Carrigain and attempted Anderson and Lowell TR 6-6 and 6/7
Pulled up to to Signal Ridge Trail Friday evening and hiked up Carrigain under clear (or so I thought) and cool skies. The trip up was very pleasant and I was smiling and singing as I passed by the many falls along Whiteface Brook. The bugs were around, but with some DEET and attitude adjustment I just didn't care. The trail is fairly easy and I saw a few parties descending the lower part of the trail while I was climbing...as one hiker said "you're loaded for bear". All of the stream crossings were easy with waterproof boots and the trail was only slightly muddy in a few places.
Signal Ridge Trail was pretty and an easy climb (i.e. no scrambling needed)with a full pack. It was a steep climb so I got a good workout. As I went up I didn't want to use my bladder water (saved for next day), so I kept filling in the "streams" that kept getting smaller and smaller. At the last fill (before I got to the well) the grit and color of the water looked like even the filter wouldn't help. The top of signal ridge was awesome...I didn't realize the clouds had come up a bit...I just thought it was getting late. The clouds were converging on the cone of Carrigain from both sides of the ridge, but above the trail...so I could see the base of the cone all the way down to the valley floor as if it were a clear day, but the summit was completely obscured. The clouds were moving 20-30mph over the summit. I wasn't going to see the sunset from the tower tonight!!!!
I got to the summit around 7:30 and the temp had dropped below 50 and I cooled (and dried) quickly in just shorts and a poly t-shirt. After setting up the tent, I donned my gloves and hat and went up on the tower. Visibility was 100 feet or so...no worse than a mild fog on the Maine coast. Oh, well I went back to the tent, read for a few minutes, checked the map for the next prt of the hike and went to bed.
Now comes the Glorious part of the trip. I woke up at 2:00am with light shining into my tent. The moon was nearly full and the cloiuds were nearly gone. I was going to sleep a bit more (until 4), but decided to gear up and see what the Milky Way looked like on that night. I was not disappointed. I got on the tower by 2:30 and did not leave until 6:00am. The view was awesome the whole time, first in the moonlight, then the early dawn and then bright in the full daybreak at 5:00am. The light started almost directly over Mt. Washington and rose just to the east (right of me). The colors, the low clouds over Glen NH and the views to the South were awesome. I had the entire summit to myself all morning.
At 6:00am I took a nap until about 8:30am, packed up and then bushwhacked over to Vose Spur where I signed the log (yay). The whack was not too hard or thick and I saw a patch of snow on north branch of Carrigain. I did get beaten up a bit.
I met a whole crew at the top of Vose Spur and joined up with Van from VFTT to try fro the summits of Anderson and Lowell. Left Vose at noon and it took us until 4pm to get to the col between the 3740 hills. At that point I called it a day...I was beaten bad by the whack to Vose and then up to Duck Pond and we were running out of time. The whack up to the col was etremely thick and the steepness did not help. (it looked so easy on the map). Fortunately the Whiteface Brook that flows from the Duck Pond all the way down to Signal Ridge Trail was not high and we rock hopped several miles down to the Trail. We ended the day just before dark and I was seriously gassed, beaten and scratched.
New resolution: no bushwhacking over 1 mile on any given day...there are plenty of trails out there to explore for that kind of work. I will long remember my night on Carrigain and I'm looking forward to doing it again this week.
Thanks for the detailed report, and glad enjoyed the description of your overnight. If I'm reading your report correctly, I believe you may have made Anderson and Lowell a lot harder than necessary. From Vose Spur you would go southeast to bypass the steep west side of Carrigain Notch, hit the trail on the south side of the notch, then up on the trail to the notch, straight east through easy open woods to the Anderson-Lowell col. (No need to go over the top of the col to Duck Pond if you're just trying to bag the 3000 footers.) Then back to the Carrigain Notch trail after the short side trips to the two peaks. But maybe your group was trying to make it more of an epic journey...
Your night under the stars sounds "heavenly"!! What a great trip report!
Thank you for sharing it with us! Any pics??
Lowell and Anderson
I tried the approach to the col from the North thinking that I would like to try something different (well it was different). I knew there was an approach to Lowell from the South, but....
Van still needs to get both summits and I would like to get Anderson in honor of my grandfather (Anderson), so I will probably try again from a more "gentle route" next time and allow more time and carry less gear to make it easier.
I have probably 50 pictures, but I don't use Facebook so I don't really have a good place to put them up. I put long trip reports on to HikeNewEngland.com , but they usually lag my trip by a few weeks due to the time it takes to write, edit and download all of the pictures. If anyone has a simple solution, I'm willing to try it, but between hiking, working and 4 kids I don't have the patience to mess around with clunky download rules (I hike instead ).
Sounds lovely, those night views! Thanks for posting such a nice TR.
Great trip report. Sounds like it was a fantastic night. Thanks for posting.
I happen to like Picasa, it is free and the upload to a web album is pretty painless and the links are pretty easy to access here
Originally Posted by mahony
A fine trip report. Such a great way to see the sunrise on Carrigan. It does take time to write up reports and download pictures, but a few pictures are always nice. We use Photobucket; maybe give them a try.
I'll second the opinion on Picasa. Particularly good if you use other Google apps. A number of other good free alternatives as well.
Hmmm having trouble getting the pictures to come up directly.
The pictures are from my phone so they are decent, but not great resolution (especially in low light)
Last edited by mahony; 06-10-2009 at 12:24 PM.