On Monday, Feb. 18th, Frosty and I headed to the Moosehead Lake area to climb Eagle Rock. We had borrowed a snowmobile for this trip. We parked at the Kennebec River East Outlet Public Access parking area. It was one degree when we left the vehicle.
Frosty and I rode on the snowmobile for several miles to get to the trailhead. We had a sled for the snowmobile to haul. I tried standing on the back of the sled, dog sled style, but it freaked me out – common theme in my life. I ended up riding on the snowmobile with Frosty.
We put our snowshoes, backpack, and poles in a tote on the sled. After arriving at the trailhead, we took the hiking gear out and put the heavy, snowmobile riding hard shells, etc. in the tote.
Frosty and I took the back way (old trail) up to Eagle Rock. The trailhead is marked by an informal sign set back from the road and lots of flagging tape.
The first 100 feet of the trail was postholed. It made the footing harder and very uneven. But soon enough the postholer headed off the trail. There was virtually no wind in the woods.
I had another camera bag incident! On Dec. 31st, a tree pickpocketed my camera from the bag I was using. I backtracked and found my camera hanging from a tree branch! I decided not to use that bag to prevent this from happening again. I switched to an older camera bag. About 30 minutes into our hike, I noticed my camera bag was missing. I had to backtrack farther this time to find my camera bag, but not as far as I feared. The strap that hooks the bag to a belt broke!
The second part of this trail is very steep in places. We encountered a few sections of evil escalator. This is trail that is steep with deep powder. You take a step and your foot and the powder slide back down to where it started. Sometimes, it does this four or five times in row before you finally make upward progress.
Frosty broke trail nearly the entire way. That was hard work!!! I wandered off the trail when I attempted to go first. The trail was marked with blue blazes and flagging tape. I hadn’t seen any blazes in awhile, but I was following flagging tape. I climbed this trail this past summer, and I didn’t think my path felt right. Frosty got out our GPS. He had marked our trail when we hiked it this summer. Sure enough, I was off course.
Frosty took the lead again. He is better at finding the trail than I am. Some of the blazes were clearly visible, and some were close to disappearing under the snow. I am sure some of the blazes were buried.
There is one section of the trail where hikers go up a ladder. There is also rope adjacent to the ladder. We went out around this section then caught back up with the trail.
When we finally got up to Eagle Rock, we skirted along a snow drift at the base. The bottom of the rock had a very thin layer of ice. It was windy out in the open. We put on layers and removed snowshoes to go further up the rock on the one part where the rock was bare.
While snowshoeing today, we sunk about 6 inches to 3 feet into the snow at different points. It was most common to sink about a foot.
With the trail packed down, descending was so fast! We still sunk some, but it was nothing compared to the journey up. It took 3 hours and 20 minutes to get to the top, and an hour and 10 minutes to get back down!