Thursday, July 3, 2014

JMT Training: Peak 7 (or 11) of 21: The Horn (+ The Bulge and Mt. Cabot). July 3, 2014

We hiked The Horn, The Bulge, and Mt. Cabot today.  The Horn was part of our original 21-peak quest...we picked up nearby peaks The Bulge and Cabot for fun.  Therefore, we're at 7/21 for specific, intended peaks and 11/21 (I'm counting an additional two peaks from a previous hike, Middle Osceola and Osceola) for total overall peaks.

Eating cotton candy on Cabot
The trip report for this hike (and Zealand, from a couple of days ago) will have to wait until after the 4th.  A massive thunderstorm is heading this way and I'd like to stay off the electronics.

Have a great holiday, everyone!

EDITED 7/7/2014: Trip report!

Unknown Pond Trail, Kilkenny Ridge Trail, Horn Spur Trail.  10.6 miles roundtrip with around 2800 feet of elevation gain.

Thunderstorms were in the afternoon forecast, so we had boots on trail at 6am.  This required waking at 3:30 so we could drive the two hours north to the trailhead...kudos to the girls for not complaining!

Unknown Pond Trail from the north leads one through a beautiful forest on moderately steep grades.  This time of year, however, there are plenty of bugs...we doused ourselves in DEET before beginning the hike, but we could feel the critters anyway.  That, plus the forecast, made us move quickly.

We reached the pond and checked out the view of The Horn.

The bugs were (understandably) AWFUL here, so we didn't linger.

We reached The Horn spur trail, swigged some water, and carried on.

The summit of The Horn is a big 'ole boulder.  Sage and Alex scrambled up the front-left of it...

...but I took a narrow dirt path through the trees to the far left and walked up that way.

Congrats on another 52WAV peak, Sage!

Cabot and The Bulge can be seen in the background, behind the girls.


We ate, we drank, we got a move on (I wanted to get to Cabot and back to the car before the storms rolled in).

The Bulge was less than half a mile away from The Horn, and it looked steeper than it felt, so we were at the wooded summit in short order.

It was around 0.7 miles or so from The Bulge to Cabot.  The way up Cabot's summit cone was far steeper than the path up The Bulge, and my legs protested as we climbed climbed climbed.

Eventually, we reached the summit.

Cotton candy was today's dessert (Desserts on the 48!).

We didn't visit the cabin...though the clouds looked decent, I was worried about that forecast and wanted to head down as quickly as possible.  Storms have a nasty way of showing up sooner than expected, so, to be on the safe side, we waved in the direction of the cabin and headed down.

Sage has only six more hikes to go before she finishes the 52 With a View!  Unfortunately, she won't be able to finish until September -- one of her remaining hikes, Square Ledge, is a nesting ground for peregrine falcons and the trail has restricted access from May - August.  No worries -- Sage looks forward to finishing the list as soon as she gets back from the JMT.

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