south and galehead_from_north

Mount Twin, North (4761')
Mount Twin, South (4902')

2003 July 13

We really wanted to get a hike in this weekend, but we were short on time. Although we started late on Sunday we managed to grab our stuff and start driving to the mountains. On the way up we chose the Twins for our hike because we wanted a long hike with a couple summits we could finish before sunset. We chose wisely. We were tired before we started, but this was a great hike that left me with some light to drive home in.

Haystack Road isn't marked and I missed it while driving up Route 3. I picked up on this at the next marked turn and we made our way to the trailhead by 11:55. The weather was perfect with temps in around 70, but we saw some clouds on the way up that made us nervous, so we brought a couple fleece jackets along. The trail is very easy for the first ?.? miles. There are 3 stream crossing that look like they could be tricky at high-water, but we got across well enough. The first 2 stream crossings are actually optional, but we stuck to the main trail since it was so easy and we could move faster. There are trail markers across the streams so you don't inadvertantly hike up the bushwhacked-stream-bypass trail.

crossing_trail_marker twin_trail_stream_crossing

After the last crossing, the trail starts to climb and gets very steep up to the summit of the North peak. We stopped just short of the summit on a wide open outlook at 2:30pm. Open to the north and to the east, the view was fantastic. Mt. Washington was in the clouds, but we could otherwise see well beyond that distance. Mt Hale and the ridge we recently hiked was nearby and we could see South Twin shrouded in clouds less than a mile away. While we sat there eating some food, the clouds moved in and the temps dropped. We put on more clothes and after about 20 min. we hiked to the summit. The summit is treed in but we followed a trail to an outlook. The clouds which arrived only minutes earlier prevented us from seeing anything, but it looked like a great spot. With no views to enjoy and the temperature dropping quickly, we headed off to South peak.

elleing_on_north_peak_outlook twin_south_fr_north_clouds weather_moves_in shawn_on_twin_north_outlook.jpg twin_north_summit view_fr_twin_north_outlook

Elleing's finger went numb. Just like that. A moment like this really makes you appreciate just how far you are from any medical care. She did a good job remaining calm while we figured out what was going on. It seemed that with a tiny bit of exposure while handling the camera, shortly after eating, Elleing's temperature dropped. I had her stick her hand under my shirt until was warmed up again and everything was fine for the rest of the day. Although Elleing was in no serious danger, it was interesting to see how quickly a problem can arise. We had gloves and more warm clothing even though this was a summer hike and we were glad we did on this trip.

As tired as we were, we hoped the ridge to Twin South would be easy, but we knew that wasn't the usual case. Much to our surprise, the trail was easy. Very easy. We just strolled up to the summit just before 4:00pm. The whole south side of the ridge was in the rain and it was a little cold, but with temps in the 50's we just hid behind some summit boulders and snacked for about 15 min. The entire summit is rocky and open and I wish it was as clear as it was on the North peak, but the rain has an effect we like as well.

col_view twin_north_fr_col on_twin_south.jpg twin_south_summit_marker

We were back on North by 5:00pm. The rain clouds had lifted and we took another visit to the western outlook. This time we had clear views of Franconia ridge, Vermont, and Canada. We stayed an extra 15 min. or so just to enjoy one of the better views we've seen so far. We were a little disappointed to see the rain clouds were also gone from Twin South and could be seen clearly. Galehead Hut sat about 1000 feet below us next to Mount Galehead and to the north and west a large valley spread before us in contrast to the mountains to the south.

franconia_ridge_fr_north.jpg galehead_fr_north_peak.jpg south_fr_north_outlook

The trip down was complicated only by our fatigue. Our busy, sleepless weekend had caught up to us. We knew the trail eventually flattened out and we were looking forward to it. We reached the trailhead at 7:30pm tired and sore. This was a fast hike for us and we were tired to begin with. It was much warmer and the sun was hot. We drank a bottle of water, ate some cashews, and headed straight home.

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