Mt. Cabot Snowshoe
Hiking/Walk DATE: 02/04/2012 - 02/04/2012
Trip/Event Location: Jefferson, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
A western approach to this 4,000 footer with good views from the cabin and old firetower site.
Over three hours from Boston, we'll be climbing up the most northern 4,000 footer.
Take I-93 North, Route 3 North, and Route 115 North. At the junction of US 2, take a left and follow west. Follow and look for the junction of US 2 and NH 116 just west of the village of Jefferson [gas station here at this junction]. In 0.2 mile after this junction turn right [north] on North Road and follow for 2.3 miles. Turn right again on Gore Road [which become Garland Road at a very sharp left turn]. At 4.0 miles from US 2, turn right again on Pleasant Valley Road, and at 4,8 miles turn right on Arthur White Road. Continue 0.4 mile up this road to an 'unsigned' parking area [may not be plowed] about 50 yards before a beautiful house on the left. Do not block the gate or the driveway. We'll be driving a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.
We went up to Mount Cabot (4,170 ft), which is the northernmost peak on the White Mountain 4,000 footer list. Situated in the Kilkenny Range, Cabot is about a 4 hour drive north from Boston and an hour north from Pinkham Notch and Mt Washington.
This was my seventh time climbing the peak, and the second time in wintry conditions. My previous was on New Year's Day a few years ago when Jon finished his 4,000 footers. I also finished on Mt. Cabot but a few years earlier.
There were 7 GO members overall on this hike. The pace was good for going up and coming down.This hike was 8 miles with 2,700 feet of elevation gain. It took us about 5 1/2 hours round trip, hiking though 2-3 inches of snow on top of a hard packed trail. We parked our cars in the parking area before Heath's Gate. The scenery to the back was top notch. It felt similar to the beginning of the Iron Mountain Trail in Jackson, NH. The first part of the trail was basically a road through various fields and logging cuts that we barebooted. After passing straight through a four-way intersection, the snow got deeper so we put on our snowshoes. The trail gradually dipped into the woods. Beyond the frozen Bunnell Brook crossing, the pitch started to pick up climbing gradually to the Kilkenny Ridge Trail Junction. From here, we turned north and started to climb the Cabot summit following a series of steep switchbacks up to the summit ridge.
We went to check out the view at Bunnell Rock and the highlight was the lightly falling snow sparkling from the sunlight.
The wind picked up noticeably on the ascent and the temperature dropped, although we were fairly well protected by snow loaded trees.
We arrived at the cabin at about 11:45 (after a 9 am start) for lunch. The trees were so beautiful around the cabin. It felt like a snow gun went off and coated all the trees.The Cabot Cabin warmed up nicely with seven guys inside, as we got down to the business of chowing down sandwiches, GORP, cookies and many other winter delicacies.
After lunch we dropped off our gear and hoofed it to the true summit .4 miles farther along the trail. After Kevin/Jon did a celebratory jig on the summit and we took a group pic, we about faced it and returned to the cabin for the walk out. Along the way I make a snow angel and Kevin did the same at Bunnell Rock.
Once down, we bit our goodbyes to Kevin and Gary who wanted to visit Storyland in Glen to scout a possible GO trip in the future [just kidding but it does sound interesting!]. The rest of us went back to my house where we celebrated Rick's birthday with his favorite meal [spaghetti] and a delicious lemon/raspberry jello cake that Jon made!
This was a nice trip and I hope to hike with many of the same people in future winter trips.
~ Mike Boisvert
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- Thank you Jon and Mike for a great hiking day. And thank you for the B-day dinner and card. I can't believe I am 35 :) - HikerBiker