Powered by Bravenet Bravenet Blog

Saturday, May 19th 2012

7:41 PM

Mt Cardigan Loop Hike NH 5/19/12

     This was my fifth ascent of this very beautiful NH mountain.  This time I went up the Manning Trail, crossed over Firescrew Mtn and on to Cardigan, then descended by the Clark trail.  The whole trip is about 6 miles.  The weather was sunny and 82 degrees.

     When I arrived at the parking lot at 10:22 AM there were already 45 cars there.  Apparently the AMC lodge was full and had some programs scheduled this weekend.  On the way up the trail I met a man from Bristol NH and his daughter coming down.  They had a friendly dog named Cosmo.  When they were on the summit there was no breeze but I predicted correctly that there would be one by the time I got there. 

     There were some trilliums out but no other wildflowers.  The cotton grass on the ledges had not grown up yet.  On the trails I saw a red squirrel, chipmunk, garter snake, and flicker.  I reached the lower ledge on Firescrew Mtn at 11:38 AM.  I had lunch on a higher ledge with great views of the White Mtns at 12:05 PM.  There were some gnats out but they didn't get so bad that I had to spray bug repellent to banish them.  From my lunch spot I could see Lafayette, Lincoln, and Liberty Mtns, as well as Mt Washington, all of which I've climbed.  A flock of turkey vultures flew by and I took some photos of them.  Once I was up on the ledges a pleasant light breeze came up.  Usually Cardigan is much windier than that. 

     On the way to Cardigan a large troop of boy scouts from Bedford NH came by on the way down, all carrying heavy backpacks.  They even had a 79 year old scout leader carrying a heavy pack. 

     Finally at 2:12 I reached the summit and resting, soaking up the sun and the great views in all directions.  I could see boats out on Newfound Lake.  Off to the west I could see Pico and Killington. 

     The Clark trail back down was more gradual than my route up.  There were some pretty waterfalls near the end.  I was back out at 5:01 PM.  I recommend this loop in the direction that I took it, because the ledges tend to break up the ascent and make it more pleasant than just one solid uninterrupted climb.

0 total marks / leave your mark