Sunday, June 15, 2014

Santanoni Range 2014-06-15

First to arrive in the parking lot. Only one other additional person in the Santanonis and I met him near Couchsachraga's bog. He indicated he was heading to Couch and Panther.

Log book indicated the Santanoni Range was much busier the previous day.

Morning was cool (50 F/ 10 C) and overcast; peaks were shrouded in clouds. Trees were dripping with condensation; "car-wash" effect. Bonus: no bugs.

Trails were wet and muddy. I wore boots instead of trail-runners and they worked well for the mud but not so well for the slippery rocks.

The recent heavy rain caused me to be concerned about a few areas:
  • The initial stream was not as high as expected and I was able to rock-hop across; I left my sandals clipped to a tree-branch for later retrieval.
  • The beaver pond at the base of the Panther Brook herd-path was high but easily crossed via the narrow beaver dam.
  • The swampy area at the base of the Express herd-path was surprisingly dry; Santanoni brook was easily rock-hopped.
  • Couchsachraga's bog was "extra juicy" but easily crossed via deadfall
Cloud cover suppressed views on Panther. The rains transformed the normally muddy area on its summit into a pond.

Stopped to mend a broken hiking pole (the second time in the Santanonis); the middle section splintered (carbon-fiber). I wrapped the break with tape then inserted the lower section past the break to act like a splint. Pole was shorter but usable again and much appreciated during the descent of the Express trail.

I finished the trio in just under 8 hours (a personal best).

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