Ascent of Galehead Mountain on 2019-09-01

Climber: Crystal Davis

Others in Party:Dan Petit
Date:Sunday, September 1, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Galehead Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4024 ft / 1226 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hiked with Dan. Galehead was our 16th mountain of the New Hampshire 48. Beautiful day...perfect hiking weather. Mostly clear, no humidity, light breeze, mid-60s to low 70s all day. We hiked up the Gale River Trail to the Garfield Ridge Trail / AT. About a 1/4 mile from the parking lot, we saw a couple and a dog...the couple was sitting and the dog, Shamus, a beautiful golden retriever, was laying on the ground; he didn't even budge when I, a stranger, walked up. They asked how much farther to the parking area and I told them, they were relieved as the dog was completely exhausted, they said he was stopping every so often to lay down. Poor doggy...I hope he's okay.

Galehead Hut was pretty busy. We went in to check it out and get water and found they had put out the leftovers from the morning breakfast for free with a sign -- "free breakfast." We had some cold scrambled eggs and plain oatmeal, then we headed out for Galehead via the Frost Trail. Nice view of the valley and South Twin at the lookout. Quit trip to the actual wooded-in summit, then we headed back down. We went back in the Hut and found they had some more food out. We split a pancake and a little more oatmeal, and they now had some chocolate chips and maple sugar out as toppings. Yum!! Then we headed out for South Twin via the Twinway Trail.

The Twinway Trail up to South Twin was pretty steep and involved a bit of rock scrambling...this trail goes straight up! The top portion just before the summit was so awesome though. I love hiking through the conifers like that, they're so thick and you can just see over them. Now there were views behind us of Garfield and Galehead Hut.

South Twin was pretty busy. There were 360 degree views, so beautiful in every direction. We took some photos, then we headed off for North Twin via the North Twin Spur. The trail was nice and moderate as expected. Soon we were at the top of North Twin and took the side trail over to the lookout, that's also where the summit cairn is. The views from the lookout were again spectacular. We stayed and had a snack before hiking back to South Twin.

South Twin was a lot nicer the second time around as there was barely anyone there now. The views were still awesome. We took a couple more photos and headed back down the Twinway Trail. We got back to the junction at the Hut and Dan went back to get me a pin; I started down the Garfield Ridge Trail as I was pretty tired now. Dan soon caught back up with me. We took a break at the junction with the Gale River Trail because I was exhausted. I had a small snack and then we headed down towards the parking area. Although the Gale River Trail is pretty moderate, it was tougher than expected because we were both so tired. Fortunately, my shoulder didn't bother me too much today despite yesterday's fall. On the way down, we saw the other end of the trail-reroute I had noticed on the way up. On the way up, there was a S-turn dog-leg in the trail which made me think the trail was rerouted. This was confirmed on the way down when we saw the other end of it with branches in the way. Back at the S-turn we now saw the big pile of branches and evidence of a former trail behind it. All I can think of is that the old trail, which took the low route along the river, got washed out too many times or too badly to be repaired. The new route goes much higher and away from the river.

Start: 8:45AM
AT junction: 4.1 miles at 10:47AM
Galehead Hut: 4.8 miles at 11:15AM
Left Hut to go up Frost Trail: 4.9 miles at 11:31AM
Junction with Twin Brook Trail: 5.0 miles at 11:36AM
Galehead summit: 5.3 miles at 11:52AM
Back at Galehead Hut: 5.7 miles at 12:08PM
South Twin summit: 6.7 miles at 1:14PM
North Twin summit: 8.0 miles at 2:04PM
Left North Twin summit: 8.0 miles at 2:37PM
South Twin summit again: 9.2 miles at 3:15PM
Twinway/Galehead Hut/Garfield Ridge Trail junction: 10.1 miles at 4:12PM
Gale River Trail junction: 10.6 miles at 4:39PM
Left junction, headed down Gale River Trail: 4:51PM
Camper Van: 14.8 miles at 5:08PM
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2416 ft / 736 m
    Total Elevation Loss:285 ft / 86 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.7 mi / 9.2 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2416 ft / 736 m
    Distance:5.3 mi / 8.5 km
    Route:Gale River Trail, Frost Trail
    Start Trailhead:Gale River Loop Road parking area  1608 ft / 490 m
    Time:3 Hours 7 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:285 ft / 86 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:Frost Trail
    End Trailhead:3739 ft / 1139 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Galehead, South Twin, North Twin

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Galehead Mountain2019-09-012416 ft / 736 m
2South Twin2019-09-011163 ft / 354 m
3North Twin2019-09-01757 ft / 231 m
Total Trip Gain: 4336 ft / 1321 m    Total Trip Loss: 4328 ft / 1320 m

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