North & South Twin and Galehead
We had proposed doing the Twins today, but our friend Amy had a more ambitious idea that we also onclude Galehead as well. So - after reviewing the various options, pros and cons, we decided on a one way traverse starting with an ascent of North Twin.
We met Damon and Charles at 6:30 at the 7 Dwarfs motel on Little River Rd after spotting a car at the end of Trudeau Rd, across from the Gale River Rd entrance which is blocked to traffic during the Winter. After meeting and paying the motel owner for parking ($5), and making use of his rest rooms, we started off on the snowmobile trail behind the motel. This ends up on Haystack Rd about 1 mile from the North Twin trailhead.
The trail starts out very gradual and is quite pleasant. When we reached the first stream crossing we followed the tracks left by the AMC group that had started ahead of us and stayed to the left of the river on the bushwhack. Eventually we caught up to them and since we were moving faster we took to the river which was frozen over, to pass them which we did where the trail crosses back to that side of the river.
We crossed the river at the 3rd crossing after which the trail begins to get steeper. Up we went at a causual pace. As we neared the top we were passed by a group of 3 and then a solo hiker, all of whom were headed to South Twin. Soon after them we looked back to find HikerFast, aka Bob, who had started late and caught up to us.
Just before the summit of North Twin there is a spur trail to the right with great views. From here we could see the Galehead hut, South Twin, Garfield, Franconia Ridge, and even Camels Hump in VT. Here we regrouped, before going over the summit and starting down into the col between the two Twins. Halfway down we found a spot out of the wind and in the bright sunshine where we enjoyed ourlunch.
Moving on we made our way to South Twin. Just below the summit we chatted with the 4 guys that had passed us earlier. Being warned of the high winds we layered up and donned goggles. The summit of the peak is treeless offering little wind protection, but great views. After taking some photos, we continued on, down the steep trail towards the Galehead hut. A short distance below the summit, we stopped at @ the spot where HikerFast's frind Ken died last Winter for a moment of silence.
Reaching the hut we enjoyed the bright sunshine on the deck and a snack. We left our packs here while we walked up to the summit of Galehead, which now has a small American flag marking the carin. On our return to the hut we stopped at a view where we could see that someone else had arrived at the hut. When we reach the hut we met Chris, aka gaiagirl. She had car issues, so decided to head up our descent route to meet us.
From here we made our way down the Gale River trail to the Summer parking area where we arrived as darkness fell. After grabbing another snack, we started the @ 2 mile walk out to the car. Along the way we saw a few snowmobiles out, but they slowed down for us - no issues.
Another great day in the mountains! More riddles to pass the time - some pranks - some oops -just lots of fun. Thanks to the group who had broken the trail out a couple of days earlier. We returned to 7 Dwarfs to pick up our cars where we saw that the AMC group (who were only doing North and South Twin) were still out. Next stop - The Mooseland Grill for dinner. Till next time .....
Directions to the trailhead: Rte 93 north to Exit 35. Follow Route 3 East 5.2 miles to the intersection with Trudeau Rd. Leave a car here in the parking area on your left. Continue on @ 2 miles into Twin Mountain - take a right onto Little River Rd, just past a strip plaza on yourleft. You will see a sign for 7 Dwarfs Motel. Continue down the road for @ 1 mile to 7 Dwarfs Motel. Park in there parking lot for $5. Itis best to call them ahead of time at 603-846-5535 so they know to expect you.
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