|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Rumford Whitecap, ME|
||Starr Trail, Connector Trail, Red-Orange Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Monday, December 5, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Decent sized parking area with room for maybe a dozen conscientiously parked cars. I was the only on there at 8:30am and there were three others when I returned at 11:30am. |
||Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Leaves - Significant/Slippery |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Trivial or bridged |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Starr Trail is blazed in yellow. The blazing was easy enough to see as I recall but getting old. The blazing was somewhat frequent. I don’t recall any blowdowns. Red/Orange Trail was blazed similarly (I’ll let you guess the color;) and I don’t recall any blowdowns on it. The connector trail is supposed to be blazed in green but I don’t specifically recall. No blowdowns on that either that I remember. The cairns above tree line are pretty small and could easily get covered by snow in winter. |
||In general, these seem like good trails for hiking dogs, however with the current icy conditions, I might be wary. |
|Lost and Found:
||Hard to get out of bed in the morning but it was just too beautiful of a day not to go hiking :) This low elevation peak with fantastic views seemed to fit the bill for a beautiful but windy day. Despite a later start than I’d anticipated around 8:45am, it was still only 24 degrees or so out. First MMG redline of the day |
I ascended the Starr Trail which you find by walking the road west for a couple hundred feet maybe and looking for a gate and trail sign on the opposite side. Not hard to find. I did the out-and-back along the connector trail on my way up. A very gradual climb became steeper, especially climbing out of the bowl and onto the ridge though with a number of switchbacks. The footbed was obscured by leaves and pretty narrow (not much of a corridor at times) as it climbs out of the miniature ravine, but is relatively well blazed so shouldn’t be hard to follow. Make sure you cross the old road at 1.2mi and do not walk up along it. You soon come to the ledges and the first set of them is the steepest/scrambliest you see of the day. Beyond this, I don’t think there was anything you could really call much of a scramble.
With ledges came ice though. For a ways it was avoidable, then not so much. Though there was, at times, a thin film of black ice that spikes don’t help much for, it was usually thicker ice that spikes would get some purchase on. That said, you’d still likely want to exercise caution with spikes and you may want more than rock beaters… on the other hand, the ice is so intermittent that you won’t want to wear good spikes (or even rock beaters…) because they’ll get beat up so bad. And taking them on/off constantly would just be absurd. So, personally, while I’d call it foolhardy NOT to bring spikes on this hike, you may choose like me to just shuffle your feet across the ice and fall on your ass a few times. In any case, the views were gorgeous and I look forward to returning to this peak via the Black and White Trail.
Also, as shown as an unlabeled trail on Gaia, note that 0.2mi before Red/Orange Trail meets Starr Trail, a path that’s labelled (only from its lower jct with Red/Orange Trail) for winter use only, climbs more directly toward the peak, rejoining Red/Orange Trail in 0.1mi. From its upper jct with Red/Orange Trail, it’s just blocked with small debris that would be covered in winter thus making it very easy to continue south along this path rather than making a turn to stay on Red/Orange Trail. Lastly, the trail is marked by cairns and blaze above tree line but the cairns are pretty small and could be covered by snow in winter. I had trouble seeing where the trail went at the base of one ledge where it slabbed up across it. Gaia had me at 5.6mi with 1600ft of gain.
||Liam Cooney |
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.