View Full Version : Avery, West Peak and S. Horn (Bigelows)

Bob Farrell
03-01-2004, 09:13 PM
Name of mountain(s): the Bigelow's (Avery and West Peak) and S. Horn.
Name of trail(s): A.T., Stratton Brook Rd., Fire Wardens, Horns Pond.
Members names and trail names: Farmer Bob and Tramper Al. Non members: Spencer and Laura Z.
Email address: farmerbob48@hotmail.com
Hike date(s):2/29/04
Weather and trail conditions: Started out with clear sunny skies. It was partly cloudy the rest of the day. Hi 45. Trails are in good condition. A.T. from Bigelow col to Horns Pond campsite now broken out.
Total miles hiked: 15.7 10:30
Trip report: I woke up at 2am and left the house by 3am. I thought it would take me 4 hours to get there. It took me 4 and a half.
I met Tramper Al and Laura Z. at the southbound side of the A.T. on ME 27. We crossed the road to start hiking when Spencer showed up. Once he finished gearing up, we were on our way.
The hike on the A.T. to the Fire Warden's trail went fast. A good part of the beginning of the Fire Warden's trail was broken out my snowmobiles.
Just after we crossed the Horns Pond trail junction, we put on our snowshoes.
We made good time up to the Moose Falls campsite. We took a break here and there was a Gray Jay looking for handouts.
Once we started hiking again, the Gray Jay followed us. I think we lost him the last 0.1 miles up the steep ascent to Bigelow's col.
The climb up was steep but we had no problems.
We stopped at the sunny Bigelow col and had lunch. Soon the Gray Jay was back. I gave him a few pieces of crust from my PB&J. and he ate them right out of my hand. Then there was another Gray Jay but he didn't seem hungry.
After lunch we headed up Avery.
The last 0.2 miles had many small ice patches. Once we got on the rocks, we took off our snowshoes.
On the summit we had 360 degree views, and not a cloud in the sky. It was hazy off to the Northeast so we couldn't see Katahdin :(
We hung out on Avery for a while. There were great views of Sugarloaf, Spaulding and Crocker.
We headed back to the col. We saw that the trail over to West Peak wasn't broken out. We could either break it out or go back down the steep section. We decided to head over to West Peak.
We took turns breaking trail. We started out by each of us doing a hundred steps (honor system), then we would switch. Soon the snow got very wet and the trail breaking became much harder. So we were down to 50 steps per person (again the honor system).
After about a mile of breaking trail, we took a break.
After the break, we lost the trail. We couldn't find it. We backtracked a bit and Spencer noticed that branches were cut so we were on the trail. We started to see blazes again soon so that was a good sign.
The climb up West Peak was tough. A few rocks under the snow had ice on them. Once we got to the summit, we didn't hang out long.
Going down from the summit, we all had our snowshoes on walking over the rocks. What a weird feeling. It felt good once we were back on the snow.
So now we're breaking trail to S. Horn.
We all were getting tired. It was tough getting up to S. Horn.
Once we got up, we took a little break. It started getting cloudy but there were still great views.

On the descent, we were still breaking trail.
We finally saw a trail broken out by the Horns Pond campsite.
The descent down the Horns Pond trail wasn't bad.
Once we got on the Fire Warden's trail, we were pretty beat.
I was really sluggish most the way down.
It started to get dark out by the time we got to Stratton Pond Rd.
We all took off our snowshoes for the remainder of the hike. Tramper Al and myself put on headlamps. While we were finishing up, we heard a noise off in the distance. We thought it was a truck on Rt. 27. Soon it got louder and it was definitely on the Stratton Pond Rd. It was a trail groomer for snowmobiles. Once it went by us, we headed out.
The trail groomer made the Stratton Pond Rd. difficult to walk on. It loosened up most of the snow on the road.
Once we got back to the A.T., we dreaded the last mile of the hike. Several small hills that felt like mountains made the remainder of the hike miserable.
It was dark by the time we got to Rt. 27
This was the longest and toughest hike that I've done yet.
What's up for next weekend :)

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