Date of Hike: June 27, 2014

Trail conditions: Rocky and rough, throughout, with a number of wet areas/running water below treeline.

Special Equipment: Gloves were nice to have going across the Knife Edge; there are a number of places where grabbing onto the rough rocks was helpful. Poles weren't useful for long stretches of the hike. Having a free hand (or two) was better.

Comments: A gorgeous sunny day with little wind. A little more wind might actually have been nice since there were a surprising number of bugs on the summit. Otherwise, the bugs didn't seem that bad lower down except along Roaring Brook on the way out. Coming down the Saddle slide was very slippery. While described as the least difficult trail to the summit, it is still a very challenging trail. It certainly would be a difficult descent if the weather turned bad. The going is always surprisingly slow on these trails. Book time, which may seem long, is fairly accurate.

My hiking partner and I met a cow moose and her calf as we walked down the Chimney Pond Trail, a short distance below the Pond. The meeting occurred in a area of thick, scrubby spruce and both the moose and the humans spent a good 30 - 40 seconds evaluating options for getting out of the others way. Fortunately, the moose decided to plow off into the scrub just before we were going to do the same.

Jay Baxter
janeandjay@comcast.net