A little bit late, but things have been busy around here.
Caps Ridge Trail
Distance: 4.91 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2,661 ft
Time: 2:52 (up) 5:14 (total)
This was my fourth year hiking on Flags on the 48 and second year participating in a group. I hiked with the same group as last year after having such a great time with them. Like most of the other groups this day, we were in the clouds the entire time. We did have one brief 15 second view of Mt. Washington just before reaching the summit, but that was it. Due to the poor views and wet conditions, I didn't take my camera out much for pictures.
Setting up the US flag pole
One nice thing about this trail is that when you start, you're already half way up the mountain. The lower sections of trail were wet from the current weather conditions, but not much for mud or slick spots. Things are pretty easy up to the first view point (where there was no view). After this, you get to some trickier spots with large rocks to climb up on the trail. Even with the damp conditions, these were too bad today.
Boston flag on the subpeak of Jefferson
After coming up above treeline, you start to encounter the "caps." Going up these were bad, you just had to plan ahead a little. Some seemed like they were just humps while others had some scrambles on them. Closer to the summit, it was just a matter of walking rock to rock like much of the northern presidentials.
Flag and summit visitors
On the summit, we had both the US flag and a Boston flag (provided by a Boston police officer) flying. The constant wind kept them out pretty straight the entire time. There were a fair amount of summit visitors given the conditions. Some knew about Flags on the 48 and some didn't.
Trail below summit
After we picked up at 2pm, we headed back down the same way. Conditions seemed to be more wet and slick on the way down than the way up was. A couple of the scrambles on the caps and going down into treeline proved be a little bit difficult. There was more planning ahead needed to pick your route and make sure you had foot and hand holds. In the end, we all got down safely.
The hardest part of the decent
Glacial potholes at the first viewpoint
I'll be back again next year for Flags on the 48... I'm just hoping my third year in a group actually gets some views since we didn't have any last year either.
For all of the pictures, go here