If there is one mountain that can help me decided if I am ready for the 4000’ footer White Mountains it is this one. After hiking this trail, I know I am ready. The mountain wasn’t so bad but the fact that I needed to hike almost an extra mile to reach the trail due to road closer added some more to tell me on. Still I hiked uphill around 2 ½ miles in little over one hour with no major breaks. This holds extremely well for the many hikes before me.
The trail itself, West Ridge, was well marked and was quite easy. There were some steep pitches in the end, but nothing to worry about. Going down South Ridge was though quite a challenge. The beginning was a very steep pitch down a slab of rock. With no trees to stop a fall for a long while, this trail had to be taken with a strong caution. Outside of that section and some other small section of the South Ridge trail, this was a very easy trail.
The view from the top was incredible. You see for over sixty miles from the top of Mt. Cardigan. The completely exposed surfaces of Cardigan, made the panorama views absolutely perfect. The second best view I seen yet. I felt on top of the world. I could see almost every high peak in New Hampshire and Vermont. Mt. Washington, Mooselauke and Lafayette all were snowcapped. I could also see many of the higher mountains to the south.
One negative is that I didn’t climb Firescrew because the weather was very windy. I was afraid of serious injury due to the fifty mile an hour winds. I started over but though better of it. Oh well, no great loss. The views wouldn’t have been that must different. Maybe I will hike this mountain next year.