Backpacking on Mount Carrigain

On Wednesday morning, the Golenski’s and I headed up to New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. We gathered up everything we needed or wanted to backpack up to the top of Mount Carrigain. The hike up is a bit over five miles, but has an elevation gain of around 3,300 feet, most of which starts around 2.5 miles in and continues the rest of the climb.

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Andrew Golenski on the left and Jeff Golenski on the right.

We took my Jeep to the trailhead and, armed with plenty of dehydrated food, cliff bars, and water, started heading up the rocky staircase of a trail.

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Most of the trail looked like this.

We made it to the top in about four to five hours with plenty of stops. We lucked out with the weather on the way up in that it wasn’t too humid, but there was no breeze at all (ugh). One we got there, we made our way up to the 30 foot high tower and had amazing views in every direction as a reward.

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Yep.

Next, we made camp at the base of the tower in the surrounding trees. There was a bit too much wind to camp up on the tower or we would have. We rehydrated our meals and relaxed for a bit waiting until around 9:30 or 10:00 to head back up to the tower to take some photos of the stars.

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Once it was dark, we took some sleeping pads up to the tower along with our cameras and snacks. It was unbelievable what we can see. I can’t remember actually being able to see the Milky Way with my bare eyes just by looking up. I can’t stress how cool it was to be up there viewing the sky. Andrew got some music going and then Jeff spent some time showing me how to do these long exposures. I never got anything nearly as cool or sharp as his photos, but I think I did okay for my first time messing with this stuff.

In the morning, I headed back up to grab some last photos of the hazy mountains before we packed up and got a little artsy with them.

We packed up and headed out after spending some time dismantling our campsite and making dang sure we had stirred our fire entirely out. It was a much easier hike down with plenty of breeze and light cloud cover. I had just barely enough water to make it down (though there were plenty of creeks around to filter and refill our water bottles if needed).

I want to thank both Andrew and Jeff for being my guides on this mountain. It was an excellent adventure with great people. I would definitely do it again.

Phew! Pretty dang fun week so far. 🙂

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