Mount Carrigain Sunset Hike

Columbus Day was a beautiful day. Apple pancakes followed but a little R&R then I packed up the MTB and headed into town to show Dave the trails around Pudding Pond and Sticks & Stones. We took a fair amount of video that I'll edit this week. It's a perfect beginner / intermediate spot and still one of my favorite trails in the valley. 

When I got home I repacked and Hilary, Squall and I headed up to Bartlett to hike Mount Carrigain. I hiked it last summer with Squall in August 2014 when he was a puppy but the temps were freezing and the clouds moved in. Tonight was forecasted to be clear skies so I made sure to pack warm clothes and my camera. 

The trail is relatively flat for the first 2 miles. At 1.7 miles you come to an intersection where you can make a longer loop by heading left on the Carrigain Notch Trail but we didn't have time for that. The next three miles are no-stop up at 20%+ grade. You gain more than 2,500' on this section of slippery granite chunks. Once up on signal ridge you catch views to the east and can see the summit. There's still another half mile of climbing to get to the summit and you're rewarded with a fire tower that pops you out of the woods and offers 360º views. 

We got our shots and headed back down in the dark. Once down to flat ground we were able to run the flats all the way to the parking lot and get out of there around 8PM. A couple beverages in the parking lot and flatbreads for dinner. It was the perfect conclusion to the day!

Hilary and Squall on the Signal Ridge Trail.

View from Signal Ridge: Vose Spur / Mount Lowell / Presidentials.

Sunset on Mount Carrigain.

Sunset on Mount Carrigain.

Mount Carrigain Fire Tower Sunset.

Chocorua Mountain Run

The weather was so nice today that I had to get a hike in and lately I've been into sunset hikes then coming back down with a headlamp. Chocorua is the closest objective around with any substantial gain. 

But - before hiking I still wanted to get my work in so I did an out and back to the Silver Lake Post office. My pace goal was just sub 7s and go from there. The way out was decent, mostly downhill though. On the return I slowed a bit and was starting to feel the pace. The good news is that my legs are regaining stamina but I'd really like to be holding a faster clip. 

Hilary was back from work by the time I got home. We left the house a little late after scrambling for items to bring. I opted for my better (heavier) camera set up with a tripod plus 2L of water, and some food. I forgot my jacket which would later limit our time on the summit. Starting on the 3.8 mile Piper Trail, we only had 1 hour 20 minutes before the official 18:16 sunset but we wanted the golden hour and start our hike which turned into a run. We left the trailhead at 4:52 and ran/power hiked up in 1:15 which was solid given my tired legs and extra weight. 

It was gorgeous up there but also windy and cold. Not having a jacket really limited my time up there and by 18:40 I had to get out of there. We pulled out the headlamps at the intersection with Champney Falls trail and continued our run down. That trail is so well maintained that the last two miles feel like they are wheel chair accessible. Hope to get more of these hikes in when the foliage starts to pop.  

Sunset between Whiteface and Passaconaway.

Squall's 3rd summit bid.

Watching the colors pop - Chocorua sunset over the Sandwich Range.