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View Full Version : How to for Old Speck.....



grouseking
12-27-2006, 04:25 PM
I know nothing about Maine mtns...absolutely nothing. But I'm going to Sunday River this weekend and I'm pretty sure Old Speck is near Grafton Notch state park. Does anyone have a good link for trails near there....there is no way I'm paying extra money to go skiing and I figure Old Speck would give me a great intro to Maine mtns.

grouseking

vegematic
12-27-2006, 04:48 PM
From the Bethel Chamber of Commerce website:

Grafton Notch Hikes (http://www.bethelmaine.com/activities/easy-hikes/4-hikes-in-grafton-notch)

The drive to the parking area at the AT crossing of Rt 26 will be about 30 minutes from Sunday River. There is an iron ranger for the state park fee but I don't think it is really enforced. Anything else you want to know?
- vegematic

TDawg
12-27-2006, 04:51 PM
This should do ya alright. (http://www.matc.org/gltmap.jpg) :) From the MATC website.

Baldpate is also right there across the notch (NE 100 highest).

Quietman
12-27-2006, 05:04 PM
if you're ever interested in skiing alternatives to Sunday River, check out Mt Abram (http://www.skimtabram.com/) or Black Mtn of Maine (http://www.skireport.com/maine/blackmountain/trailmap/) (Black Mtn's web site is currently down).

Both offer over 1,000' vertical, no crowds, cheaper skiing(Black is $20/day including weekends), but unfortunately, limited snowmaking. So next weekend would probably not be a good choice. I learned to ski at Mt Abram and have enjoyed inexpensive family skiing at Black on weekends.

Haven't climbed Old Spec yet but Table Rock on the other side of the notch was a fun little hike with a great view.

bill bowden
12-27-2006, 05:41 PM
But..if this is your start on Maine, the peaks there tend to be harder for a given height than in NH or Vt. Mount abraham is a good one. Barely above 4000 feet and lots of bare rock above treeline. give a bit of a look at Baldpate, just across the road from Old Speck, and with great summit views whereas speck is treed.

grouseking
12-27-2006, 05:42 PM
From the Bethel Chamber of Commerce website:

Grafton Notch Hikes (http://www.bethelmaine.com/activities/easy-hikes/4-hikes-in-grafton-notch)

The drive to the parking area at the AT crossing of Rt 26 will be about 30 minutes from Sunday River. There is an iron ranger for the state park fee but I don't think it is really enforced. Anything else you want to know?
- vegematic

This is good stuff...thanks.
Question though....it sounds like their are crossings on the Old Speck trail...I wonder how the conditions are up there. I have all of the gear I need, but my friend doesnt have crampons. If there is enough snow, maybe we could get away with snowshoes, which he has, but if there isnt enough snow i would expect some nasty crossings with ice on rocks, and that is never fun. I could let him use my stabilicers, but they are for big feet....like size 13. Should I scrap this hike and do Baldpate?? It sounds more gradual. Or am I biting off more than I can chew and just do an easier thing like Table Rock? Lots of things to figure out for sure....

I'll continue to look at the other links people sent me.

grouseking

vegematic
12-27-2006, 06:01 PM
The crossings going up Old Speck aren't bad in terms of deep/fast water but there may be some slick parts. At the beginning of the hike (about 0.1 mile in) you are presented with a fork. GO LEFT! The right-hand one is much steeper and has more icy ledge. Here in Bethel we have crust on the ground but it's possible, probable even, that up in Grafton Notch they got more snow and less rain. The trail might not be bad. Once you are on top of the Eyebrow Cliff you meet back up with the trail you didn't take down below. From this point to the summit I really don't remember any very steep or dicey areas.

If you decide to bail on Speck and go for Table Rock you are again faced with a fork early on. Again, you'll probably want to go left. The right-hand branch passes over boulders that could be tricky when icy, although that trail was recently rebuilt and is much better than it used to be.
-vegematic

grouseking
12-27-2006, 06:30 PM
The crossings going up Old Speck aren't bad in terms of deep/fast water but there may be some slick parts. At the beginning of the hike (about 0.1 mile in) you are presented with a fork. GO LEFT! The right-hand one is much steeper and has more icy ledge. Here in Bethel we have crust on the ground but it's possible, probable even, that up in Grafton Notch they got more snow and less rain. The trail might not be bad. Once you are on top of the Eyebrow Cliff you meet back up with the trail you didn't take down below. From this point to the summit I really don't remember any very steep or dicey areas.

If you decide to bail on Speck and go for Table Rock you are again faced with a fork early on. Again, you'll probably want to go left. The right-hand branch passes over boulders that could be tricky when icy, although that trail was recently rebuilt and is much better than it used to be.
-vegematic

Thanks for all the help!! What about the Baldpates? I'm gravitating towards them....screw the 4k for now, the pics of Baldpate look beautiful!

grouseking

Quietman
12-27-2006, 06:39 PM
Here's a link to TR from last year that might help.

Balplates TR (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10113&highlight=baldplate)

vegematic
12-27-2006, 06:40 PM
Baldpate is a fantastic hike. The top of East Peak (which is the one with the sweeping views) is steep ledge and can get pretty icy. I haven't been up high recently to know what conditions are like but if there is ice to be had, Baldpate will generally have it.
-vegematic

grouseking
12-27-2006, 07:20 PM
Baldpate is a fantastic hike. The top of East Peak (which is the one with the sweeping views) is steep ledge and can get pretty icy. I haven't been up high recently to know what conditions are like but if there is ice to be had, Baldpate will generally have it.
-vegematic

Makes sense to me, considering it sounds like a fairly exposed summit ridge. We can always see how things go. Thanks for all your help.

grouseking

cushetunk
12-27-2006, 08:19 PM
Don't ignore Old Speck for summit views. It may not have dramatic open ledges on the way up (unless, um, you bushwhack up the north ridge), but the tower at the summit has views that are as good as any in the Mahoosucs.

Lawn Sale
12-27-2006, 10:15 PM
Without crampons I'd head to Old Speck rather than the Baldpates. West Baldpate has some really steep sections that can be very icy (turned me around 2 years ago when I tried it in late May without Crampons), and East Baldpate is bald, so it'd be very slippery if there is even only snow on it. Old Speck is in the woods the whole way.

Klutz
12-28-2006, 06:29 PM
But..if this is your start on Maine, the peaks there tend to be harder for a given height than in NH or Vt. Mount abraham is a good one. Barely above 4000 feet and lots of bare rock above treeline. give a bit of a look at Baldpate, just across the road from Old Speck, and with great summit views whereas speck is treed.

Yeah, that's a pretty good mountain. I remember the jays, they're piggies..... ;) It's pretty nice up there.