Friday, June 24, 2016

Hut Stay--Wildcats and Carters, 6/20/2016 and 6/21/2016

Lost Pond Trail, Wildcat Ridge Trail, Nineteen Mile Brook Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, North Carter Trail, Imp Trail, herd path
About 14 miles altogether
5,794 feet of elevation gain

5.2 miles
3,150 feet of elevation gain

About 8.8 miles
2,644 feet of elevation gain

After this trip report, there will not be another one on Alex in the White Mountains for another three weeks; I will be at a sleepover summer camp and will not be able to post on Blogger.  I will hike and post trip reports again when I get back.

On the first day of the trip, we went across the Wildcats (Wildcat E through A) and spent the night at Carter Notch Hut.  On the second day, we went across Carter Dome, Mt. Hight, South Carter, Middle Carter, and Mt. Lethe.

Day 1

Our lovely friend, Samantha Brady, dropped us off at Lost Pond Trail after we left our car at the Nineteen Mile Brook Trail trail head.  Thank you, Samantha!  We repaid her with homemade chocolate chip cookies.

I love the bog bridges.  We saw one during our trip that was falling apart, but the rest of them were mostly sturdy.

We were off to a very rocky start.  Here we were at an intersection...

We noticed a pretty pond with sun glistening and bouncing off the clear water.

There was an even more beautiful body of water here.  Bushy green trees and curvy brown mountains reflected off its surface.

We traveled on...

As we went higher and higher, mountainous views started to show themselves through openings in the trees.

Wildcat Ridge Trail is optional on the Terrifying Twenty-Five hiking list; it is steep and rocky.

Rocky still...

We saw even more views when we hiked to a viewpoint not far off the trail.

I took an interesting picture without meaning to!  I like the colorful sun rays that presented themselves.

I appreciate the wooden steps that people put on large slabs of rock like this one.  The steps really assist a person who is trying to walk up the rock.

The sunlight made the trail appear dark...

Another viewpoint with beautiful views...

It was refreshing getting up to the ski lifts.  We were out in the open and could see more.

It was a bit hot and a little buggy.  The bugs weren't so bad, though.  I didn't feel them as much when hiking quickly.  Also, when I was above tree line and the wind was blowing, I didn't feel them at all.

Here was the view from the platform above.  I love the swirly white clouds.

Back to wooded trail...

Between Wildcat C and D, we encountered a grouse!  I hadn't seen one in a while.  This one didn't have red eyes, but there was some red color above its eyes.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  Would this grouse fly and peck at us like we've seen grouse do to our hiker friends, or would the grouse leave us alone?  Well, it turns out the grouse did neither the former nor the latter.

The grouse went right ahead of me and started walking.  I stepped forward and we walked together on the trail for a little while.  Then, the grouse went into the trees to my right and started running to catch up with me--by this time I was walking pretty fast.  The grouse also made faint bird noises at us.  After a while, the grouse stopped following us and went back along the trail to keep protecting its nest from other things.  Exciting!  Mom tried to get a video of this as it was going on, but unfortunately it turns out that the phone wasn't recording.

After that experience, we kept going...

Awesome--we saw Carter Notch Hut down below from Wildcat A.

Mom pulled out some of her chocolate chip cookies for a snack, because we were getting hungry.  They were delicious!

Water crossing...

Still very rocky!

We made it to the Carter Notch Hut.  They were selling goods like hot chocolate, muffins, and cookies.

The hut stay was great!  The food was amazing.  Dinner consisted of beef, soup, bread, rice, etc.  Breakfast consisted of pancakes, bacon, and more.  I also enjoyed the crew members' skit they performed for everybody after breakfast.

Day 2

I didn't take a picture of one of the lakes by Carter Notch Hut on the first day.  So, I made up for that on the second day.  The lakes were beautiful and had hundreds of tiny black tadpoles near the edge of the water.

We saw a lot of wildlife, including toads.  See if you can spot one trying to blend into the background...

The Carter-Moriah Trail was steep and rocky at first.  It got more gradual later on.

More views...

We made it up to Carter Dome!  Mom, Sage, and I were glad to get on top of the first peak of the day.

My yellow hair color is more vibrant when I am hiking--probably because it is exposed to more sunlight than usual.

The views up there were phenomenal.  There were even shadows on the mountains from puffy white clouds in the sky.

More fabulous views...

We got to Mt. Hight.  It was quite a beautiful mountain, offering spectacular views and a comfortable breeze.

Continuing on...

More helpful bog bridges which were easy to walk on...

The next mountain to tag was South Carter.  Mom contributed an image of Sage and me (Sage on the left and me on the right) sitting down on the summit.

The picture I took was of the cairn.  Part of Sage is visible too.

I was moving quickly today.  Maybe the large breakfast I had from the hut crew gave me more strength and energy than usual.

We saw Middle Carter's cairn next!

Another image that Mom took with Sage and me...

There is Sage.

We got to almost all of the mountains and we had only one left: Mt. Lethe.  There was the little bump of the peak in front of us...

Mom took this nice picture of many bog bridges appearing one after another.  So beautiful!

It was a wonderful trip with amazing experiences--so much can happen in two days!

As a reminder, I will not be able to post trip reports for the next three weeks because I will be at camp.  When I come back, I will continue posting as usual.


  1. There is a grouse that begs for food from a man who lives near by the Campton PO. It may be that grouse has been fed and was interested in seeing if you were going to feed it.?

    1. Hi Sally, this is Trish (Alex is away at camp for the next three weeks). The grouse we see on the trail are defending nearby nests. The purposefully step in front of a hiker (and, in some more aggressive cases, fly at hikers) to distract the hiker away from the nest.

  2. As I wrote on your mother's FB pic, Guthook, who writes smartphone apps for through hikers, once calculated that the steepest half mile on the Appalachian Trail is in between Pinkham Notch and Wildcat E.


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