#30 for Ethan, Waumbek, 11.25.11

The weather for the day after Thanksgiving was going to be nice, so with mother in-law watching the children, Ethan and I headed to Waumbek.  He needed it for his list and I had never visited it when there was snow on the ground.

We got the parking lot at a reasonable time – 8:00a – and started up the trail.

The start of the trail, with the sunlight just coming through the trees.

There was plenty of snow on the ground, not enough for snowshoes, at least for a while.  My husband seemed to do better with the snow than I did, so I ended up putting my snowshoes on earlier than he did.  It is that odd part of the season where there isn’t quite enough snow for snowshoes, but a little too much for any other sort of traction.   Regardless of the traction question, we enjoyed the hike up through the semi-open, leafless forest and then into the evergreens.

Going up the snowy trail.

Soon we passed the spring, and then made the right-hand swing for the final bit of trail to Starr King.  This is point where my husband (and the hiker in front of us) added snowshoes.

At the spring, the water was still flowing, although there was plenty of snow around.

We quickly arrived at the summit of Starr King, where there is a marker, and then over to the site of the old chimney.

For Karl: the marker at the summit of Starr King.

At the old fireplace on Starr King.

The next section of the trail was a nice walk on the ridge – never really difficult and without the leaves on the trees, we could see out to either side of the ridge.  Along the ridge, we met the other solo hiker whose tracks we had seen along the way.

Along the ridge between Starr King and Waumbek.

Upon arriving at the summit of Waumbek, we took photos and I enjoyed my piece of pumpkin pie.  My husband thought it was quite funny that I packed up a piece of pie, but it was a nice treat for the summit and considering it was the day after Thanksgiving, very appropriate.

Pumpkin pie!

After a nice little break it was time to descend.  Back at the chimney we met a party of four hikers which included several grid finishers, Ed Hawkins and one gentlemen who is very close to finishing a grid.  After a nice chat, we continued down the mushy snow trail, and by the time we got a little below Starr King it was time to remove the snowshoes.  As we descended it got worse, very mushy and slick with a little mud in some sections, much like greasy mashed potatoes.    With careful foot placement, we made it down to the car with only a few minor slips and no major injuries.

One last view to Washington and the Presidentials before pulling out onto Rt. 2.

It was nice a day to be out – plenty of sunshine, I had one of  my favorite hiking partners and I got to see Waumbek in a different season!

3 thoughts on “#30 for Ethan, Waumbek, 11.25.11

  1. Hi Summerset,

    I skimmed (because I was at work) this post the other day and missed that you posted the benchmark for me. I revisited today to give it a more thorough read over and noticed. Thanks!

    So Starr King has a benchmark but Waumbek does not? This is a new type for me. I’ve never seen on that was gold in color before…presumably brass in material. Since it hasn’t discolored and tarnished yet, I’m assuming it is a fairly new benchmark. Was there a date on them?

    I’m an engineer, so it’s cool to see the different materials and different manufacturing processes these organizations use to make their benchmarks. Some are stainless steel (Liberty, Washington) while others seem to be copper or a copper rich brass (Lafayette). Many seem to be conventionally machined or forged…where as others, like South Moats are pretty rough castings.

    Not sure where this obsession with them has come from….

    Thanks again and wonderful report (and pics).

    Congrats to Ethan for #30!!!


  2. Karl – Thanks! No date on the benchmark that I can tell. This one says that it is a USGS marker in cooperation with the state. It does look fairly new. There is not a marker at Waumbek that I know of – it is a cairn in the woods sort of summit. Starr King is a high point of rocks right beside the trail. I do have another photo my husband took which is much better, he cleared the snow away better. If you want it, let me know and I’ll send you a copy. BTW, I didn’t know Lafayette had one. I’ll be up there in a couple of weeks and will look for it if it isn’t under too much snow or ice.

  3. Thanks Summerset! My guess is you’ll have a lot of snow on the top of Lafayette, but who knows. Sometimes those exposed peaks tend to clear faster with the beating sun. Yes, Lafayette has a benchmark and reference marks. They are VERY beat up! I only found one reference mark when I was up there, but did find the benchmark too. Take a look at this post, second image down is a picture of the benchmark and reference mark on Lafayette…like I said, they are very beat up. I hope to get up to Starr King maybe this spring to checkout the benchmark for myself!



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