On Saturday, January 5th, Frosty and I drove up to the Borestone Mountain parking lot to meet up with a group from the Bangor Outdoor Club. As we were driving, we saw a shooting star. A good sign for the day!
We met Rob and Brett who are the leaders of the Bangor Outdoor Club. We also met Nate M. and Nate C.
We headed up the Base Trail. The trail was a well packed boot trail through the forest. The snow pack wasn’t deep. Some of the group wore snowshoes and some wore microspikes. Frosty and I had our snowshoes on. We played the layers game throughout the day. Soon after starting, the group stopped to take off some of their warmth layers.
The Base Trail was so pretty. The evergreen trees were laden with snow. The sun actually peeked out for a little while. The snow frosted forest looked magical as the rays of lights shone through the trees.
The Base Trail joins up with the Access Road that goes up to the Visitor Center for the Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary. We stoped next to the Visitor Center. It is a tiny building and closed for the season. The Visitor Center is next to Sunrise Pond. From here, there is a great view of West Peak of Borestone.
We headed onto the Summit Trail. After the Visitor Center, we were breaking trail. After circling around the pond, the trail heads up. It’s steep as it heads up toward the summit. We stopped before the trail heads up the ledges just below the West Summit. Frosty and I switched into our microspikes.
As the group leaders, Brett and Rob kept an eye on everyone and offered help as needed throughout the trip. They were particularly attentive as we headed up, and later down, this tricky section.
The view from the ledges and the West Peak were super. We stopped for some photos; then headed onto the East Peak. The snow pack from the West Peak to the East peak varied a lot. Some places were windswept, bare or icy rock. In other places, the snow had collected and was deep. I sank into my mid-calf to knees. In most places though, it was a few inches over ankle height.
When we reached the East Peak, we put on warmth layers and stopped for snacks.The views were incredible. Then we headed back down.
As we were headed down the area near the second steel railing, we met U-Turn. That’s her trail name. I didn’t catch her actual name. She had intended to meet up with us earlier for this hike, but she had furnace problems. So she got delayed.
After the railings, there was a tricky to descend section. Brett set up a rope to the side of the trail to help everyone descend. I attempted to go down the trail because the rope freaked me out, but I got stuck. I had sat down. I was trying to scooch down this section. My short legs just couldn’t reach. Brett pulled me back up by my pack. How embarrassing!
I had to go down the rope. Okay, I was deep breathing (to calm myself) the whole time. But with everyone’s guidance, I made it down! Our whole group went down the rope. Another hiker, who stopped short of the railing area and decided to turn around, and U-Turn, who came back down after hitting the West Peak and caught back up with us, joined our group going down the rope.
After the rope, I put my snowshoes back on. Everyone else stayed in their spikes. After the rope, the rest of the descent was standard. Frosty, Rob, and Brett walked across the pond. The rest of us followed the trail around the pond.
We stopped again near the Visitor Center for a little conversation before heading back to the parking lot via the Access Road.