Phil and Jen Finish the 4000 Footers

September 23, 2017.

The final mountain! Number 48 on Jen and Phil's list of four thousand footers, Carrigain. Probably one of the finest peaks to finish on. There will be six of us on this special trip for their finale...Andy, Nancy and Michelle. The route will be a simple out and back along the Signal Ridge Trail.

An early drive up to meet everyone and as I pass by the Mt Washington Hotel I can't resist a shot before the sun comes up over the ridge. Meeting at the lot on Sawyer River Road and we have boots on the ground by 7:40.


Fifteen minutes up the trail I notice a pool down on Whiteface Brook. It is something I have never noticed before and decide to clamber down the steep embankment to get a closer look. The trip down is worth it as there is a nice pool with a small cascade emptying into it.


Back up to the trail the rest of the group has gotten ahead of me. It's just a few minutes to where the "new" trail veers off to the left to climb above the old section of trail. This re route was created after Hurricane Irene came through back in 2011. I head straight ahead to see how the original trail looks as I have not been on it since I did my 48. Other than a few spots like below where the trail eroded a bit it was fine for the short length.


Other than becoming overgrown most of it looked this. I catch back up to the gang at the junction where Carrigain Notch Trail and Signal Ridge Trail used to split. Now Signal Ridge Trail and Desolation Trail coincide up to a new junction to avoid some more washed out sections. I lead everyone onto the old section mostly because I did not care for the rerouted section and wanted to see the old trail. So over the fallen tree and we head up the old Signal Ridge Trail.


A minute later and we reach the crossing for Carrigain Brook. The brook is low and just a series of stone hops to cross. Just beyond is the only section that I can see that suffered damage. But in my opinion does not warrant the reroute they created.


It doesn't take long before we start the long climb up to Signal Ridge, one of my favorite places in the Whites. Two hours after the last junction and the trail opens up ahead meaning we are close to seeing some views. Two minutes later and we are looking down into Carrigain Notch and beyond.


Reaching the high spot on signal Ridge and we stop for a break and I soak in the views from here. Directly across is the multi scarred Mt Lowell and someday I might attempt a visit to. Trying it via Carrigain Brook Road. Looking at the maps and the old road looks like it leads partway up the southern slope. Off in the distance are Jefferson, Clay, Washington and Boott Spur. Blended into the foreground are Webster, Jackson, Pierce, Eisenhower and Monroe.


Time to move on as Carrigain and it's viewing tower lay in front of us. The trail dips down off the ridge before the final climb up. Just below the summit and the tower is visible for the final push.


While waiting for everyone else to show up I took in the views to the south towards Passaconaway, Whiteface, The Sleepers and Tripyramids. Down below behind Signal Ridge are Bear Mt behind Mt Tremont and Owls Cliff.


And then the proud couple came up for their finish of the 48 4000 footers!

That's the end of their journey...well at least this one. Up on the tower they revealed their next journey!


Final numbers: 10.3 miles, 7 hours 50 minutes.