Killing Kittens on Galehead, South Twin & North Twin Mountain

Date of Hike: 5/18/10

Gale River/Garfield Ridge Trail: 4.6 miles
Frost Trail: 1.0 miles
Twinway: .8 miles
North Twin Spur: 2.6 miles
Twinway: .8 miles
Gale River/Garfield Ridge Trail: 4.6 miles
Total Miles: 14.4 miles (elevation gain 4,400 feet)

Trip Report
- With warmer temperatures and rotting unpredictable snow comes the joyful pleasure of what is called "postholing" which is what happens when you're pleasently walking along on top of several feet of snow and all of a sudden your right foot punches through the snow and you leg dissapears up to your waist and you fall awkwardly as your other leg is still on top of the snow.  So you get yourself up brush the wet snow off curse alot (if that's your thing) then you walk another ten steps and your other leg shoots through the snow and you fall into a tree...after about a dozen times you sort of get used to it and you just hope you don't posthole your knee into a rock...However it's not all bad because I've been told that for every time you posthole you kill a kitten so at least you have that going for you (I kid I kid!)
- Monday's forecast was another perfect day to hike with temps in the 50's at higher elevations and clear skies making for some great views from Galehead Hut, South Twin, and North Twin Summit with winds out of the north at 20 MPH
- The hike up to Galehead Hut went quickly as the only annoying snow was on the .6 miles on the dreaded Garfield Ridge Trail.  Once at the hut I relaxed for a bit in the sun looking into the Pemi Wilderness before I made the quick hike up the Frost Trail to Galehead's summit.  The hut is open for self service until it officially opens in a few weeks so no one was in there, the caretaker was out for the day so I had it all to myself!
- The Frost Trail was a bit of a pain with some narrow and slanted "monorail" snow (see pic below) making for slow going in a few spots.  Monorail snow is a pretty bizarre formation of snow that lingers around in the middle of the trail as a result of being packed down from hikers over the winter months...unfortunately this type of monorail doesn't take you to the Magic Kingdom!
- The hike up the Twinway to South Twin is one of my favorite hikes in all the White Mountains, it gains 1,150 feet in just .8 mile and I usually make it a challenge to see how fast I can hike up it.  My personal best is 25 minutes but today it beat me up pretty good because of all the unstable snow and it took 35 minutes.
- South Twin Summit has some of the best views in all of the White Mountains and I took a break and had lunch before I headed over to North Twin.
- The hike over and back to North Twin was pretty fast, the trail is faint to follow with pine needles blanketing the snow on the trail which is still several feet deep.
- Back at South Twin I took another break to enjoy the views and then I quickly descended the Twinway back to the hut postholing several times along the way.  Back at Galehead hut there was still no one around it was so very quiet as I relaxed and changed into my 3rd pair of dry socks and relaxed on the front steps of the hut in the sun for awhile and then made the 4.6 mile hike back to the car.
- Perfect day for a hike other than the lingering snow.  On trail at 8:30 am finished at 3:40 pm, postholed about two dozen times...ohhh those poor kittens!

Pics: Click here for all pics

Monorail Snow on Frost Trail
South Twin Summit
Galehead Hut and the Pemigewasset Wilderness

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