Today my morning peak was Wilmington Peak. That hike took me 3 hours and I was back at my car at noon. I decided to pay Catamount Mountain a revisit, since it was only several miles away. It had been 3 years since my previous visit.
My first observation was that there is now a trailhead sign and a new parking lot, along with a kiosk and trail register. All these things are new. The parking lot is large and can hold at least a dozen cars. When I last visited, I had to park alongside the road and the only indication of a trail was an orange ribbon beside the road. The trail itself is still unmarked. I don't know if there are plans to mark it or not. For the most part, it's not hard to follow.
|There is a great view of Catamount from the road. It was still cloudy at the start.|
|I believe the elevation gain is 1,362', not 2,362'! This may scare away some folks...|
|The new parking lot...|
The trail is almost totally flat for the first .7 miles, gaining only 100 feet. This is followed by an abrupt change and the trail is steep the rest of the way, gaining about 1250' in just over a mile. At about the 1.25 mile mark is a rock chimney and a cleft in the rock that you have to squeeze through (although Rev had no problem). I had to take my pack off to get through.
|Rev on top of the rock cleft... waiting for me!|
I had worn snowshoes until the base of the chimney but the sun exposure had melted most of the snow at that point, so I switched to microspikes. I stayed in them the rest of the way up. I had Rev's flexi leash on my hip belt and I hookd her to me once we were above the chimney. There was a lot of sloping rock the was still covered in ice. I didn't want her to go into a slide on the ice.
|I unhooked Rev again as we neared the top|
Above the chimney is the only spot on the unmarked trail that I find to be somewhat hard to follow. If you stay far left as you climb there are small cairns marking the way (of course they'll often be snow covered in the winter I had perfect timing. About 5 minutes from the top, blue skies suddenly appeared and the gray clouds were mostly gone for the rest of the day.
|One of several Geodetic Markers on the summit|
Most of the snow on the summit was gone in areas exposed to the sun. The shady areas still had a foot or so.
I stayed on the summit for about 30 minutes and took a whole bunch of pictures. Catamount is one of my favorite smaller mountains and the view from the top is fantastic on a clear day. I was lucky to have the skies change just while I was on top.
Below are some of the shots...
|Looking into the sun...|
|The clouds were blowing away, being replaced by blue sky!|
|Lots of lakes visible to the north|
|A last left at the chimney in the afternoon sun|
|A nice sunset on the drive home.|
Hike Distance: 3.7 miles
Hike Time: 3 hours (including summit time)
Total Vertical Gain: ~1370'
|The route (click image to enlarge)|
|The two routes of the day|