Well, it was another weekend in the Whites for me, with two day hikes on the itinerary. Saturday’s menu was Mt. Cabot, The Bulge (Peter Salt’s favorite peak in New Hampshire), and The Horn. While the latter two are not 4k’ers, at over 3.9k’ each, they’re quite close.

We’re Not in Utah Anymore

The three peaks are part of the Pilot Range, which is even further north of Route 2 than the Pliny Range. Indeed, Cabot is the furthest north of the NH 4k’ers. Given the location, the range sees fewer hikers, though I did see several groups between The Horn and Unknown Pond.

A Familiar Range Beyond the Pliny Range

Mt. Cabot

Ewww! Warts!

Birch Glades to Die For

Unknown Pond and The Horn

At about 11 miles, it was a pleasant stroll in the mountains. Along the entire loop, there were constant fresh signs of moose, from beds, to dung, to hoof prints. It was as if a single moose had hiked the exact same route.

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Sunday was supposed to be, as suggested by the famed Russian poet Chortle Shredovsky, a “circumambulation” of Crawford Notch, encompassing Mts. Willey, Field, and Tom on the South side and Mts. Jackson and Webster on the North. Of those, only Mt. Webster lacks 4k’er status. Not relishing the 4.5 mile descent and needing to restock on nig at the Hooksett liquor store before it closed, I ended up bailing on Webster and essentially doing two day hikes: the Willey Range and then an up-and-back of Mt. Jackson. At 13.5 miles, it was a relatively moderate day, but it did involve two substantial climbs.

And, what a climb the first one was, up the East side of Mt. Willey. After a 1,250’ warm-up climb over 1.6 miles on the Ethan Pond Trail (AT), the Willey Range Trail unrelentingly climbs some 1,600’ in 1.1 miles to Willey’s summit.

Yes, there are eight consecutive ladders.

The Noble Mt. Carrigain

Jackson’s Perspective

Choo Choo!

I was glad that the views from Jackson's summit were so good and interesting, for the Webster-Jackson Trail may be the worst trail in New Hampshire. It is rocky, rooty, and muddy—no fun!

For slideshows of the weekend, check out:

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Seven peaks—five of which were 4k’ers—and about 25 miles in two days. It was a good weekend of hiking and now there are only three left: Owl’s Head, Carrigain, and Isolation.

--Matt K.

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