As the teperatures climb and the snow starts to harden and melt the evidence of Springs arrival is found all around us. With only two weekends remaining and 6 mountains left to climb Lucy and I had some work to do. With a long day hike on Saturday across the Carters and the Cats the reality of our single season Winter 48 is coming into focus. Following on Sunday we keep ourselves in peak condition with a second bag of mount Cabot while we were already in the area. It was a packed weekend of hiking and great views.
Middle Carter, South Carter, Carter Dome, Wildcat A, Wildcat D
Imp Trail, Cater-Moriah, Wildcat Ridge trail
Lucy and I wanted to get an early start so we left Friday night. We stayed close to the trailhead so we could meet Mark and Jason in the morning. They were to join me on a long day hike over the Carters and into Carter notch before climbing Wildcat A and traveling across the ridge to Wildcat D. Quite a long day…
We started our hike at the Lower Imp Trail and climbed to Middle Carter. As soon as we were safely away from the road I let Lucy off her lead. She was having a blast running ahead and back tracking to find me. Seeing her enjoying the hike was a pleasure. Lucy would catch up with the next group of folks hiking and try to make friends. Always stunning the newcomers with her dazzling eyes. Before too long we were at the ridge.
At the ridge we stopped for a moment and ate some food. The sun was poking through the dark clouds. It was a beautiful afternoon. We continued our hike over Middle Carter on the way to South Carter.
When we arrived at South Carter we met another group coming up from Zeta Pass. They were kind enough to take our group picture. Afterwards we moved on to Zeta Pass. On the way we met another dog named Banjo. Lucy and Banjo made quick friends.
Once we reached Zeta pass we me some folks climbing up Carter Dome. They had hiked in 19 Mile Brook. We had to make way for Carter Dome ourselves. It was a straight forward hike. Steady upward over well packed trail.
Once we reached the top there was a group of grid finishers to greet us. Having Jason Beaupre in the group makes for great stories of hikes over the years and I take enjoyment in hearing them as I add to them with my own experience. Lucy was well received. We all had a great break over conversation.
Time to descend Carter Dome into the notch. It was a quick butt sled down the steep trail. Lots of fun!.
The hike up the steep Wildcat Ridge trail was a good go. We made short time of it as we reached the summit as the sum was starting to set. If we hurried we could make sunset on Wildcat D for sunset and a great view. We all snagged a couple pictures before we started away.
The hike out was also a pleasure. When the day was over we had gone close to 17 miles over five 4000 footers. I got in the car and started towards mount Cabot and to the end of our Saturday. A huge success.
York Pond trail, Bunnell notch trail, Kilkenny Ridge trail.
I had no trouble falling asleep. Lucy and I were very tired. With daylight savings time 7am came quickly. We woke up and had breakfast. Lucy was not hungry so I packed her food in a storage bag and put it in my pack. We were in no rush to start. Lucy and I had already bagged Cabot back in Febuary but we did not want to finish without giving friends the opportunity to join us so we were hiking Cabot again to keep ourselves in shape. Plus Cabot is a bit farther North so it seemed logical to back it while I was kind of in the area. Jason was along for the hike as well. So you know it was going to be a quick hike. Away we go.
About a mile into the hike i realized i forgot Lucys leash. Jason said I could still go get it. I quickly dismissed that notion and carried onward. The trail was very well packed and we were able to make killer time up the mountain. We were on the final stretch in no time. There is an Outlook spot where we stopped and took some pictures. Once at the Cabin we ran into a hiker on his first 4000 footer hike. While we were talking with him another hiker and blog writer Don Weeks caught up with us. If you would like to read his blog on the hike it is found here. We then made our way to the summit. It was a much easier trip than last month that is for sure.
With little need to linger we were on our way out. We all started jogging down the downward slope of the trail. It was an easy way to make up time. Before long we had caught back up with Don. We had one last chat before parting ways for a final time. The whole hike took a little over 4 hours. Lucy was one tired girl. Being off the lead makes her run around a lot more making her tired by hikes end. It makes me so happy to see her having so much fun.
After this weekends hikes Lucy and I are only one mountain away from reaching a single winter season NH 48. We will be hiking mount Carrigain next weekend to finish up. Check in next week for all the excitement and great views.