Monadnock Hike

GPS Tracks

Trip Stats to summit:

My goal was to make it to the summit in under an hour.  I was just below the summit with two minutes left, and I decided to forsake the trail and just climb up the cliff.

I made it to the summit almost exactly at the one hour mark.  By the time I took the pic of the GPS I was a few seconds late.  When I was in my early 20’s and I lived nearby, I could actually ascend this route in 45 minutes.
Ascending the south side of the mountain is my favorite way up.  I choose to run up the Old Toll Rd intead of the Halfway House Trail, so that I could get a little training in for the MW Road Race. The Old Toll Rd Terminates at the old Halfway House site:

At the Halfway Hose site many trails junction. I took the fastest way to the top,
The White Arrow Trail:

When the White Arrow Trail comes out of the trees there is almost immediately a balcony with a great view: Looking down

and up:

Next stop the summit:

After pushing hard to get to the top, I totally changed gears, and went into relax, and enjoy the view mode. I walked over to the south summit area, and then returned to the summit again.  I waundered around alot above treeline and here are some pics I took.

I injured my pinky finger yesterday playing in a softball game and It was swollen all day today, and it really throbbed when I would get my heart rate up.  Also it kept me from scrambling on some of the cliffs I usually enjoy.

I started descending to the Bald Rock Area, when I noticed that a trail from this area that went back  to the white arrow trail was gone.  I hate how Monadnock State Park over the years has eliminated so many trails!  If you look at an older map, you’ll see what I mean.  So out of spite, I decided not to go to Bald Rock, and find the path instead.  I went out of my way to find the old path and followed it back to the white arrow trail, and then ran back to my car.  It was a great day to be up there.

Starr King, Waumbek, and the Weeks

NH 4000 Footer- Mount Waumbek 4006′
New England Hundred Highest- #76 Mount Weeks 3901′ #77 Mount Weeks-South Peak 3885′

Trip Stats:
Almost Exactly 16 miles round Trip.
Left Trail head at 10:30am
Starr King Summit: 12:10pm
Waumbek Summit: 12:30-1:00 (ate lunch)
South Weeks: 2:00pm
Mid Weeks: 2:30pm
North Weeks:3:15-3:30 (Beer-thirty)Turn-around Point.
Mid Weeks: 4:10pm
South Weeks: 4:42pm
Waumbek Summit: 5:50pm
Starr King Summit: 6:20 pm
Return To Trail head: 7:06 pm

Last minute planning and laziness led to a late start Saturday morning.  All last week the northern NH forecast called for rain.  Friday the forecast was looking better.  I was preparing to go skiing in to Gulf of Slides (Not too much preparation was needed considering I still had the car packed for last weeks Tuckermans trip) When My friend Matt called me and said he was cleared for take off, and wanted to knock off some more “hundred highest” mountains this weekend.  That sounded fun so I changed gears.  After waking up late, and stopping for breakfast we arrived in Jefferson at the Starr King Trail head at 10:30am.  We were immediately greeted by swarms of black flies, and we didn’t have any bug dope.

The trail head sits at about 1700’ elevation, we had to hike fast to out run the bugs, and thankfully by the time we reached about 2500’ the bugs were gone.  The trail below 3000’ was really beautiful.  The leaves were opened, and the forest floor had many wild flowers.

It was a whole different season above 3500’ there was still spotty snow, and not many leaves on the trees.

Starr King was the first summit we came to, and had the nicest view.  Starr King does not qualify for the peak bagger list.

Near the summit there is this clearing, that used to have a shelter, but now only a fire pit stands.

Theres also a great view of the Northern Presidentials

About a mile later we came to the Waumbek summit, and were immediately greeted by a very friendly Gray Jay who wanted food.

There was a couple other people on the summit of Waumbek that we chatted with while eating lunch.  After leaving the summit of Waumbek we entered an area that I would call true back country.  These trails do not get much use by people, and there were a lot of signs of Bear and Moose as well as blow down.  In one spot we found a huge pile of hair and bones that appeared to be a well scavenged moose. After the first time to the summit of Waumbek, we did not see another person for the rest of the day.
After following the ridge down to a col, we ascended to the south summit of Weeks Mountain.

The next col did not drop enough to qualify the middle weeks for the hundred highest, and the summit of middle weeks was hard to detect.  This seemed to be the summit.

The col between middle and north weeks dropped down more than 600’ feet before rising to our final summit of the day, On top of north weeks we had a couple brown ales and hemmed and hawed over back tracking to our car, verses looping through to the York Pond trail and walking back to our car on roads.  No tripod so the camera sitting on a stump had to do.

Not knowing the conditions or legal status of part of the York Pond Trail, we decided to back track the way we came.  So, we visited all the same summits once more.  After 16 miles of up and down, the car was a welcome site when we returned to the trailhead around 7pm.  And the black flies were once again happy to see us.