Northeast 111 Finish . . . Saddleback and The Horn

Date of Hike: 8/31/15

Saddleback Ski Trails:  1.7 miles  /  Appalachian Trail: 3.4 miles  /  Saddleback Ski Trails:  1.7 miles
Total Miles: 6.8 miles (3,232 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- In October of 2011 I finished the Adirondack 46er list.  At that time I had only a handful of hikes left to complete the Northeast 111 list, which is actually 115 mountains when Galehead, Bondcliff, Spaulding, and Redington were added to it awhile ago.
-  On Monday, Whitney and I headed to Saddleback Ski Area for a quick hike up the ski trails to the summit of Saddleback Mountain then north over to The Horn.  The weather forecast which called for abundant sunshine was completely wrong as everything above 3,800 feet was blanketed in thick clouds.
- The hike up the the ski trails (Grey Ghost, Tri-Color) was different than most as there was a cleared out narrow dirt path that snaked up the slopes, so it felt more like a hiking trail than a grassy filled ski slope.  I'm actually a big fan of hiking and running ski trails as there are great open views from the slopes and usually the grade is steep so the hike up to the summit is shorter mileage wise while packing quite a punch to your calve muscles.
- As we gained elevation the wind ramped up to around 30 mph and we headed into the clouds as we hooked onto the Appalachian Trail completely exposed to the wind.  We didn't stay long at Saddleback's summit because of the wind and no views, which was a let down because there are great views when there are no clouds.
-  When I asked Whitney her advice on which Mountain to finish on she suggested The Horn because she compared the hike between Saddleback and The Horn to the hike between Bond and Bondcliff.  She was spot on, and as luck would have it the clouds miraculously lifted off shortly after we began our descent from Saddleback.  It was a great ridge walk to finish up the 111 list, and I was pretty thrilled that I ended up getting views after everything was socked in.
-  I stood on top of The Horn on August 31st, twenty-seven years to the day that I stood on Mount Washington, my first 4,000 foot peak (1988 when I was nine years old), funny how things work out like that!
-  Looking back it was a fun journey completing the list.  The most vivid memories that will always stay with me is the first time I popped out above treeline below Bondcliff, hiking along the Knife Edge when I was a kid on what I consider the 'Cathedral' of the northeast, Mount Katahdin, and last bu not least the dramatic views from the Adirondacks, whose 46 high peaks I climbed in 2011.
- I've been really lucky to be able to experience these mountain ranges in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine over the past few decades.  Not many people get to experience it the way I have, I'm very thankful and fortunate to have been able to. :)

Hiking up the ski trails

We hike up the slopes into the clouds

Saddleback Mountain blanketed in thick clouds

 Going up, going down!

The clouds start to lift up as we cross the ridge

The Horn

Looking north to Saddleback Jr.

Saddleback as seen from the Horn

Heading back to Saddleback

Heading to Saddleback (left), looking back to The Horn (right)

Saddleback is now in the clear!

Saddleback summit cone

Heading back down the ski trail

Nice weed flowers that filled the ski slopes

Signs spotted along the way

Route for the day, click here for more details
Saddleback Mountain Ski Trails Map, we went up Grey Shost and Tri-Color

 We stopped in Rangely for a celebratory lunch and to take a pic at this cool spot!

On the drive home we stopped at the old scary looking ski jump!


NE 111 finish :) 


  1. Congratulations!! Great peak to finish on! As I mentioned previously, I'm hoping to complete the list myself next month if I get Owlshead and Isolation. I got my first Northeast 4er on Washington as well, back in 1996 when I was 31. I guess if I finish after 19 years, that isn't too bad after all since I live in Virginia.

    1. Thanks, Rick! Nineteen years is quite the accomplishment since you live so far away!!!

      Enjoy your finish next month, I really like those two peaks you have left. I'm sure you are but if not head up Glen Boulder Trail and down Davis Path to Isolation and then back out. It's more elevation and a little longer than the standard approach but much more enjoyable, if the wind and weather cooperates that is!

    2. I haven't looked up an accurate mileage yet, but the plan is to come up from the south over Resolution and Stairs so that I can hit 1,000 ranked US peaks on the same hike I finish the Northeast 4ers on. Hoping to be at 998 the day before. (I'm sitting at 991 US peaks with at least 300' of prominence right now). I have considered the route you described though, having looked down that way from Boott Spur several years ago.

    3. You should start a Lists of John account! I'm sure you would enjoy it!

    4. Wow, that is a great way to finish off your 111 by also getting to 1,000. Enjoy the hike up from the southern end. I really like Mount Davis and the views from that peak to before Isolation!

      Thanks for the Lists of John. I'll look into it :)

    5. Chris, We're heading up to Rangeley today and will hike the Saddlebacks tomorrow. Been following your escapades for years....You are amazing! Your Isolation to Owl's Head trip was the talk of the town. We are humbled by all your accomplishments.

      The Schorman & Lady Di

    6. Hope you two had a great hike up the Saddlebacks, I can't wait to hike it again, hopefully in the snow!

      I really appreciate that you enjoy the trip reports, thank you very much. The I2O hike was one of my favorites, I even have something bigger in mind for next summer combining those two peaks but starting from somewhere else for my Grid finish!

      Have a great transition season out on the trails, I hope to run into you guys some day :)

  2. Congrats on the finish. Those are two great peaks to do it with. The ridge between the two is certainly interesting and not what I expected before going there.

    1. Thanks, Adam! That ridge is spectacular, looking forward to experiencing it in the winter, on a less windy day!

  3. Congratulations, Chris! The Horn is a great peak for a finish.

    1. Thanks, Steve! I was happy I got to finish on such a nice peak :)

  4. Congratulatioins, Chris! Nice work! I believe we were on the Bigelows the same day, but never crossed paths.