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Friday, May 31st 2013

3:59 PM

Gap Mtn NH 5/31/13

     It was a bright sunny day, but 89 degrees.  I decided to climb a fairly easy mountain not far from home, Gap Mtn NH, which I had previously climbed in 2011.  When I arrived at the south parking lot at 12:35 PM, I saw that I was the only person crazy enough to go hiking in this heat, and I did not see any other hikers all day.  Last time, I climbed Gap Mtn from the north, and this time I decided to do it from the south.  The only issues were whether the stream crossing would be passable after the thunderstorms we had Wednesday night, and would I get heat stroke.

     There were lot of flowers at the start of the hike, including pink ladyslippers, clintonia, Canada mayflowers, star flowers, pinksters (wild azaleas) and one flowered cancer root (which is a beautiful flower despite its name).   As I meandered through the shady forest, I saw 4 spring peepers and one garter snake.  I heard many birds singing, but the only bird I actually saw was one crow on the summit.

     By 1:34 PM I arrived at the summit and had lunch, soaking up the great views of Mt Monadnock and the Wapack Range.  Gap Mtn (1833') has a viewless south summit, and I wanted to go visit it, since I had never been there.  However, I couldn't find the trail.  The only trail off in that direction ended at two big boulders and a cliff.  Quaere whether the trail had been obliterated by a rock fall, or I just couldn't find it in the sweltering heat of the sunny summit.  On the plus side, there was a nice occasional breeze on the summit, and I was not bothered by bugs at all. 

     I was back out at 3:20 PM, and then drove out to Kimball Farms in Jaffrey NH for a chocolate milk shake to celebrate the ascent.  On my drive home near the Connecticut River I saw a killdeer fly across the road.  Overall I think this is a great  place to go hiking when you don't want to overdo it on a very hot day.

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