Mount Carrigain 8/9/08
Mount Carrigain 4700’
10 Miles 3250’ Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
With all the rain we've been having we weren't sure if we'd get this hike in or not. We started out with the intentions of turning around if it started to rain hard during the hike. Not wanting to make the same mistake I made in March by falling through the ice on the first brook crossing, we took the advice of the guidebook (and several wise hikers), and we bush-whacked up the west bank of Whiteface Brook. This is a very short BW and proved well worthwhile as the first crossing would have been the most difficult. Along with a few people we met in the parking lot who I convinced to join us, we were soon on the trail again having avoided the first crossing all together. The woods were damp and lush and the forest floor beside the trail was littered with mushrooms and Indian Pipes. Whiteface Brook was full and flowing fast and the sound of the water was soothing as we hiked along over wet rocks and roots. Further along, after the junction with the Carrigain Notch Trail, there were more crossings to make on Carrigain Brook. These proved easier as it is very shallow where the trail crosses, though the brooks were very full. Soon we were climbing along the switchbacks towards the ridge where we passed through a cloud and the air was as wet as it could be without actually raining. Soon we were above this and were able to catch glimpses of Mount Lowell across the notch and to our northeast, and the hope of clearing skies made the going somewhat easier. After what seemed like endless zig-zagging along the switchbacks we came out onto the open ridge and remembered why we were doing this. Here we caught up with the others we had started out with and we exchanged some stories and had some lunch. Then it was off to the summit, now hidden by clouds though a mere half mile away. As we climbed it became more obvious that things were beginning to clear. I was hoping for an undercast that never really materialized, but things did clear enough to have some excellent views. Most of the high peaks remained hidden in the clouds but many were visible enough to make out and some cleared altogether. It was beautiful to stand on the summit tower and watch as the clouds swallowed peaks, and then like magic the clouds would dissipate and in their place would stand a mountain. I could watch this all day long from the top of that tower, but Emma could not come up because of the grates on the stairs, so I had to drag myself back down where faithful dog and wife awaited. We had more to eat and Jude took a turn on the tower. It is always a pleasure to see a familiar face show up on a mountain and help you enjoy it, and we had that pleasure as we sat eating. Our new friend Jen showed up and we had a nice visit. She was taking the longer route back by descnding by the Desolation Trail and returning through Carrigain Notch. We returned the way we came so we didn't get to have her along for trail company, but she managed to help us out by finding Judy's camera and carrying it back out. Thanks, Jen! We've managed to lose this camera twice, and twice had it returned. Go figure! We'll definitely be finding a more secure way to carry it! The trip out was uneventful so I spent a lot of time photographing mushrooms and Indian Pipes. A beautiful hike on what turned out to be a beautiful day, thanks Mount Carrigain!
Last edited by KD Talbot; 08-11-2008 at 10:26 PM.
Great post. And fantastic blog. What a great source of info and images.
Great TR as always Kevin. I can see your point about it being hard to get going to the mountains when you have to pull yourself away from a sunrise like that at home - just beautiful. The fungi certainly is beautiful this year. Lots of reasons to stop along the soggy trails. My favorite part of the photos though was the progression of the hike stages of Wettus caninus. Those just made my morning!
Congrats on another trip! Glad to see/hear that you were successful. It's been a really weird summer - weatherwise - and I'm glad you made it up and down safely!
I loved your mushroom pics. I hope I can get as good as you at the IDs.
This is awesome! There are so many kinds out there that I haven't seen before this year. The IDing will be fun.
Originally Posted by KD Talbot
Great trip report and pictures. I envisioned going up Carrigan (from fall trip 2007) as I read along. It's one of our favorite mountains. As mtruman mentioned, your latinus descriptus of Emma was hysterical. Being a beagle owner (4 in our pack) we could relate and appreciate your descriptions.