View Full Version : Galehead Mountain 1/10/09

KD Talbot
01-11-2009, 04:40 PM
Emma on the summit of Galehead

Galehead Mountain 1/10/09

13 Miles 2250' Elevation gain

Kevin, Emma, Sabrina, Michael, Terra, Dave and Jeremy

After a tough December in which my ma fell and broke some ribs and her shoulder blade, followed up by "The Ice Storm", seven days without power, several snowstorms, Christmas, Jude not feeling well, Emma diagnosed with a tick borne disease, (not Lyme), ma coming home from rehab and needing round the clock care, a severe lack of intelligence among the people I work with that happen to be in charge, the prospects of getting out on any hikes was not looking good. Friday I got an invitation to join a very cool group to hike to Galehead and South Twin. Not feeling up to it, Jude said, "Go!". She stayed with ma and even suffered through the day without the love of her life, Emma, so that Emma could join me. We call these "Daddy/Daughter Days". I must say it felt a little weird not having my long time hiking partner with us, but it certainly was needed. I think Emma needed it, too! She frolicked and ran most of the day, while I did my best just to drag my butt up this hill. At 50, not hikin' for a month can really put a crimp in your style. We found ourselves at the designated parking spot of Beaver Brook at the designated time. The others showed up within a few minutes and we were soon ready to start off on our trek. There was a new person to meet, Dave Sun-ra, and old friends Michael J, Sabrina and Terra, along with Jeremy (Rocket21). Now, you would think that Rocket21 would have something to do with Roger Clemens, but I have found that Rocket is how he likes to get to summits, and 21 is his approximate age. I explained to him that I could not run all the way to South Twin, and he assured me in that casual way that folks his age assure "Old People" that he had no intentions of it. Terra explained to Emma that she was the "Lead Dog" and we were off! Along the first mile we were able to question Rocket as to the absence of LRiz, to which there was no explanation, so the subject was dropped, for the time being. To my surprise, I was able to keep up for the first few miles, but then started to drop further and further behind. I was feelin rather bad that people had to stand around in the cold to wait for me, but Michael graciously kept me company and assured me that he didn't want to go much faster, that I was keeping a good pace. I guess the assurance that we weren't going to run the whole way was trumped by the minus seven temps. I would have liked to talk to Michael, (and anybody else if I could have got near them), but most of my conservation consisted of, "Insert favorite curse word here, I can't do it. I'm not gonna' make it... etc." I'll tell you, the only thing that got me to the top of Galehead Mountain this day was the positive reinforcement supplied by my fellow travelers. Thanks, guys! I should have eaten more, but I was workin' too hard to keep up. Then the cramps in my quads started and I kept stopping to drink. That half mile climb up to Garfield Ridge Trail really kicked my butt, but I was able to catch a second wind there and the rest of the way went a lot better.


Galehead Hut

At the hut we finally got out into the sun, with temps rising to about 10 degrees, so it was like a sauna in comparison. After some food and drink and, yes, I dropped the pack, shame on me, I made the last half mile to the summit along the Frost Trail. Along the way I saw the rest coming back down and we said our good byes as I assured them my day was over and they'd have to get South Twin without me. I would have loved to as the views must have been spectacular, but I didn't have it in me to make the 8/10ths mile and 1150' vertical to climb Jacob's Ladder from the hut. I'll just have to live that part through their pictures and descriptions. This left just Emma and I to make the long trek back to the car. We made pretty good time, getting back a little before 5pm. Shortly after our arrival in the parking lot some folks came out of the woods and at first I thought it was my compadres, but, to my relief, it turned out to be x-country skiers. It may have been the final blow to my hiking ego if they had made it to South Twin and then back out in almost the same time it took me just to walk out!


Gray Jay Perisoreus canadensis

Pictures here:



01-11-2009, 05:36 PM
Looks like it was a beautiful day with a great group of folks! I wish I had gone with you, but my lungs just aren't happy right not.

A bluebird day in January is not to be missed...but hey...it happens.

01-11-2009, 05:47 PM
Hey KDT, that is so cool, I met rocket21 before he joined you folks. I met up with Bob and Geri at the Highland Center before going to the trailhead, and he was there talking with them. It was nice to meet him.

It was indeed a beautiful day to be out there, what a great hike you had! Congrats!!!

01-11-2009, 08:23 PM
That last stretch of the Gale River Trail going up to the Garfield Ridge Trail is just a pain in the XXX! I've done it a couple of times in the winter, and it has never been fun. I enjoyed the pictures very much. Thanks for sharing!

01-12-2009, 12:52 AM
What a great shot of Galehead Hut and North Twin. Thanks.

01-12-2009, 08:58 AM
Looks like a great hike on an unbelievable day!

01-12-2009, 09:46 AM
Glad to see you guys back on the trail Kevin. Too bad that Judy couldn't make it too. Sounds like it was quite an ordeal but looks like it was worth it. Good call on not going up South Twin. That's not a climb you want to be doing when you're beat and the temps are sub-0. The pictures are spectacular. I really love the one of the hut from the top of Galehead. The shots from above of any of the huts are always a bit surreal - just doesn't look like it belongs up there - but this one was particularly good. Also glad to hear that Emma is feeling better and enjoyed the hike (which appears to be an understatement). Hard to imagine a snow crusted creature looking so happy (which applies to both her in all the pictures and you at the hut if to a slightly lesser degree ;)).

01-12-2009, 06:50 PM
looked like a very nice day
Emma 's feet dont get cold
Kevin how is your mother doing

KD Talbot
01-12-2009, 07:10 PM
My mom's doing better. Seems to be gettin' back to her old self a little more everyday. At 85 you have good days and you have bad days, but she seems to be recovering from this last setback.

It is not so much the cold on Emma's paws but the snowballing/iceballing between her pads. She spent a lot of time chewing them off as did Terra the other dog. Musher's wax helps a lot.


Jimmy Legs and Little d
01-13-2009, 02:16 PM
Great report, pictures and glad to see you out on the trail again. Hope your mom continues to improve and Jude gets back out hiking with you. Nice picture pose of Emma too. We also suffer from hiking withdrawal in MD.

01-15-2009, 09:37 AM
wow! Beautiful!!! Looks like you had an awesome time! :)

KD Talbot
01-15-2009, 03:42 PM
To Dangergirl: Just a note. The Twinway from South Twin to Guyot was not broken out, nor was the Garfield Ridge Trail from the junction with the Gale River Trail west towards Garfield. Maybe it will change between now and then, but I wouldn't count on it.

I've been thinking about your winter Pemi Loop: I think, and it's just my opinion, that this will be a good deal harder than your Presi Traverse due to distance and shear remoteness.

Not that the Presi Traverse is an easy thing, but most of the hard climbing is done at the beginning. There are several ups and downs, but the ups are pretty constant, unlike along the Pemi Loop where the PUDs can seem endless.

Good luck! Lookin' forward to your report.


01-15-2009, 09:52 PM
Thanks! I am definately planning on the pemi being really hard. It was tough in the summer! We are planning to start with the Bonds because there will be more bailout points after we get to Garfield (if we need to bail) and I do have cell reception from Garfield to Flume. Lets see if I can pull this off!!!! :)

01-18-2009, 10:52 AM
I'd like to echo the sentiments of several folks here. It's great to hear from you again and we're hoping for the daily improvement in your mom's condition.

A month off is a killer! Last Sat was a stellar day to be out, though. Congrats on bagging Galehead!

I'm glad you're back on the trail and hope that Judy can get out there soon too. Maybe we can hook up for an "old folks hike" and we can walk whatever pace we want! ;)

Take Care!