Thursday, February 7, 2013

W48-in-1: Cabot & Waumbek - 2/2/2013

It was another frigid morning in the Whites last Saturday for our hike to Mt. Cabot, but there was no doubt about it, it was a beautiful morning to be in the North Country. My goal for the day was Cabot & Waumbek. My brother, easing his way back into hiking after his shoulder tendinitis, joined me for Cabot, but not Waumbek. We started just before another solo hiker, and as we descended there were more heading up. We used microspikes the entire hike on the well packed trail. As we took a quick break in Cabot Cabin, we reminisced on the cold night we spent there last October. The views from the outlook just before the summit were the best we've seen from Cabot. After five and half hours of work, we were done, and headed towards Starr King so I could bag Waumbek real quick! =)
The morning moon over a mountain top (One of the Weeks, I think?) 
We crossed the partially frozen stream on this log to the left of the trail 
This icy waterfall was a stunningly beautiful spot in Bunnell Notch 
Hiking the Kilkenny Ridge Trail in winter 
Kilkenny Ridge Trail nearing Cabot Cabin
Views from Mt. Cabot... 

Cabot Hike Stats
Trails: York Pond Trail, Bunnell Notch Trail, Kilkenny Ridge Trail
Distance: 9.6. miles
Elevation Gain: 2,400 ft.
Actual Book Time: 5:30

Mt. Starr King & Mt. Waumbek 

I started up the Starr King Trail at about 2:30pm after woofing down some cheeseburgers. I know, not good, but oh well. Off I went. It was looking a little bare down below after the thaw during the week. Quickly though, I realized the trail was extremely icy, and on went the microspikes.

Starr King Trail to Mt. Waumbek 
The fireplace on Mt. Starr King (I so want to camp here some night) 
The rest of the way to the summit of Waumbek from Starr King was smooth sailing in the microspikes. Cabot & Waumbek were peaks 28 & 29 of this winter season, and both were my first winter summits of these peaks. Now, a funny thing happened that never happens! I did this 7.2 mile hike quickly, in two and half hours. I thought I was flying up the trail to start, but as I hit the summit of Starr King, a girl came flying by me with her snowshoes perfectly strapped to the sides of her pack, and her little dog chasing about. She didn't stop at all or say anything! I kept at the pace I was going all of the way to summit, and she didn't even stop at the summit either, just turned around and started flying out. I thought for sure I'd catch her on the lower icy part of Starr King Trail to say hi, but nope, she never stopped. I was actually kind of hoping she'd fall on her butt maybe so she would stop and I could say hi, but that didn't happen either. I couldn't believe that we practically hiked 3mph for about 4 miles at about 100 feet apart, and she never stopped!
Mt. Waumbek summit in winter
After 16 miles, and two more 4000-footers, I called it a night back at the camp near Winnisquam Lake, and prepared myself for another lengthy solo trek the next day - this one out to Mt. Isolation.

Waumbek Hike Stats
Trails: Starr King Trail
Distance: 7.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,650 ft.
Actual Book Time: 2:30

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