Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Waumbek and the Mysterious Moose -- 4/3/2016

Mt. Waumbek
Starr King Trail
7.2 miles round-trip
2,650 feet of elevation gain

Unfortunately, my phone completely ran out of storage this time.  I was not able to take pictures at all on this hike.  I have since figured out what went wrong, and I now know that I will have storage for all my future hikes.  

In this trip report, I will describe what happened in words!  I will describe the trail as well.

When we started off, it was understandably chilly but not extremely cold.  I began the hike with my fleece on and my rain jacket over it.  Most likely, I was going to warm up and eventually need to delayer, but I wanted to start off feeling perfectly comfortable.

Right when we started, we walked on only dirt and roots.  There were no wisps of white on the ground yet.  The air, when I breathed in, felt fresh and cold.

The more we progressed up Mt. Waumbek, the more wet the trail became.  Glimpses of snow appeared in patches, too.  One section was particularly muddy, but it wasn't unpleasant -- at least in my opinion.  One of my favorite textures to feel with my feet (boots) when hiking is frozen mud.  It is crunchy and soft at the same time!

It got icier.  More ice and mud appeared, and it started to get slippery.  Hiking was still manageable, though.

Once we got really high, the snow was constant, and the trees were covered with snow.  It wasn't deep, though.  Just a layer over the ground -- enough to sound crunchy underneath our feet.

Before I knew it, we were almost at the top!  Mom and I had heard on Facebook (we are both on Facebook but Sage isn't quite yet) that a moose has been wandering around the summit of Mt. Waumbek lately.  Sure enough, we saw fresh droppings and moose tracks, not to mention some moose hair as well!  Mom was pretty confident and so were Sage and me (except I think we were a little more nervous than Mom was).  We talked loudly and made noise in order to let the moose know we were there.  We didn't want to startle it.  Cautiously walking up the mountain, we talked very loudly about what to do if we encountered the moose.  I already knew what to do -- you back away quietly, or, if the worst happens and it charges you, then you hide behind a tree/run.  Also, if it strikes you, then you pretend to be dead.  Talking about all this made the nervousness lift off of Sage and me, and it helped the moose know where we were.

After a little while of us acting this way, we reached the top.  We didn't stay long since we didn't want to linger in the moose's territory.  We quickly headed back to Starr King (a small summit before the main summit of Waumbek) and had our snack there.  Lots of chocolate!  Yum!

We all headed back down after our break.  I daydreamed about a story idea.  Suddenly, Mom fell on the ice!  She was all right though.  She fell again after that -- and then I fell too!

We made it down safely.  Mom's finger, which she had fallen on, and my knee, which had banged against a rock, both hurt a little, but we were okay.  It was the end of another nice hike!


  1. Glad to hear you both were o.k. after your n(ice) experience. I sprained my knee a month ago on our way out from Waumbek a month ago (never send microspikes to do a Hillsound's job!).

    I love the ground textures as well, especially the ice you get at the beginning of the season. It is great to read accounts of people who are so respectful of animals and their homes! Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you! I appreciate your friendly comment. I agree that you have to let the good gear handle the ice when it is severe.


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