Mt. Morgan and the Ladders, 9.14.13

What could be better for a 12 year old’s sense of adventure than a few ladders, a cave and some ledges on the side of a mountain?  It all began when he was reading over my shoulder while I was reading posts on View From the Top.  The words “Terrifying 25” jumped out at him, and of course he had to know what it was all about.  He’s no stranger to peak-bagging lists, and after a look at the list on the Herr’s website, he was all in for working on it.  After putting it into the big spreadsheet of hiking, we discovered that we’d already done some of the hikes, and some were on our bucket lists.  He’s a few hikes behind me, but I’ll get him caught up and get to do those hikes again!  As to when we’ll finish this one, we’re not sure.  Many of the hikes are best done in the summer on a good day, but we’ll work on the list as weather and time allow.

For Saturday, we had a Plan A and a Plan B.  Plan A was to hike the Hi-Cannon trail with the ladder, Plan B was Mt. Morgan with the ladders.  Between the Flags on the 48 event, the weather and the fact that Cameron wanted something closer to home, we went with Plan B.  We’d both been to Morgan before and even had done the caves on neighboring Mt. Percival, but neither of us had done the ladders on Morgan.  We headed out early, so that we could be home in time for lunch and arrived to an empty parking lot.  We headed up the trail, passing the intersection with the  trail which links the Morgan and Percival trails.  I told him that I remembered when that trail wasn’t there, and we had to do the road walk between the two trailheads when hiking the loop over Morgan and Pericval.  Ascending the trail was relatively easy and the footing started to get rockier and slabbier, and passing another trail intersection, we knew the fun was not far away.  Then we came to the signs and could barely see the ladders through the trees.  They looked the same as they always had, so off we went to ascend them.  There are two longer ladders and then a short one with a step over to get to it.  No problem – the top most ladder’s upper rungs were a bit slick due to recent rain, but with careful footing we made it to the ledge.  Then it was time to go through the cave and out to the ledges.  Once on the ledges, it was easy hiking with a tiny bit of scrambling, plus view behind us.  We made it to the ledges with the wide open views and then with little exploring of a side trail, we also visited the true summit.  This one was complete with sign and metal marker.  This marker was one I hadn’t seen before, it had “Boston Science Museum” on it.

We then had to decide how to descend – bypass or ladders?  Cameron was all for the ladders, so down the ledges we went.  We came to the small rabbit hole opening to the cave and popped down into it and on to the ladders.  It wasn’t too difficult except for the first few steps onto the slick ladder and ended up being fun.  The rest of the hike was easy and was made into a trail running adventure, punctuated by a few slow downs when we saw people and dogs coming up the trail.

What a great way to start another series of hiking adventures!  We were blessed with a perfect morning and safety while having fun.

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