The Wind Formed Horizontal Icicles on a Tree near the Summit of Saddleback Mountain

The Wind Formed Horizontal Icicles on a Tree near the Summit of Saddleback Mountain

On April 1st, we headed out early to drive up to Rangeley. We had a great view Saddleback on the way, but the minute we parked the car. It became overcast and started spitting snow!

We met the Teal Goat from NH in the parking lot. He is in the process of bagging all the 4000 footers in New England. T.G. hoped to bag Saddleback, as well as The Horn while he was up on the ridge.

Saddleback Mountain

Saddleback Mountain

We checked the weather before our trip, but mountains have their own weather systems. Today was a perfect example of that.

Frosty Climbs Up Saddleback Mountain

Frosty Climbs Up Saddleback Mountain

The hike up was short, but STEEP. It felt good to get some physical activity. I definitely could have done without the wind though. As we neared the top, the snow and wind became really intense.

Heading for the Summit Just past the Medical Hut

Heading for the Summit Just past the Medical Hut

Frosty and I had each hooked a sled to our pack. When we stopped near the medical hut to add layers before summiting, we stashed the sleds. I am glad Frosty suggested this. The sleds really would have banged around in the incredible wind above tree line.

The section that headed up to the summit from the medical hut was very picturesque with little trees and snowy ground. Up above tree line the wind was whipping and the snow was pelting. The visibility was horrid. There were some windswept bare sections up there. The Teal Goat was on his way down from the summit and gave us a trail report and some advice.

Magoo at the Summit of Saddleback

Magoo at the Summit of Saddleback

We snapped a couple photos real quickly  at the summit. It had to be quick because the wind was bashing us. I was so glad I remembered my face mask!

The Wind Formed Horizontal Icicles on a Tree near the Summit of Saddleback Mountain

The Wind Formed Horizontal Icicles on a Tree near the Summit of Saddleback Mountain

On the way down, we removed our snowshoes and went in the warming hut. The Teal Goat was inside hoping for the weather to improve. He was planning to head back up to bag The Horn if the weather improved. Frosty and I unhooked our sleds from our packs in preparation for sledding down the mountain. Since the ski resort isn’t currently operational, the warming hut provided shelter from the elements, but not actually any additional warmth.

View from Saddleback Mountain

View from Saddleback Mountain

We went down some of the less steep trails on the sleds. I am glad we had the sleds. It was fun sledding down. As we drove away from Saddleback, I couldn’t believe the difference in the weather. It was so sunny and warm, nearly 50 degrees. But, as we looked back up at Saddleback, it was still in the clouds.

Sliding down Saddleback Mountain

Sliding down Saddleback Mountain

Frosty tried out a couple new clothing layers on this hike. He had a lightweight hooded vest and a super lightweight windbreaker. The company that made them, Enlightened Equipment, specializes in customizable lightweight camping gear. He tried out the Copperfield Wind Shirt (about 2 ounces). He put this on for the intense wind near the summit. Frosty was amazed at how well it worked, and it’s so thin! He also wore the Torrid APEX vest. He customized his vest with a hood (about 6 ounces with the hood option). The vest performed wonderfully as well. Frosty was thrilled with his new gear.

Gear used:

Frosty:

Tubbs Flex VRT Snowshoes, Black Diamond Trail Shock Trekking Poles, Limmers, LL Bean gaiters, Darn Tough Socks, Yama Pogies, L.L. Bean Mittens, L.L.Bean Ultralight Down Hooded JacketGossamer Gear KumoStormy Kromer The SK Outfitter Vest, Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe (taken but not needed),1/4 zip wool shirt, Buff merino wool neckwearJohnson Woolen Mill Worsted Wool PantsL.L. Bean Sonic Slider sledEnlightened Equipment Torrid APEX vest, Enlightened Equipment Copperfield Wind Shirtand Aloha Eyewear Stone Creek MX1 Men’s Wraparound Bi-focal Sunglasses 

Magoo:

Tubbs Flex ALP snowshoes, Black Diamond Trail Shock Trekking Pole, Stormy Kromer Ida Outfitter Vest, Buff merino wool neckwear, Apana running mittens, L.L. Bean Packaway MittensL.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Hooded JacketDarn Tough socks, L.L. Bean AT 38 Day Pack backpack (the link is the updated version of Magoo’s pack), merino wool leggings, Russell windbreaker, old L.L. Bean ponytail hat, L.L. Bean Sonic Slider sled, Layer 8 wind pants, Cabela’s Women’s Ultimate Lightweight Merino shirt, Kamik Greenbay 4 Boots, Costa prescription sunglasses, Grivel Futura Ice Axe (taken but not needed), and OR gaiters.

 

 


Magoo

I like to get outdoors and enjoy life. I hike, snowshoe, run races, travel, camp, and sometimes just sit.

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