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Hiked today with my 22-year old son, Gabe. Started at the gate to York Pond Trail at 8:55AM and it was about 30 degrees. Twenty minutes later over level trail, we make the left turn onto Bunnell Notch Trail. Then just 5 minutes after some climbing, we start stripping layers. We reached the Cabot Cabin just 3 hours later, seeing no one else during the climb. Looked around the cabin, adjusted layers and continued the 0.4m to Mt. Cabot summit proper. On the way there, we meet 3 folks descending. They had come up the ("unmaintained") Mt. Cabot Trail from the west. Go figure. After seeing the wooded summit and mentally checking off this peak, we went back to the cabin, had lunch, and started the descent at 12:45. Reached our car in 2.5 hours for the return. There were a few viewpoints: On the final ascent just 1 mile to the summit is a great viewpoint, called Bunnell Rock in the AMC guidebook. And between the cabin and the summit is another viewpoint.
The trail conditions were full of packed snow, some ice and some mud. The packed snow actually was much better than mud. On the descent it made for controlled short slides and maybe that's partially why the descent was so much faster. It was also much softer underfoot for my old feet. By the time we got near the end, some of the snow we had seen in the morning had melted; it was probably between 40 & 50 degrees. This trail is probably pretty muddy on the level spots for much of the Spring through Fall hiking season. Today was partly cloudy, as in primarily
cloudy. But we beat the rain that only started after driving through Franconia Notch on the way back home near Boston.
Submitting Mt. Cabot knocked off 33% of the last 3 4000 footers to finish. And Gabe is a great hiking partner. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any moose.
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