Sweet Views Saturday . . . Galehead, South Twin, & North Twin

Date of Hike: 2/17/18

Beaver Brook X-Country Ski Trail * Gale River Road: 1.2 miles  /  Gale River Trail: 4.2 Miles  /  Garfield Ride Trail: 0.6 miles  /  Frost Trail: 0.8 miles  /  Twinway: 0.8 miles  /  North Twin Spur  /  2.6 miles  /  Twinway: 0.8 miles  /  Garfield Ridge Trail: 0.6 miles  /  Gale River Trail: 4.2 miles  /  Gale River Road & Beaver Brook X-Country Ski Trails: 1.2 miles
Total Miles: 16.2 (4,711 feet elevation gained)  Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- Saturday was a beautiful day for some big views in the White Mountains.  I decided to head to South Twin to take in the close up views into the Pemi Wilderness, along with excellent views of the Presidential Range and a majority of the 4,000 foot peaks, as well as far off views of the Green Mountains lining the horizon to the west.
- Todd joined me for the hike, we started at 8am from the Beaver Brook Picnic area and hooked onto the Beaver Loop cross country ski trail taking it counter clockwise until the large campsite (#3) on Gale River Road, from here we had a short few tenths of a mile road walk to the Gale River Trail.
- The Gale River Trail is mostly known for being a time warp, meaning it seems to go on forever to nowhere!  It's not too exciting, the first couple of miles are relatively flat, then it starts easily gaining elevation, before finally becoming steep over the last half mile until it gains the Garfield Ridge.  The highlight of the trail used to be two water crossings along the relatively flat stretch, but these were beat up during the 2011 storm and the trail was eventually re-routed.  The good news about this re-route is the jumping off point for Hawthorne Falls along Garfield Stream is easily distinguished.
- We made quick work of the Gale River Trail and the short stretch of Garfield Ridge Trail to the Galehead Hut, where we took a break in the sun on the hut's porch before making a short out and back to Galehead's Peak.  The sun was out in full force, and even though the temperatures were in the teens it was easy to stay warm since the wind was non-existent.
- Next up was the steep 0.8 mile 1,150' ascent up too South Twin, one of my favorite climbs and a top ten huffing & puffing heart-rate-pounding bursts to a peak.  Luckily, in the winter the odd sized rocks and roots are all buried so it's almost easier, but the extra winter gear in the pack cancels that out.  The good news, all the extra effort to get up to South Twin's summit is well worth it.  We were greeted with excellent views in every direction.  (see images below).
- After admiring the views, Todd and I headed over to North Twin for some more good views and an extended break to put on dry layers and eat some food.  At the summit of North Twin we met a man who just completed his Winter 48 - 4,000 footers, congrats to him, he picked a perfect day for a finish!
- After our break we headed back over to South Twin to enjoy some more views before starting the long hike back down to Beaver Brook Picnic Area.  Along the way we ran into Franco, it was great to bump into him again on the trails and catch up, I'm sure I'll see you again on the trails in the future, Franco!
- We finished around 2PM and by 3PM I was playing Frisbee with Sarge in the yard. :)

 Galehead Hut and South Twin from the Frost Trail Outlook

Galehead Hut

 Mount Garfield and Franconia Ridge as seen from South Twin

Presidential Range 

Looking out to North Twin

On South Twin looking at the bare summit of the Guyot's

 Zoom in of the Presidential Range

Galehead, Garfield, Lafayette, Lincoln, Liberty, Flume, and Owl's Head from the North Twin outlook

View from the North Twin Spur

 Heading back to South Twin

Mount Zealand

Looking over to West Bond

 Frisbee fun with Sarge!

Sticks...yum!