The 10 of us soon became 9 when arrived at trailhead as I received a text message during drive from Richmond Park and Ride where meeting to have a caravan procession following each other to trailhead. Phil left park & ride at 7:05 am so I told Phil to hold down the fort at the trailhead with the hiking group until I arrive. Arrived at 8:10 am. We prepared for our hike as Bamby was traversing the roads from Smugglers Notch as her GPS took her to the other side of the notch. All was good and began hike at 8:30 am after brief discussion about hike route, introductions, and review of safe hike practices. Parking area was significantly larger than most parking areas and ample spots left and still many spaces available upon our return. An unseasonably warm day as temperatures in the 60’s and sunny during the hike which made for a beautiful day.
The Beaver Meadow Trail was a nice, wide trail and very gradual elevation gain of approximately 500 feet to Beaver Meadow Lodge over the 2.3 miles distance. We took a slight detour as veered right where juncture of Beaver Meadow Lodge Trail mini loop leading to both Whiteface Trail and Chilcoot Pass Trail. We self- corrected after group came together to head toward Chilcoot Pass Trail and arrived at Beaver Meadow Lodge at 10 am where took a snack break for 15 minutes. Chilcoot Pass Trail was some serious climbing as approximately 900 foot elevation gain in 0.8 miles. Trail was wet due to the warmer temperatures as we saw some remnants of snow at the higher elevations. Met first two hikers of the day, coming down Chilcoot Pass and we were glad climbing the trail versus descending. All were enjoying the hike and trail as something different and well maintained trail. Arrived at juncture of Long Trail at 11 am, where we then headed north towards Hagerman Overlook with a 400 foot elevation gain in 0.5 miles. Made it to Hagerman Overlook at 11:30 am where we took in the views of the Brewster River valley to the west. Next, continued on towards Whiteface Shelter where dropped back down about 400 feet in 0.8 miles.
Arrived at Whiteface Shelter at 12:15 pm, at which time broke for lunch until 12:45 pm before heading up to the summit. Summit climb was approximately 700 foot elevation gain in 0.5 miles. Up at the summit at 1 pm, a couple narrow lookouts, one to the north looking down into a valley and the other to the southeast where could see Mansfield. After taking in the views we headed back down to the shelter where Ted and Phil were waiting with everyone’s packs/gear arriving at 1:40 pm. Phil was doing some light trimming near the shelter as he brought his small tree saw. Took our group photo at shelter since summit area was too narrow for picture. Began our descent at 1:50 pm, arriving at Beaver Meadow Trail juncture at 2:40 pm. Only 2.3 miles left and made it to trailhead by 3:30 pm. Hike length 8.4 miles, 2,100’ elevation gain, and loop hike.
Hike participants: Susan Tobin, Marcus Keely, Tess Stimson, Bamby Pierpont-Bates, Phil Hazen, Ted Albers, John Sharp, Tom Mowatt, Dale Schmit (leader). Photos: Dale, Bamby, Tess , Marcus, John, Susan.