Sandwich Dome

 
Guinea Pond: 1.6 miles
Black Pond Mountain: 3.5 miles
Algonquin Trail: 1.8 miles
Bennett Street Trail: 2.4 miles
Flat Mountain Pond: 1.0 miles
Guinea Pond: 4.0 miles
Total Miles: 14.3 miles
2,750 feet elevation gain

Trip Report:
- Alton and I decided to head up to do a nice loop hike in the Sandwich Range over Sandwich Dome Mountain.  The weather was against us from the start and made for a pretty memorable hike.
- First off was the drive down Sandwich Notch Road, what an adventure!  The road is more or less a narrow windy dirt road through the woods with two or three spots that felt like we were cresting over a wave or slowly chugging up a roller coaster not being able to see in front of us!
- The forecast was not favorable with temps in the low 40's and rain in the forecast. We started our hike down the Guinea Pond Trail and after about a mile and a half we hooked onto the Black Mountain Pond Trail.  It wasn't raining yet and the foliage along the marshy areas was great so we were enjoying ourselves.
- The  first four miles was pretty flat until reaching Black Mountain Pond which sits about a thousand feet below the ridge.  It's a pretty cool looking pond with lots of herd paths everywhere which made staying on the trail a little difficult but we made it through unscathed.
- It started to rain just as we skited along the pond and I was very tentative on going any further. Alton who is more adventurous than me said I'm going this way to Sandwich Dome, so that was that!  - From the pond up to the ridge is where the trail gets steep and fun; there are some minor ledges where you get to pull yourself up and even in the rain it never felt dangerous.  Views from these ledges on a clear day most be pretty awesome but we only had a view down into the valley and of Black Mountain Pond but still with the foliage it looked pretty.
- When we finally gained the ridge I put on my winter hat, gloves, and waterproof windbreaker.  Luckily it was not windy at all but the low temps, no views, and rain made the finally 1.8 miles along the ridge a slog.
- We toughed it out and made it to the summit of Sandwich Dome and quickly descended via the Bennett Street Trail.  Originally I was going to have us go down the Gleason Trail but there was no trail sign at the junction so I wasn't sure if the trail was closed so I kept us on the Bennett Street Trail. 
- The Bennett Street Trail is a really nice trail to descend with great footing and there is a pine grove you get to travel through towards the bottom.
- We were in high spirits even with the bad weather until the long five miles walk out over the Flatt Mountain Pond and Guinea Pond Trails.  We came across a poor trail worker who had the duty of cutting up a huge blowdown with an axe. He must have thought we were nuts considering it was pouring rain out and Alton was dressed in florescent yellow, pink, and green with plaid socks and new black and bright blue LaSportiva Raptor trail runners!  Of course as we navigated over, under, and through the blowdown Alton fell on her butt into the mud! 
- We were still doing ok until the last three miles when the both of us just had enough of hiking in the wet and cold and just wanted to be back at the car in dry clothes.  We both stopped and ate some food to get some energy  before putting our heads down and sucked it up and finished our hike.
- Back at the car we put on dry clothes and headed back over the entertaining Sandwich Notch Road back to civilization.
- I hope to one day hike this loop again when the weather is good and would recommend it to everyone.  The views must be pretty spectacular from the outlooks along the way and the walk along the old logging and railroad beds by the different ponds and swamps would make for a great hike out.
 
Alton walking on a blanket of leaves on the Guinea Pond Trail 
 Guinea Pond Trail
 Guinea Pond Trail
 A nice autumn walk along the Guinea Pond Trail
Foliage! 
 Sandwich Mountain off in the distance
 Swampy section along the Guinea Pond Trail
 Alton at the Sandwich Range Wilderness Boundary
 Black Mountain Pond Trail
 Beaver Meadow along the Black Mountain Pond Trail
 Beaver Meadow
 Black Mountain Pond
Black Mountain Pond 
 Black Mountain Pond
 Old site of the Black Mountain Pond Shelter
 Rainy conditions at the Beaver Pond
 Alton above a small scramble
 Black Mountain Pond Trail
 Black Mountain Pond from one of the outlooks from the Black Mountain Pond Trail
 Black Mountain Pond
 Gloomy Day on the Sandwich Mountain
 Alton trying to brighten up the day int he Sandwich Range
 Alton maneuvering her way up a cmall rock scramble on the Black Mountain Pond Trail
 Alton maneuvering her way up a small rock scramble on the Black Mountain Pond Trail
 Glad that is over with!
Gaining the ridge of the Sandwich Mountain 
 Alton on the Algonquin Trail
 Algonquin Trail
 Algonquin Trail
Soaking wet but still smiling on the summit of Sandwich Dome!
 Alton heading down the Bennett Street Trail
 Alton taking a fall in the Pine Grove
 I've fallen and I can't get up!
 Flat Mountain Pond Trail
 Flat Mountain Pond Trail
 Guinea Pond Trail
Guinea Pond Trail


2 comments:

  1. Great pictures Chris, LOVE the socks Alton!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice pics but the socks own!

    ReplyDelete