Since we didn’t get to the “official” summit and sign on Mt. Klem on our eastern loop hike of the Belknaps on Monday, Cameron and I had to make another trip to bag the summit of Mt. Klem. I had already returned on Wednesday to figure out the herdpath/bushwhack, so I was confident that I could lead us to the summit again.
We parked at the small parking area for the yellow-blazed East Gilford Trail, just off a few short dirt roads from the 11A. We went around the gate, over the bridge and continued up the fire road until it intersected the red-blazed Round Pond Trail. We took the Round Pond Trail until we were almost at Round Pond and then went around the pond a bit on the green-blazed Piper Link. From one point at the junction we counted no less than 12 visible blazes in red and green. I suppose they don’t want you to get lost! We continued around the pond until we were right at the edge where we stopped to take some photos.
After that, we took a left onto the Klem-Mack Loop Trail, also blazed/flagged in red, and proceeded to make the ascent up around the summit cone. Along the way, we enjoyed quite a few views back to Belknap and Gunstock, plus views from a ledgy area out to Lake Winnepesauke. Soon we were back at the junction with the Quarry Trail. Just beyond here, a herd path diverges to the right for the summit of Klem. The herd path splits left and right. Only the right path leads to the summit clearing and sign. Following the herd path, we arrived at the summit, happy to have official finished the Belknap 12 list. After some pictures, we bushwhacked back down to the trail on the other side of the summit cone – it was quicker to do so rather than re-hike around the summit cone on the trail.
Closer to the pond, Cameron wanted to bushwhack down the slope to the trail and the pond he could see below. I told him that was fine and that I’d take the trail and see him down below. I had returned to the Round Pond Trail when I saw a familiar face, JohninNH, was coming down the trail. He said he had heard something crashing through the woods down the hill and thought it might be a bear cub or a deer. When he saw the red sweatshirt, he knew it wasn’t an animal. I called Cameron over, and we all chatted by the pond for a bit before parting ways; JohninNH to continue his hike on to Klem and Mack and us to finish our hike back to the car. The rest of the hike out was easy, easy enough to run back to the car from Round Pond.
We had a great morning and were once again blessed to enjoy the forest, some nice views, a chat with a friend, and a hike together. The Belknaps were fun and nice way to enjoy some spring hiking. Cameron already says he’s feeling stronger and ready to hike some more. That’s a good thing as we have some big plans this summer!