View Full Version : South and Middle Carter with Flat Stanley, April 12, 2009

04-14-2009, 09:57 AM
Cut and pasted from our hiking blog, http://trishandalex.blogspot.com/
Accompanying pictures and short videos can be found there.

19 Mile Brook Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, out-and-back.

11.8 miles roundtrip.

Though it was Easter Sunday, it felt like Christmas. We were back to using our balaclavas, hats, and handwarmers as we started out along the 19 Mile Brook Trail.

Flat Stanley, a nice fellow who arrived at our house the other day, accompanied us on today's journey. He and Alex got along just fine.

The trail looked like standard spring conditions...rock, mud, snow, ice.

We reached the dam (1.1 miles) in about half an hour...we were making very good time.

At this point I discovered the meaning of the word "monorail," as it applies to spring hiking...

It was a firm walk, the cold temps made it a nice microspike hike.

Without much ado, we reached the Carter Dome Trail. Flat Stanley asked to take a break here, so we obliged.

I tried to get him to eat or drink something...I was a bit worried he was going to "bonk" on us if he didn't refuel. However, he was adamant about not wanting our snacks. Something about needing to stay thin in order to preserve his reputation. Since I realized I could handle carrying him out if it came to it, I grudgingly respected his refusal of food.

Off we went, experiencing the Carter Dome Trail monorail.

We used this route to get to Carter Dome weeks ago...this time around, we didn't recognize one major water crossing. Last time, we walked over a firm snow bridge. This time, careful rock-hopping was required.

We all made it over safely, staying completely dry. Soon afterward, the monorail turned into a winter-looking, firm sidewalk.

Last time we did this route, this stretch up to Zeta Pass felt like it took forever. This time was no different. I swear this cannot be 1.7 miles. Don't know what it is about this stretch, but it just plain isn't any fun for me.

We reached Zeta Pass and took another breather.

Again, Stanley refused sustenance. He was chipper and in fine form, so I decided not to worry.

From here, we took the Carter-Moriah trail to South Carter. The trail was a nice, firm sidewalk, and the walk felt serene.

We soon reached the short climb that leads to the summit. We followed the spur path and snapped our picture. Flat Stanley's first 4K!

After a short break, we headed toward Middle Carter. Here it is, in front of us.

And now the fun began. Almost all of the 1.2 miles between the peaks consisted of walking through pine branches. Seriously. Alex and I both got smacked in the face countless times. Flat Stanley started to grumble for the first time during our hike, so I put him in Alex's backpack. He was grateful for the reprieve and promptly took a nap while we fought our way through the friggin' trees.

We came up to a ridge, and the sight of Middle Carter's summit encouraged us not to give up the spruce fight.

From this spot, several nice views were had....

South, toward South Carter, Carter Dome, and the Wildcats...

Out into a valley....

We sat down to get out of the wind, and enjoyed the views for a while.

A short while later, we reached the summit area. We walked the entire length of the summit, trying to make sure we walked over the top at some point. Then we took our picture by this dead tree, which I THINK marks the actual high point.

I woke up Stanley and encouraged him to come out of Alex's backpack. He was happy to see we had reached the top.

Congrats on 4K #2, Stanley!!

A view from the top...

We began to head back down, and Wildcat D sprung into view...

We reached the ridge section again, and Alex became enchanted by this icy branch:

Those icicles were begging to be broken off, so of course Alex did the honors...

Soon afterward, we fought our way back through the branches to South Carter, and then down again to Zeta Pass. Alex asked me to make a video. Here's Part One of short, casual conversation...

And Part Two...

Back down to the car we went. I had to stop at the intersection of the 19 Mile Brook Trail to take a rest. While we were there, a big, strapping man came by with his 3 very friendly dogs. We exchanged pleasantries while the dogs licked Alex all over, then they went on their way. I asked Alex if she would drag me back to the car please, but she refused.

We trudged our way toward the car -- well, I trudged -- Alex skipped and narrated happy stories all 1.9 miles.

And here we are. We congratulated Flat Stanley on his hike, and thanked him for being such a cheery fellow.

He left our house that evening, continuing on toward his next adventure...

A nice hike, though it beat the tar out of me. And I still have whip-marks on my face from a few of those branches!

04-14-2009, 10:19 AM
Another great and entertaining trip report. Love the videos and nice pictures. I think Flat Stanley looked a little dehydrated thou and he should have put his hat on. Thanks for sharing.

04-14-2009, 07:31 PM
Thanks, Chris. Yeah, FS wasn't properly prepared for the weather. Good thing I could just shove him in a warm backpack whenever needed. :D

04-14-2009, 09:16 PM
Another great TR Trish. I usually just go straight to the blog so that I get the pics and text together but for some reason I started reading the TR here first. Without the benefit of the pictures it took me until the point where you said that Flat Stanley got put in the pack that I had to switch over to see what the heck was going on. Did you guys get a puppy? Some other creature that was able to go hiking? Nope, just good old Flat Stanley. This will surely teach me to go directly to the blog at all times in the future :rolleyes:

04-15-2009, 07:17 AM
Mark, that's funny.

I didn't know anything about Flat Stanley until someone mentioned him on another hiking site and asked if someone could take him hiking. We responded, so he was sent to us. We've now sent him back home. It's an entertaining concept for the young ones.

04-16-2009, 11:42 AM

Thanks for the great reports. I followed your trip up Whiteface and Passaconaway on 4-11 and had a great hike (with my dog). I went early to avoid postholing and that worked great until I tried to do Square Ledge at 1:00pm (postholed for 1/4 mile then turned back to the Walden Trail for the way down).

I've tried to convince my kids (15,13,8 and 7) that if your daughter can do the trip, they should be able to hike with me. That fell on deaf ears. I'm working on them and we're doing some short hikes together...thanks for the inspiration.


PS I found the Rollins Trail to be very a nice hike; I was expecting a boring slog after reading your report. Maybe you helped by setting low expectations.