Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Starr King/Waumbek

The last day of March and it seemed like a good day to start tackling the 4000 foot peaks. Today's hike was up the Starr King Trail and over to Mount Waumbek. There were 3 cars in the small parking lot but room for a few more. It was a cool morning, upper 20's and we had about 3 layers on and were wearing our summer hiking boots.

We set out on the trail and soon passed an open stone well that was dry. Before long we were walking over the first area of snow and the bare ground was gone for the rest of the hike up. Another mile and we found it was time for the microspikes. There was a long path of ice and the snow got deeper although we never postholed. The trail was solid and we did not venture off the beaten path.

Reaching the summit of Starr King we got our first scenic views although somewhat obstructed. I hopped up onto a boulder to snap a few photos. Another 100 feet and we were at the old fireplace. I thought we would get a photo of the fireplace on the way back. We met another hiker that was on the way down. He said there was fresh moose signs (droppings and pee) but there were five hikers ahead of us that probably scared it away. Off we went.

Across the ridgeline to Waumbek is one easy mile. We saw the moose signs but no moose! On the summit of Waumbek were five other hikers. There is no view so everyone was engaged in conversation. Brand and I got a bite to eat and relaxed. The other hikers departed and we took some photos before heading down ourselves. We met several people along the way - and two dogs. Arriving back on Starr King we found the fireplace covered with backpacks while their owners rested. I decided not to take any photos and we kept on going.

We met several more people on the way down before arriving back at the parking lot. It was a fun hike to start our conquest of the 48 4000 footers - only 47 to go!

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