Hiking Weekend Part Two: North & South Doublehead



After our adventures on Mount Washington (see: write-up and photos) we met Alison for lunch and made our way over to Mount Doublehead in Jackson where we were meeting up with our friends for an overnight stay at Doublehead Cabin.

Doublehead Cabin was built in 1932 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It features enough room for 8 people, has a wood stove and a common area for cooking and relaxing and some incredible views. Out of the front of the cabin is a view out to Mt. Washington. A short 30 foot walk out the backside brings you to a clearing with views into western Maine.

We took the new ski trail up to the peak. It was not especially steep but at around 2.5 miles it was a grind. A grind that I was not sure I would make with the heavy pack after the earlier adventures up Mt. Washington! Luckily the sun was warm, skies were clear and there was plenty of snow. Because the trail is actively used for back country skiers the rules of the trail are to use snowshoes to avoid creating post-holes.  Riding the energy of the early spring sun, we powered on up to the top. It helped to think of the ridiculous amount of food and drink we had waiting for us as well.

After a prolonged happy hour(s) while enjoying the afternoon sun, we watched Mt. Washington slowly get swallowed up by a cold front that was blowing through. Once obscured we watched the front start to move in our direction where the winds had started to pick up. We then decided to move it on indoors and fire up the wood stove. The stove did not throw off a ton of heat as the cabin was pretty big and drafty, but there was enough to take the edge off.  Ben whipped up his classic veggie barley stew; we had birthday cake and sat around and laughed and joked and raised the glass a few times to honor the birthday girl and a pretty awesome day!

The following morning came with a bright sun trying to warm us up after a cold night with very strong winds that rattled the cabin on more than one occasion.  Coffee and tea were whipped up along with a veggie egg scramble and turkey sausage. With Mt. Washington still obscured by the clouds we headed to the west side of the peak to bask in the warm spring sun. Stretching it out with some morning yoga and enjoying our coffee and tea we sat around for a bit gazing out into the mountains of western Maine.

We then decided to pack it up and shut down the cabin. After packing up and cleaning up, Brian and Laura parted ways going back down the ski trail. The rest of us headed back down the “old trail” to South Doublehead. We dropped our packs in the col between the two peaks and made our way up the South Peak approach.  Once up at the top we walked out on to some ledges that had a view that can only be described as unbelievable.  Initially I was only mildly interested in making the short hop up to the South Peak, but I was very glad we did because that view was worth the price of admission.

After some silliness and relaxation we then headed back on down the trail and headed back to the cars to wrap up our weekend.

The great thing about these hikes this weekend is that it helped to reground me. I have a goal of hiking the Traverse and have been and will continue to work hard at making that a possibility. But, it is important to also remember that along the way you need to stop, enjoy the experience, seek out new adventures and build new skills and most importantly remember to take the time to enjoy the experience with your friends along the way.

The 1942 USGS Topo Map of North & South Doublehead
(image from http://www.newenglandskihistory.com)


About Pathway To The Presidentials

My name is Chris and I am planning on hiking the White Mountains' Presidential Traverse in September 2013. I live in Maine. I am an early-30 something dude of sasquatchian proportions who loves the outdoors, loves hiking, and pushing myself mentally, spiritually and occasionally physically through various pursuits in an effort to learn about myself, others and the world around me.
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