Sunday, July 17, 2011

#32 Mt. Waumbek September 13, 2009

#32 Mt. Waumbek (4,006') and Mt. Starr King (3,907') via Starr King Trail, September 13, 2009

Mileage:  7.2 miles (RT)

Elevation gain:  2,950'

Trailhead:  Trail starts in Jefferson, .2 miles up the small road off Rt 2, 1/4 mile east of the junction with NH Rt 115A. Look for the hiker sign on the main road. (A WMNF parking sticker is required.)

Lessons learned:  Landmarks are fun!

Hiked with Rich, Eileen, Sandy and Joe.  Marie and Dave started with us and then had to turn back as Marie was not feeling well.  

Mts. Waumbek and Starr King are part of the Pliny Range, a group of northerly peaks in a most spectacular setting tucked behind the northern Presidentials.  We hiked Mt. Cabot the day before. Trailheads for Mts. Waumbek and Cabot are 45 minute drive apart; both are as far north as NH 4ks go; almost a three hour drive from our home on the seacoast so spending the weekend in the area made sense.  

The weather started out sunny with few clouds, only to turn a bit rainy, cloudy and misty.   We parked in the lot and headed up the Starr King trail, ascending immediately. We trudged up stiffly; legs tired from hiking the day before.  Overall, the trail (which is maintained by the Randolph Mountain Club) was very smooth and steady with few rocks. 

This hike has two landmarks located before the Mt. Waumbek summit: the summit of Mt. Starr King, which has a USGS stamp in the rocks, and a fine looking fireplace and chimney, remains of a shelter. (Mt. Starr King is on the 52 with a view list, a list I'm not working on but you may be!) Not sure of what to expect on this moderate hike, I was looking forward to both - sort of my way of breaking up the hike.

We got to the summit of Starr King, not bothering to take photos of the USGS marker; it was still drizzling and we didn't have much of a view.  

The old shelter. All that remains is the chimney.

About a mile farther was the summit of Mt. Waumbek, just a cairn and no view.  

Cairn on summit of Mt. Waumbek

The Kilkenny Ridge Trail is just past the summit, and heads toward Mt. Cabot.
After a few photos we headed back down the trail.  Conditions of the trail allowed for fast descent. We were down having a draft beer by mid-afternoon.

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