5/25 Moose & BM Laton (Kibby/Beaudry-ME)

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buckyball1

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May 18, 2005
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Orrington, ME
..don't think i've ever had a hike day with this many unexpected occurrences....all ended well, at least for me

My mouthing off about how well my body tolerated yesterday received it's just deserts (yes, that's the correct spelling, really) when i woke up at 1AM and needed vitamin "I". Up at 5, achy legs, dress and leave stealthy so as not to bother several more sensible hikers. Had a close encounter with a moose heading into Stratton (one of 4-5 i saw on the road in 2 days), headed north toward Eustis for a few peaks in the Beaudry. Another spectacular sunrise over Flagstaff lake-never tire of that view.

As i neared the turn into the Kibby wind farm (no, i don't mind them), i came over a rise on Rt 27 and saw something large and grey in my lane. I thought it was a gaggle of moose, but then saw someone waving. Two nice kids (20 somethings), were just exiting a car turned on it's side with the bottom facing me. They were badly shaken of course, but not hurt much at all. They swerved to miss a moose and dumped the car--probably 1-2 minutes before i got there. Nobody around, a very empty stretch, no cell service, log trucks fly through here; so i told them to get clear of the car, go up the road to slow any traffic and i took off way too fast (huge moose pop around here) 12-13 miles to the border crossing. Talked to the BP agents (they mobilized help immediately), drove back to check on kids--they were sad, but better as they realized that they lost "only" a car..... headed in the Beaudry Rd (we're doing Delorme pages 39-40).

The Beaudry Rd is in bad shape right now. The first 3 1/2 miles were graded today and the sharp rocks are turned up everywhere, just waiting to bite your tires. The next 10 or so miles are in "ok", but rough shape--lots of raised or sunken culverts, many areas of fresh, sharp rock filling washouts and general winter ruts, heaves, damage. I long for the days during construction of the towers when the road was kept pretty good all the time. I've driven so much dirt road the last 4? years that i was getting more mellow about it--lately it's been going the other way...white knuckle too often, drains you after an hour or two-way too concerned about breaking something miles from anywhere with no help coming. I turned onto the West Branch Rd and headed for

Moose Mt-3041'-I had planned to do both Moose and Layton from the Lowelltown Rd side, but then switched to the West Branch Rd (you may have been in this way to do Caribou)-tons of great peaks back here. Marc put this route in my head and Herb F offered valuable specifics-which i messed up. Drove in a few miles and found the log road i picked for my assault start :). After about 1/2 mile, i realized i picked the wrong start and the open logged area i want is far away on the other side of a hellishly boggy area--so back to the road i go. I'm usually pretty good at access/route issues, but i stunk on Moose.

I found what i thought was the right start point and headed up. When you look at Moose from this side, you see several neat looking huge talus fields high up (steep)--i wanted to go right (east) of them. I headed up an old skid road and realized i was too far east to hit the logged area and had an ugly, thick section to go through to find it. I "found" it, but was already at it's high point on the face--no longer of any use. Herb said the hike was relatively easy and "fun". With all my judgement errors, it had been anything but to this point. The rest was alternating stretches of older, but still unconsolidated slides and some steep woods. Nothing horrible, just needed careful going. Didn't put my gloves on and had bleeding and battered hands long before the summit. The top is fairly open woods; jar an easy find--the usual suspects, last ones being Carl C and Pin Pin. By now i'm being devoured by blackflies (unused serious DEET in my pack) and carefully pick my way down the slides, thru the open logged area (sooo much easier) and back to the car. Between the car accident, the bad condition of the Beaudry Rd and my mistakes, i'm running late and worried about not making my "all OK, i'm out" call in the agreed upon time interval--am also pretty gassed after 3 hikes and sun is beating down heavily. But of course, i decide to head to

BM Layton-3270'--my start is a few miles further in on the West Branch Rd and i've tried to eye the terrain and potential good lines to follow while wandering on Moose. Damn, small bridge collapsed-walk and ups/downs even longer now. Oh well, not coming back again-park and off i go walking down the road. Well, i think i have this one perfectly scoped. Find the logging roads in and up to base of mountain. Then use old cutover area to gain altitude and fortuitously find even older skid roads which lead me part way up the peak. I try to gain the crest of the SE ridge and hit a wall-steep, tons of very old blowdown with jail bar evergreens-slash your face, puncture you hands/arms. Yes, i do this a lot, but this was ugly--and another nod to poor route finding-not my day. There was a stretch of 0.15 miles that took me 25 minutes-yes 25 minutes and i am reasonably fast and used to this type of thing. Blowdown traps that force you to retreat and sections you had to tack back and forth to gain a few feet--no fun. and by now i'm really gassed. The stuff is so thick the blackflies can't get to me. A full body beating.

Finally the peak eases and opens it's woods a bit over the last 0.1 miles. It's amazing how you sometimes reach the point where you wonder if you want to go on when the summit is less than a 1/4 mile away. Easy jar, usual singnees-last three were Carl, Pin Pin and jt (BigMoose)--from a few years back, Herb F wonders what he'll do when he returns to his car which has 2 flat tires--yes, we are all nuts to do this stuff. Amazingly i hit a superb line going down-gravity helps, but it's much less dense--actually pleasant to hike. As i walk out to the car on the WB Rd, clouds roll in and the "tireds" really hit me--i think i get even fuzzier mentally than physically exhausted ; nothing bad, but almost 20 miles, some tuff terrain and about 57-5800' of ascent over the last two days have taken a toll....but i am also feeling gooood

Back at the car, i take off my stinky clothes, do my tick check (always pick them up around home, never in the mountains) and sit and bask in the now intermittent sun--you can do this casually deep in the Beaudry and it's a great feeling looking at the surrounding peaks....i realize i have only 3 left on my list -297 of 300 are done, but what lurks?

Poland, Mullen and Barren (yeah, that Barren)..while i have respect for doing Barren alone, i think the crazy long drive over many many miles of dirt to do a "standard", shortish hike on Poland worries me more (i've been in almost this far before for say Harrow, Soper, an unnamed peak north of Clayton Lake and Telephone Hill, but...).....some time off and then...

jim
 
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Such Fun!

I had no need to pull out the DeLorme on this one to see where you had gone.

Sad to hear that The Beaudry Rd was no longer in good shape.

Moose is most easily gained by going right at it, up the slide.

So, you rejected the opportunity to drive across the bridge. Always exciting!

BM Layton (aka West Smart) can be difficult. I recall thinking that it couldn't be worse over to the right, where I found open woods. Papa Bear had uncovered, through no small effort, the BM itself, at the base of the tree that has the bottle (now canister, I guess. Thanks Carl).

It appears that, sadly, the best days of The Beaudry are behind us.

Jim
 
J--
- can't remember if i crossed the collapsed("twisted") bridge when i was in there a few years back for Caribou stuff, but i do remember it seemed a long road walk in--i wasn't really focused on all the nice peaks back in there at the time or their relationship to the road and one another--my mind is a sieve
- you're right, i didn't have a good line on Moose-didn't like the old slides to the right (especially down), so perhaps i'd not like the talus fields either :)
-my descent from Layton was to the "right" (left coming down) and i too found nice open woods--trying to stay on the SE ridge crest on the upper half going up was a mistake-very thick
-there is still a peanut butter jar, not a canister on Layton
-not sure where the phase 3 wind farm will be located, but i've noticed the last 2 years that several roads back in the Beaudry seem to be slowly deteriorating--glad i am "done" in there though i'll miss that area

jim
 
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Jim

Two questions on Layton (aka West Smart) - did the jar still have the original Dennis Crispo log (Kurt, Pierre and I saw it in July 2006):

July_14_2006_085154.sized.jpg



And did you find the BM disk? It was under a cairn at the base of the tree with the jar:

July_14_2006_084155.sized.jpg


Nice area. We went in from the Boundary swath but didn't get to Moose.
 
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Hi R (pb)--been too long--always wished we'd been able to hike together to some odd, silly peak in ME

my mind blurs (already) as to what is on each peak, but

-the jar on Layton holds a "newer" small notebook where i saw you, Oncoman (Pierre) and OS had climbed it and the "loose" pages with 80s/90s signers? (Paisleys?)-all i cared about by then was "down"-- both registers inside a second smaller plastic bag--all nice and dry--i was really gassed and lying there letting the blackflies bite me--

-nobody has pried the marker out as yet :)-- was told you had found it before i went and also read re it in the jar

-your site was soooo useful when i first started doing "P" peaks with the 50F list
-did you run Boston?

be well
jim
 
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Hi R (pb)--been too long--always wished we'd been able to hike together to some odd, silly peak in ME

my mind blurs (already) as to what is on each peak, but

-the jar on Layton holds a "newer" small notebook where i saw you, Oncoman (Pierre) and OS had climbed it and the "loose" pages with 80s/90s signers? (Paisleys?)-all i cared about by then was "down"-- both registers inside a second smaller plastic bag--all nice and dry--i was really gassed and lying there letting the blackflies bite me--

-nobody has pried the marker out as yet :)-- was told you had found it before i went and also read re it in the jar

-your site was soooo useful when i first started doing "P" peaks with the 50F list
-did you run Boston?

be well
jim

Boston is next year. Last week I ran a small race in Vermont.
 

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