I’m slowly chipping away at my NE 100 highest list and Matt is my only friend ambitious enough to try to complete the list as well. This past Friday and Saturday we knocked 3 off the list, The Bulge, The Horn, and Sandwich Mountain (aka Sandwich Dome).
We left my place Friday AM and got to the Unknown Pond trail at 10AM
It had been raining pretty good on the ride up, but for the 2.2 mile hike from Mill Brook Road to Unknown Pond it stopped. Unknown pond was beautiful, but higher elevations looked like they had a little weather.
For the next 2 miles on the Kilkenny Ridge Trail it poured and then started to turn to sleet as we roze in elevation.
The summit of The Horn is up a spur trail. It was pretty cloudy when we got to the first peak of the day. The AMC guide book says The Horn has one of the best views in the whites, but we couldn’t see it
After returning to the Kilkenny Ridge Trail we next bagged our 2nd Peak of the day, The Bulge. The Bulge was a viewless peak marked by nothing more than a very small cairn
From The Bulge it is less than a mile to the summit of Mt Cabot. So we figured we might as well see what this summit looks like when its not winter. After 10 times on this summit, (Matt and I havve woke up in the Cabin on Mt Cabot on January 1st 10 times between 2001-2010) this is my first time here with out snow… well almost it was sleeting and snowing a little.
Matt had his traditional sardines dinner at the summit
From the summit of Cabot we back tracked to my Truck. We got back at 3:45 and hung out on the bridge near the trail head, watched Mill Brook flow and drank cheap beer.
We were going to camp off of Sandwich Notch Road that night but ended up stopping at a bar and hanging out for too long in Berlin, at this point it was really pouring, so we tossed around a few ideas of free places we could sleep that were under cover. Matt got the idea of sleeping in the covered bridge at a golf course on 16 in jackson (thats right you know the one), but when we got there we realized it was lighted inside, next I got the idea of sleeping in the tunnel under the road between Attitash and the Village across the street, but when we got there we found that it too was lighted. As we drove away we found a building nearbye that was half under construction. Framed, roofed and sheathed, but no windows or doors yet. It made a perfect “lean-to” for the night. Saturday we woke up early, early enough before perhaps any construction workers might return. We headed south to Lincoln and stopped and got some grub before driving to the trailhead off of Sandwich Notch Road. We got to the Algonquin trail at 8:15am
The Algonquin Trail just might be my new favorite trail. This trail was way more strenuous than the map made it look. It had a little section of pretty much every kind of terrain that the whites have to offer, also it didnt hurt my feelings that it was snowing for the whole hike. This trail was fun and I highly recomend it!
The Summit of Sandwich Mountain
The summit had no view Saturday. The guide book says it normally has real nice views. However the trail was beautiful
There were a few semi technical scrambles on the trail
On the trail you go over a lesser peak calledBlack Mountain. Apparently this peak has much more severe weather than the higher summit of Sandwich. The landscape was more like an alpine zone, and it was much more windy. This is where the trail junctions with the Black Mountain Pond Trail.
On the way down it actually cleared for a second and we caught a little bit of a view from Black Mountain
There were a bunch of fun scrambles below black mountain
When we got back to the truck around 1pm we had a dirtbag dinner. I even invented a new drink by mixxing pineapple juice and bourbon. Matt suggested I name it. I called it “Gag Reflex” cause it is the most disgusting cocktail ever. I thinks its best if served with Sardines.
The Algonquin Trail was amazing and think it would be even more fun in the winter if your willing to travel Sandwich Notch Road with out a wheeled vehicle.
This was a great weekend and it was cool to get some new peaks, 3 in in all, and Cabot is always fun to revisit. As I’ve mentioned before I have a map of the whites that I highlight every trail ( a practice called redlining )as I hike it and I love to color in new trails when I get home. Almost every step I took this weekend was on new trail.