Tuesday, March 13, 2012
3/12/12 Bald and Parkman Mountains
A beautiful day- sunny with starting temps in the 40s and ending in the 50s . First time this year hiking without coat, hat, or gloves. Plan was to do the Bald, Parkman, Gilmore loop we like. We started from Rte. 3 and were greeted with a sunny trail without snow or ice.
When we got to the Bald Mtn. Trail Kelley wanted to continue on toward the Maple Spring Trail and I decided we could do the loop backwards from the other direction this time. This turned out to be a good decision. The Maple Spring has lots of sections of precarious footing under the best of conditions.
We had started to have patches of ice to work around but when we passed under the carriage road bridge it got much worse. We crossed the stream and bushwhacked on the other side to avoid this section of icy trail.
Conditions became to difficult for Kelley and we gave up on this trail and returned to the carriage road and took that to the Bald Mountain Trail.
The Bald trail was pretty good with only small patches of ice easily avoided and the trail offers lots of nice views.
Kelley even found some water to drink at the summit.
Parkman from Bald Mountain
The gap between Bald and Parkman has a steep rocky section that is difficult for Kelley and today necessitated a fairly elaborate bushwhack. Looking back at Bald as we climb Parkman.
From Parkman we were going to do a quick trip over to Gilmore Peak and then back as we didn't want to return by Maple Spring as we usually do. That begins with a steep drop and it was a river of ice ( shady side of the mountain?) and we turned back to pick up the Parkman Mountain Trail back to our start. Parts of this were also icy and there is a section with an iron rung which gave us a chance for another wide bushwhack. Once past that we found a nice sunny spot for our lunch and the continued on down the mountain.
Little ice and no bushwhacking the rest of the way down. Pretty good hike with some challenges on a beautiful day to be on the trails. 3 1/2 hours