Friday, May 17, 2013

Middle Sister (52WAV) via Carter Ledge Trail (T25). May 17, 2013

 Our first post-Camino trip report!

No ancient cathedrals, sheep, or vineyards today.  We did, however, see a crumbling summit structure, a bear, and a moose.  And, when I returned home, I saw (and drank) a large glass of wine. 
On Thursday, just to make sure the girls and I realized we were back in New England, the cosmos sent a bear to our front door.  El Oso came right up to the glass, looked in at us, then turned and shuffled slowly past our cars and into the woods.

We saw another bear on the way to Carter Ledge Trail yesterday morning.  Five minutes later, we saw a moose.  Alex joked that it was Large Mammal Parade Week here in the Whites.
The girls and I had an excellent hike up Carter Ledge Trail to Middle Sister.  We'd been dying to cross something off our Terrifying 25 list...since there's still rotting snow on the higher summits, we chose a T25 trail that led to one of the smaller peaks, Middle Sister (a 52 With a View mountain).
We parked at White Ledge Campground and headed into the woods.

It's been a long time since we've hiked through genuine forest!

Ah...a typical New Hampshire trail.


The ledges and small rock scrambles were fun and I never felt the girls were in danger.  Well, almost.  There were two spots that were "interesting."  The first is pictured below. 

Both girls made it up and over the above without much difficulty.  
The next "interesting" ledge was extremely interesting.  As in, "you've got my full and undivided attention" interesting.  Alex is standing before it below.  Notice how steep that slant is.  What you don't see in the photo is that there's nothing at the bottom of that's a drop-off.  One has to pull oneself up and over that thing and get across it without one misstep.  A hiker who falls here would likely experience a "negative outcome."
Alex was up, over, and across it before I could say, "Please don't fall."  Sage took her time getting up and over, but she moved quickly and confidently once she was on the ledge.  I willed myself up and belly-scraped my way across, my fingers never leaving the cracks near the top of the rock.  This bit is the reason someone suggested I put this trail on our Terrifying 25 list...and that person is right -- that part is terrifying.  For me, anyway.  Alex and Sage didn't seem to think it was all that difficult.
A few more easy scrambles, a few more (much friendlier) ledges, and we were at the top of Middle Sister.


Little sister and big sister on Middle Sister.
It's nice to be back in the Granite State!

This was a stellar day.  Perfect weather, perfect trail conditions, and a fun little series of scrambles.  Doesn't get much better than this.

Coming soon: We weigh our options for future long-distance hikes...your input would be appreciated, so please stay tuned.


Jake said...

Sounds like this might have to be my first T25 trail of the year since it is snowfree and ready to go.

welcome back to the steep and rocky :)

Cumulus said...

This might not be exotic enough for you after el Camino, but you might want to consider the Long Trail.

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Jake, this is a fun little trail. The only "terrifying" part is that one ledge -- make sure you go on a dry day! Thanks for the welcome home. :)

Cumulus, I've heard a lot of good things about the Long Trail. We'll definitely look into it -- thanks for the suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I recommend the 88 shrine pilgrimage circumnavigating Shikoku island Japan. It would be nice compliment to your camino pilgrimage.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you found my suggestion accurate! The first time we used that trail, it was on a late fall day, we were downclimbing and the infamous ledge was a bit icy. We had to think twice before every move... Congrats to you and the girls!

By the way, our son was born on April 8th, and we already resumed our hikes recently (with him in a baby carrier of course). We even completed the 52 WAV last week :-) I hope he'll enjoy hiking as much as your girls do...


Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Anonymous, I would love -- LOVE -- to do the 88 shrine pilgrimage in Japan. That might be our choice for when we tackle a trail in Asia. We won't do that next year, though...I need to financially recover a bit from Spain, so the trip to Asia will need to wait until at least 2015.

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Mario, congrats on finishing the 52WAV!

If you and Julie ever want company on the trails, please let us know. The girls would love to follow behind and make googly-eyes at your son the entire way, lol. They love babies and toddlers.