Hiking/Trekking Jeanne & Peter


North Twin

Posted on November 10th, 2013
by PeterD in Hikes

Last hike of the season. This is our 3rd year of early November hikes, and similar to the others, we trekked through some light snow cover for a better part of the trip.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In Boston, the prediction was for low-40′s and no rain, so we headed north, arriving at the North Twin Trail trailhead in the parking lot at the end of Haystack Rd (FR 304).  The temperature was in the low 30′s.

North Twin Trail

North Twin Trail

It seemed cooler and was more overcast than forecasted, but we’d packed our layers, so we headed out at 9:30, immediately seeing a light dusting of snow in some areas.   The trail going was easy for the first 1-1/2 miles or so, following the path of an old logging railroad.

We’d read about 3 stream crossings along the route with the 3rd crossing said to be the most challenging.  Many postings spoke of a way to avoid the first two crossings by ‘bushwhacking’.  Following that advice, we trekked along what is now a fairly worn bushwhacking trail on the eastern side of the stream (North Twin trail runs roughly N-S, on the northern slope of North Twin; we were headed south).

Chains for the feet made the going pretty safe

Chains for the feet made the going pretty safe

Coming to the 3rd crossing, we had to agree with the ‘internet wisdom’.  This was going to be a challenge.   Searching both up and downstream, we found a section where someone had dropped some tree trunks (4-6″ in diameter) between some rocks.   With the light dusting of snow and the low temperatures, there was a light coating of ice on the trunks, so we got on all-fours and made our way across 6′ of rushing water.

After that bit of excitment, the path became steeper, with more snow cover (1-2″) and ice encrusted rocks.  We’d brought our YakTrax (think, snow chains for your shoes!), so we slipped them on and continued upward.  Most of the trail remained in the woods – we were thankful for that, since it acted as a shield against the 5-10mph winds.  The North Twin summit itself is in the woods, but there is a outlook on a ledge just before the summit, and another outlook just beyond the summit, both with some amazing views:

View from outlook at NorthTwin summit, South Twin on the left and Galehead hut in the col.

View from outlook at NorthTwin summit, South Twin on the left and Galehead hut in the col.

The temperature had to be nearly 10 cooler than at the start, so we didn’t stay long, just long enough to snap a few photos and celebrate our 40th peak. We quickly headed back the way we came, stopping once we were well in the cover of trees (and away from the wind) for a bit of hot coffee (thank you, thermos!) and some more trail mix.

In the end, another wonderful day out, capping a great hiking season and bringing us into the 40′s – only 8 remain in our quest for the 48 4000′ peaks in the New Hampshire Whites.

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