Home Forums Outside Places 02 FR May 28, 2021 – first 13 miles over White Cap Mountain

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    Udar Gromov

    06:16 – the night flew by. I do remember being cold, but I did not get out of hammock a single time. It was a cold morning. Really cold. I did not want to take off any clothes in the morning. But again, cold calmed down the mosquitoes – and that was a great relief.
    08:32 – start the hike towards Gulf Hagas – local canyon attraction
    09:06 – junction with Gulf Hagas trails. At first, I thought to take a mini diversion and go over portion of Gulf Hagas trails and return using Gulf Hagas Cutoff trail, but a few hundred yards even without a backpack convinced me – no, I need to move on as planned.
    10:18 – I advanced another 0.7 miles to reach a junction with Gulf Hagas Cutoff trail. At this point I am going up and up, and it will continue to go up all day. In the morning I have started at 700′ elevation and now I am about 1150′. The trail goes along the Gulf Hagas Brook.
    I made myself a second walking stick. To cut it I used a folding saw. There is a bright cold sun shining – uncharacteristic late spring weather.
    12:47 – I have reached the target of my previous day endeavor – Carl Newhall shelter. Everything that I would cover after this point will go towards my today’s goal.
    14:21 – 14:49 I am on top of Gulf Hagas Mountain – 2,683′. +9°C. There is a cell signal here. I can do a Spanish lesson here to keep my 545-day in a row streak going. Send messages to Lira and brother about my whereabouts. When you climb up the sun is much warmer because you use a lot of energy and because the mountain slope makes sun angle much closer to 90°. On the other shady side, when you are descending, it is much colder because you use less energy and sun is obscured by the mountain slope. Forecast shows 40% chance of rain on Sunday and 60% chance of rain on Monday. And cold, cold nights up to -2°C. That is cold. Lira sent me an Excel spreadsheet with stop-by-stop of my travel plan. I used to carry a paper copy on my previous trips.
    15:16 – around Sidney Tappan Campsite I have 5.4 mi to go to my shelter. Around here I have met the first and only hikes today – he is doing 100-mile wilderness and he goes to Monson.
    16:45 – I am on top of Hay Mountain – 3,244′. What is painful is a seesaw of peaks and valleys that one needs to go through to get to the next mountain.
    17:09 – I am at the junction with White Brook Trail. Today I still have to climb 1.1 to the top on White Cap Mountain and then descend 1.4 mile to the shelter.
    18:00 – finally, I am on top of White Cap Mountain – 3,644. This will be the highest point of the trip. I am putting all the clothes back on. Even a warm winter hat. Forecast tells a story of cold by good days ahead. Some rain on Monday. It is 7°C now and temperature could fall up to -4°C.
    18:59 – pictures show a viewpoint, but I do not remember it. Trail
    precipitously goes down from 3,600′ to 2,750 ‘and then finally to 2,383’ at the shelter.
    19:17 – I see the shelter. Today I will end up only 3.6 miles behind schedule.
    19:45 – the fire is blazing. Water bladder is filled. Things are speeded around for cooking and lodging.
    20:01 – dinner is boiling.
    20:52 – my lentil soup is ready for consumption in a titanium pot. hammock hanged across the entire length of the shelter just barely touching the floor.
    Camp spot for shelter picked very clever. The hut is in deep landscape fold, so there is not much wind and if any warmth received during the day, it has a chance to stay and not be blown away.
    22:12 – last notes on this day.

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