November 6, 2005.
11 mi | 7.5 hr
Gale River Tr > Twinway > N Twin Spur > N Twin Tr
Already worn down both physically and mentally from yesterday’s hike, I set out early to pick up cocoa and a muffin before meeting the group at the trailhead. Only one person was there at 7 am, the appointed meeting time, so I was pretty annoyed. In the next half hour, several more people arrived for a total of 9 hikers. I wasn’t sure I’d have the patience for this.
I put on my mean face right away as we set a quick pace up the Gale River. There were a couple of challenging river crossings, so as it turned out, I needed the help of the group to get through. I borrowed some poles and eagerly listened to words of encouragement as I made my way across. The river was running high and one of the bridges was out, but we negotiated a path and regained the trail.
At once the trail began heading straight up, and many snacks were needed to climb to the Galehead Hut. Three of the team members headed up to tag the summit of Galehead while the rest of us hung back on the hut’s porch.
Next up we hiked up the intermittently snowy trail to South Twin. When we broke above treeline, the clouds were so thick we couldn’t see anything. It was also very windy and cold and I was glad the group was content with just a short break up top.
As we continued to North Twin, everyone settled into their own pace and the group spread out. I enjoyed a little solitude as I gave my group mates plenty of space. Near the summit I noticed a six-inch long salamander right on the trail.
The wind on top of North Twin was wicked but I was well-dressed for this. Everyone enjoyed the wildness of this summit and got really excited when the clouds barely parted to give us a teeny tiny view. The clouds were constantly pouring over the mountain tops right at us. But I was still really glad to be outside today.
The last leg put us up against a river again, and I needed all of my energy to get myself across. I was tired and very glad to be done by the end of the hike! Next time, when I’ve got more stamina, I’ll head up to Galehead.