Couldn’t Fool Us! The Fool Killer, 7.26.16

My good friend, Schorman is working on his NE and NH 100 highest lists and now he’s down to having mostly bushwhacks left.  In order to help him out, I agreed to go bushwhacking with him in late July.  We finally got a day together and he suggested the Fool Killer.  He wasn’t able to go there with another hiking friend a few weeks ago, so I was happy to help him out and join in the adventure.

The Fool Killer is on a ridge that blends in very well with the Tripyramid Ridge.  Before our current trails were established, many trekkers would end up on the Fool Killer and realize that their target of the Tripyramids was yet another ridge further and higher up.  Today, most people will bushwhack to the Fool Killer on purpose, mainly from the Sabbaday Brook Trail.

For our adventure, we decided to take a route from the Pine Bend Brook Trail inspired by a recent trek by Old Man and the Saw.  Schorman communicated with him and got some details and we were off to the Pine Bend Brook Trail head right on the Kanc.

We hiked up Pine Bend, enjoying the cool morning and the nice trail.  We knew that neither would last, especially the well taken care of trail!  Somewhere after the second crossing of the brook, we took a left into the woods and followed a more or less due south compass bearing.  The woods were pretty open and reasonably easy traveling.  We had more than a mile of bushwhacking, so any part that was easy going was appreciated.

Schorman in action, at the second crossing of the brook on Pine Bend Brook Trail.

Schorman in action, at the second crossing of the brook on Pine Bend Brook Trail.

 

Strange blue blazed stump we found early on in the bushwhack. No idea how the blue paint got there.

Strange blue blazed stump we found early on in the bushwhack. No idea how the blue paint got there.

We started going up hill and then we found the thicker sections of hobble bush.  It was thick, but certainly not as thick as some spruce we’ve encountered on other bushwhacks, so we kept going.  Eventually we crossed a drainage – actually twice, and the second time we lucked out and found a herd path.  It probably was just a moose path, but since it was easy to follow and heading where we wanted go according to the compass, it worked for us.  The moose path petered out eventually, but not before we reached the top of ridge, which was nice open woods and easy to navigate.  There are two bumps according to the map, and on top of the first one, we weren’t quite sure that we were done.  We hadn’t found the sign and we knew there was one a few weeks ago.  We decided to travel further down the ridge, and sure enough we found the sign and the canister!

The canister for the Fool Killer, on a tree across from the sign.

The canister for the Fool Killer, on a tree across from the sign.

 

At the summit of the Fool Killer, at the sign.

At the summit of the Fool Killer, at the sign.

After a picture session, signing the register and lunch, we had to decide, do we go back the way we came or do we take a new bearing and head down to the Sabbaday Brook Trail?  The Sabbaday Brook Trail won out.  It was shorter – only half mile or so to the trail, plus easy walking down a real trail to the Kanc once we got there.  I even agreed to run and go get the car so we both wouldn’t have to do the one mile road walk.  With a new bearing, we headed steeply downhill.  About 30 minutes later, I announced that I could see the trail and Schorman said, “No way!”  No joke, I stepped onto the trail and waved.   We had popped out onto the trail, right at the last brook crossing where the trail takes a sharp turn.  Perfect!  Now for the hike out, but we had good footing and no hobble bush, plus there was even a trail crew working to make the trail even better.

IMG_4936

The route we took. The blue lines are maintained trails we hiked, and the red line is the bushwhacking that we did.

We arrived at the busy trail head, and while Schorman took off his shoes and enjoyed a snack, I remained true to my word and ran the mile down the Kanc and brought back the car.  It was a fun ending to a fun hike!  We had an excellent day – we found what we were looking for and didn’t get fooled in the process.

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