Four peaks bagged in wet and wild training weekend

Franconia Ridge, Mt. Garfield from South Twin

It was a mixed weather bag this weekend, but always hot and humid as I scaled four summits, both to nudge Neil a little closer to his own 48, and to get me used to doing back to back summit hikes.

Saturday broke clear and blue, as Neil and I tackled North and South Twin, then Galehead Mtn. in that order via a 12 mile loop – up North Twin Trail, over to South Twin, down to the hut, up Galehead and back, then out on Gale River Trail. We spotted a car at the end to make life that much easier! That makes 41 for Neil. Trails in good shape, some mud here and there but nothing to worry about. Big crowd atop South Twin coming up from the hut and plenty of ripe AT Thru-Hikers along the Twinway and at the Hut.

The Facts: Miles – 12 / Peaks – 3 / Total Time – 8.5 hours.

Random Thoughts: It was damn muggy and hot Saturday, which slowed us down. But I felt fine, and ended the day with only minor knee aches. Though I think I drank about a gallon of lemonade at the hut!

____________________

Sunset on Franconia Notch from Cannon Mtn.

Sunday was a different story. The rain started at about midnight and didn’t let up for 12 hours. By early afternoon, the downpour had turned to a drizzle and I decided to make a break for Cannon Mtn. But even though a fine mist hung in the air, the humidity felt even worse than the day before.

I solo’d up Kinsman Ridge Trail, which is badly eroded and in the rain was muddy and slippery. No views all the way up to Cannon, where I was just on time to watch the last Tram head down. Ahhhhh, the summit all to myself! A quick tag of the summit up the Observation Tower and I was ready to head down.

But as I made my way north toward Hi-Cannon Trail, the sun came out for about 20 minutes and the mist mostly lifted and I was able to stand along atop this wonderful peak and have the glorious views of Franconia Ridge all to myself.

After navigating the treacherous Hi-Cannon Trail, I made it back to Lafayette Campground before dark, then hauled all the way back to my car on the bike path.

The facts: Mile – 6.9 / Peaks – 1 / Time – 5 hours.

A good weekend, with plenty of different weather and terrain to test my legs. We’ll see how I feel later in the day Monday, but a good start to getting ready for September.

Here’s some links to the photo albums of the hikes:

Twins / Galehead: http://www.phanfare.com/library/?a=5231180

Cannon: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5231180

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