|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Crocker Mountain, South Crocker Mountain, Mt. Redington, ME|
||Bushwhack, Caribou Valley Road, Appalachian Trail, bushwhack, logging roads|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, January 14, 2018|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Ice - Black, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Crossing along the Sugarloaf Golf bushwhack was simple, more ideal to have poles for balance. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||A few basic trees down here/there; nothing that can't be avoided. |
|Lost and Found:
Sugarloaf Golf bushwhack (from 11th tee), Caribou Valley/Pond Road, Appalachian Trail, Redington bushwhack, old logging bushwhack off Redington bushwhack to current logging roads, Caribou Valley/Pond Road, Sugarloaf Golf bushwhack
Some say a Crockers/Redington traverse is one of the hardest hikes in
Winter. I would agree it's one of the tougher 15-mile hikes you can do! Coming off a disappointing day the previous day (got only Sugarloaf), we took on these peaks with a renewed and fueled gusto. Chris D joined us as well.
Took the bushwhack from the Sugarloaf Golf course. Park in the main lot, walk down the hill to the left past the clubhouse and around to the pump house. Cross the bridge over the Carrabassett and follow the cart path up to the 11th tee. The bushwhack starts to the left of the tee and takes you down to a sizable stream crossing. We crossed (use poles for best results) and maintained a track largely paralleling the stream until we came out at Caribou Valley Road (CVR), just before the 3-mile mark (from Route 27).
Took Caribou Valley Road to the AT junction on the right and headed up South Crocker. On the way to North Crocker, we ran into two guys coming the other way who _hadn't_ been ahead of us. They actually hiked the AT from Route 27, quite a feat to be taking on. They continued to South Crocker and eventually Redington.
Temps were very cold, below zero, but wind was light or non-existent, making this a very nice day. Cloudless skies provided views to the neighboring high peaks in all directions.
After summiting North Crocker, we headed back toward and over South Crocker, then started in on the bushwhack. At the AT boundary swath we ran into the same two guys from earlier; they ran into trouble finding the bushwhack off the AT boundary. We welcomed them into our little team.
The Redington whack was generally straightforward. We were helped by my GPS device and a downloaded track or two, courtesy of friends like Tim, Pam, Chris.
Three summits in the bag, we headed down the bushwhack and joined up with the old logging road/corridor and picked up a logging road and eventually Caribou Valley Road. The final road walk went much faster than we thought, though we did have to hike out in darkness the last three or so hours.
CVR is fine with bare boots or micros - snowshoes not necessary, and may even slow you down. Much of the AT heading up to South Crocker is solid, as long as you stay on the sometimes-elusive monorail. The AT stretch between North and South needed breaking out, and we fell through the crust into 1-2 foot of powder very often. It's well-broken out now, though, as is the Redington bushwhack (not hardly as much breaking through on that stretch), by the six of us that ended up hiking that day along these trails.
Plenty of bangs came from the bucks we spent on this one! Challenging, but still very rewarding - as Maine should be.
||Erik Bertrand |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.