Fumbling around the Baldfaces 6/24/06

For sleeping bear’s last real White Mountain hike before she leaves, we tackled the Baldface Loop…one of my favorites from last summer.

The forecast called for rain, and lots of it. Two so-called reputable hikers, whose names will not be mentioned here, bailed even before the day began. So, it was myself, Anthony and Lindsay (sleeping bear) who started up the trail at about 9am. We were socked in with clouds for the entire day but there was no rainfall. We lucked out bigtime, although some views would have been nice.

The trail begins innocently enough as a pleasant stroll through lovely open woods. After reaching the shelter, however, the trail takes on a new character. We were embraced by large, flat slabs covered ever so slightly with enough moisture to create a slick surface. Lindsay and Anthony approached the ledges gingerly in their stiff hiking boots while I clambered up ahead in my trailrunners, only slipping a few times. We did a bit of bushwhacking around some of the more dicey parts where a fall would mean a seriously painful walk out. Meanwhile, a group of hikers from up North blew right by us, full steam ahead.

The ledges were slippery but oh so fun. Lindsay got a little personal with one of the rocks…

We broke through all the tough stuff and arrived at a large cairn which we assumed was the summit and had lunch. We enjoyed the cooling breeze that gave us a respite from the heavy, thick, air. After pressing on for a short while we came across the actual summit and proceeded north along the loop trail. The loop would have been perfect on a clear day

The remainder of the day was filled with interesting fecal finds, munching on wintergreen berries, leapfrogging the Canadians, trying to get lost and getting found again, and amusing conversation.

Post-hike we picked up supplies in North Conway and drove back to the campsite Anthony and I’d made home as of late. We made tacos and hotdogs, drank beer, and had a jolly ol’ time. Lindsay, you will surely be missed!

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