I meet up with Heather, Kali, Dan, and newcomer Ryan to knock out one more on a classic bad weather isolation day.

I set my alarm for 5:30. My phone died. I looked at the clock in my room. It said 5:30. It was wrong. It was actually 6:10. I sprang out of bed.
“Alright I have to move. I am going to be late.”
I was supposed to be at rocky branch trailhead at 7. I hate being late. After a quick dress and grabbing an egg sandwich and a couple of doughnuts we were out the door again. Abby dropped me off with the rest of the crew right at 7. Just made it!
Everyone else was there and ready. I packed the last of my gear and I was ready to go as well. It was overcast, but much warmer when we started. Around 20 degrees.

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As always the beginning of this trail goes for some serious elevation gain right out the gate be ready for it. It is about 2.2 miles to the point of the start of the engine hill bushwack. You really can’t miss it because it is so popular but look for the reflective tape and a t carved into the tree like this.

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And through the moose marsh you will go. The trail is very broken out and easy to find right now. I don’t think from looking at the other end where it meets back up with the isolation trail that anyone has gone the actually way in some time. I would not recommend it.

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After we meet back up with the Isolation trail you pass a lot of blow down trees on the way to the Davis path. It is easy to get through though as these are reminders of past storms. All was well going around to Davis path though there is a small cut in the broken trail that bypasses the sign at the junction so don’t worry about missing the junction.
The top offered no views but Lucy and I were happy to summit all the same with our new hiking friends.

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Dan took this amazing group shot.

It was a bit cold with wet cloths on the summit so we went back down below by the summit spur junction to have a snack.

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After that we made great time out. We had wonderful conversations and stopped for a couple more small snacks. In total the hike took us 5:45 minutes. We were back to the parking lot just as it started to rain. What a weekend with great people!

With this hike Lucy and I finish out our weekend with 5 4000 footers to add to our total. This hike brings Lucy and I to 22 peaks so far this winter in our attempts at a single winter season 48. My little 1 year old Aussie Shephard could be one of only a handfull of dogs to ever do this. Stay strong Lucy your as tough as nails!

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