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KD Talbot
01-09-2008, 08:57 PM
http://www.ghostflowers.com/forumshots/24cabot1508a.jpg

1/5/08
Mount Cabot 4170’

7.8 Miles 2750' Elevation gain

Kevin, Judy and Emma

After a failed attempt on the Bunnell Notch Trail the week before, we were determined to summit Mount Cabot this week. There are conflicting reports about the Mount Cabot Trail. We have heard it is still closed and we have heard the landowner who was causing the dispute was now allowing people to use the trail. We decided to give it a shot as we had read that many still use it. While parking at the trailhead a man drove by us in a pick up and gave us a wave, then drove through Heath's Gate and up the dirt road where the trail leads. I can only assume it was the land owner, though I could be wrong, but he seemed to be giving us his blessing. I have heard from other sources that they had talked to locals who said the dispute is over and the landowner never really had the right to stop anyone from crossing his property to use the trail. I do not know if this is gospel, but the trail had been used before us, and we shared it with four others on this hike. It appears to be still well maintained, though it is hard to tell in winter. The beginning of the trail is not well marked, though on the way out we noticed a makeshift cairn at about the point where the trail leaves the dirt road. The trail crosses several acres of forest that has been selectively cut. All signage on the trail is in good condition and there are yellow blazes. In my opinion, and this is my opinion only, this trail is still open for business. After a very gradual climb through deciduous trees with an occasional conifer, there is a brook crossing where it is posted "Last water before summit." I really don't think there is any at the summit either, but you know what they mean. The trail begins climbing here and quickly changes over to fir trees. The day was beautiful. Temps in the high 20's, no sun, but no wind, either. Along the trail the trees were cloaked in winter white, like hundreds of brides in their wedding gowns. When conditions are like this it reminds me how much I love the mountains and why we hike in the winter. Given the choice of hiking in the mountains or meeting with her family for a meal and games on a winter Saturday afternoon, Jude opted out of the family gathering, and was glad she did. Her sister voiced the question "Why would you guys want to do that? Won't you be cold?" and some other silly questions. We made the summit, had some lunch in the cabin with a group of nice guys we met on the trail, and headed down, the descent being equally as thrilling as the ascent. Jumping in the car, we headed south to see if we could catch the family still having their little gathering, and as fortune would have it they were all still engaged in dominoes as we strode through the door. I downloaded my camera to the laptop and placed it in front of my sister in law. "This is why we would do that." Even she had to agree we made the right choice.

Pictures here:

http://ghostflowers.com/white_mtns4000/cabot1508/cabot1508.html

KDT

Brad
01-09-2008, 09:16 PM
KD, those are your best pictures yet! What a wonderful day.

Charlie
01-09-2008, 10:17 PM
KD very nice wish i was there

Steve M
01-09-2008, 10:21 PM
Loved the pics, We will have to do a winter hike or three in the Whites when we go to my brother's for Christmas next year. He lives in Greenfield, MA. Hopefully there will be lots of snow up there.

billysinc
01-10-2008, 07:57 AM
Great shots as always Kevin. I'll be back up that way on the 19th or 20th.

Tim&Val
01-10-2008, 01:12 PM
Awesome pictures! The trees are just incredible. I especially liked the lighting in the picture entitled "More". It seemed like there was just the right about of sunlight filtering through the clouds.