Mount Wolf 6/13/09
View of Franconia Ridge from Outlook on Mount Wolf by Jude Talbot
Mount Wolf 3500'
Kinsman Ridge Trail
9.8 Miles w/ side trip to Gordon Pond 2200' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
Mud. Blackflies. Uphill both ways. My kind of day! To focus on the positive, there were still many wildflowers, the temps were just right, not unseasonably hot or cold. There was good cloud cover, but plenty of sunlight. Views from the outlook were spectacular. There is a unique view of Franconia Ridge from an outlook just past the true summit. Sure beats the hell out of working for the day!
As we hiked along we came across a spot in the trail where it looked as though there was a good crawlspace between the rocks. Perhaps an overnight winter lair for fox or coyote, maybe even bear. I sort of peeked around into the opening, not wanting to startle anyone that might be inside. In the moments it took for my mind to register what it was seeing, my heart jumped into my throat and told my brain, "OMG, there's something in there!" "Yeah!" says the brain, "It's Emma, you stooge!" She had of course, rushed around and found the other entrance and come back through, "Surprise!"
Painted Trillium Trillium undulatum
A little further along the trail I noticed some folks ahead of us and heading our way when I hear, "Hey Kevin!" It was Jason Berard with a couple of friends, back from an overnighter. They had been on a bird count and reported Winter Wren, Swainson's and Bicknell's Thrush and Dark-eyed Juncos, along with several others. I'm sure Jason recognized the leader of our group before he spotted me as Emma had run up to greet them. Part of the conversation included Emma's haircut and how she sort of resembles a bear cub, so maybe I was partially justified in being startled by her earlier. We all got a laugh out of that!
We came to a big boulder where there is a view to the east and realized we still had about 1/4 mile to go, so we stopped for a quick bite and a drink. Soon back on the trail we passed what I thought must be the highpoint about 50' into the woods. We continued on to where a sign points northeast to an outlook and sat on the ledges to eat lunch. There is an exceptional view of Franconia Ridge from here and we each took several pictures. Upon downloading them I found that they needed much editing to remove the swarms of blackflies spattered all over the photos.
We found this summit just as hard to return from as to get to. Seemed like just as much uphill on the return. Great views from the outlook. We signed the summit jar on the true summit. Returning from the outlook I noticed the unmistakable tracks of the much endangered ManBearPigSatan, (only one of which is believed to still exist in the wild). I followed it's tracks to what I knew I would find. A mason jar.
At this point it dawned on me. This mountain must be on some damn list! Oh well, there goes another New Year's Resolution. The one where every New Years I say, "This year I'm not hiking any damn list!" In the jar I found the ManBearPigSatan's signature along with some even more infamous signatures. There was also a general consensus among the notes that somebody named "Jerks" should stop removing mason jars from obscure peaks that may or may not be on some obscure list.
On the return trip we took the short, wet, mucky detour to Gordon Pond. Well worth it, though.It could be a destination in itself. There appears to be significant rerouting of the trail below the brook crossing on Gordon Pond Trail which alleviates some of the mucky trail conditions in that area. I'm not sure about the rest of that trail as we didn't venture far below the pond. The pond itself seemed to be teeming with life as we easily observed toads, salamanders and frogs from shore.
American Toad Bufo americanus
As I mentioned before the trip back out seemed as difficult as getting to Mount Wolf in the first place. From Gordon Pond back to Kinsman Notch seemed like ninety percent uphill. Never steep, just never downhill. As the day had warmed up, so had the bugs. Got out of the woods moments before the flies drove me over the edge. We're heading back for our next trip in a few hours.
Great trip report and pics. You made me laugh when you jumped seeing something in the crawlspace. Thats something I would do. Thanks for sharing.
You have a way of making a hike sound so appealing. Mud, black flies, etc...
Nice seeing the beautiful views along the way on a less popular hike. Had never seen anything on Mt Wolf before. Sorry to hear that it's on a list and broke your resolution. Tough resolution to keep though. Just ignore the lists...
Wish someone had been there to get a picture of you when the "small cave creature" appeared and scared the %^~!$^ out of you
I was completely unfamiliar with Mt Wolf, but what a great view! We'll need dto try it ... maybe in the fall after the first hefty frost.