Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Hiking To a Wet Waumbek

With inclement weather on the way this weekend I was looking for a short hike to a 4,000 footer that was somewhat sheltered. Waumbek seemed to meet my requirements. With low clouds the limited views from this summit wouldn't matter. This past week I bought a new pair of hiking shoes, the Merrell Moab Ventilator. As soon as I slipped them on in the store I had to have them, they are very comfortable. Today's wet conditions would be a good test of these lightweight, breathable summer hikers.

The drizzle and rain started when I left the house early this morning and it continued intermittently. As I drove into the Starr King parking lot there was a deep ditch in the road that took me three tries before I got through it.  A low clearance vehicle might have a problem getting through here. I was the second one in the parking lot today.

I started my hike with no precipitation falling but it wasn't long before the drizzle and light showers began. I'm not sure what was ailing me but the ascent was really tough today even though this is an easy hike. I slogged on and eventually started feeling a little better. When I reached the summit of Starr King there was a steady drizzle coming down and of course there were no views.

I continued on to the one mile hike over to Waumbek. When I reached the summit a steadier rain started to fall. I walked down to the outlook but there was nothing to see. This was the turning around point and I started my hike back to the parking lot. Back on Starr King there was a momentary partial view of the Presidentials, that would be the only view today.

There were many hikers on their way up as I was going down. The light precipitation had stopped as I descended the Starr King Trail. It was a slick trail but I managed to get back to the trailhead without a slip. The new hiking shoes performed very well! This was a great choice for a hike with the sheltered trail providing good cover from the light rain and drizzle. It was probably the least photogenic hike that I've ever been on. With only one partial view it was all about the hike today.

Cloudy sky as I turned into the Starr King trailhead parking lot

Hike begins here

Dry spring

On the summit of Starr King in light rain

A cloudy view from Starr King

Heading down to the view on Mount Waumbek

No view from Waumbek today as it starts raining

Fern forest

Moss-covered log


Returning to Starr King

A momentary partial view of the Presidentials


Misty forest

Mist is clearing

Spring reflection

Back at the trailhead

Still cloudy after the hike

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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