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Thread: Carrigain 1/17/09

  1. #1
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Middlefield, CT

    Carrigain 1/17/09

    This was a Boston AMC hike. We stayed at Subsig the night before, which is conveniently less than two miles from Sawyer River Rd. We left the cabin around 6:45, with temps around -10F.

    As we were gearing up in the parking lot, a man drove in almost to our cars all the way in the back, looked at us, turned around and waited by the road. A few minutes later a women drove in, came towards us and then turned and drove away so fast her car fishtailed. We argued whether it was a tryst or a meth deal we were not intended to witness, but I digress.

    There was a broken trail leaving the parking lot, but it led to the stream, and the single person in snowshoes turned there and appears to have walked back to his or her car. A thin trail led to the road, which being groomed, was in good condition.

    Signal Ridge was not broken, and the four of us broke trail to the summit without even a hint of seeing track. The road was extremely cold (admittedly, it was also early), and as we ascended, the layers kept coming off to the extent where each of us would take a hat or gloves off for a few minutes until the cold caught up with us. Not a breath of wind, and beautiful blue skies over head. The hiking was extremely pleasant, the snow soft and powdery, packing down 3-6 inches. There's a lot of fighting of branches and more than enough limbo sticks along the way, and a lot of snow fell down our collars as we pushed through the pines branches hanging over the trail.

    It took about seven hours for us to get from the cars to the summit, and wow was it worth it. Stunning views, bright snow, clear skies, no wind worth mentioning, and there is something oddly satisfying about breaking out a trail. As cold as it was, without wind it wasn't bad at all--and the forecasts had been frightening, so we were clothed for extremely bad conditions.

    Gray Jays met us at the tower, which was an interesting challenge to climb in snowshoes! We snapped a ton of pictures, and would have stayed there longer than we did if the day was longer.

    We estimated that the four of us probably rotated through about five times coming up, and that was with a real powerhouse, Zach C, leading the way for far more than his fair share. The trail now being broken out, it was a quick hop down, and in just over an hour we were down the mountain, not having rotated once.

    We were out by 5pm, about ten hours after we started.

    As we were driving out the snow groomer came over 302 and went up Sawyer. Big thing! Boy driving that looked fun.

    We left a nicely broken out trail, but I suspect with Sunday's snow and winds, that trail is probably little more than a distant memory.


  2. #2
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bethlehem, NH
    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    The trail now being broken out, it was a quick hop down, and in just over an hour we were down the mountain, not having rotated once.
    It never ceases to amaze me how fast a winter descent can go on a well broken trail. Itís smooth sailing without the rocks & roots to contend with.

    Nice report!

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