I hate the N. Twin Trail. I did this for the first time for FOT48 last year, and it just seemed to never end. Alas, I was given an ultimatum from Brian to join or die for his third winter attempt on the Twins and Galehead, and I figured I was due to give him a hand. An open call helped gather up a large crew for the expected trailbreaking, so we spotted cars at Beaver Brook and headed to the end of Little River Road. No Trespassing signs had me spooked until I noted the snowmo trail right there. Ah.
We passed the old N. Twin Trail opting for a packed snowmo trail, only to arrive at an unpacked Haystack Road. The sun was out, it was warm, and in short order we made the summer trailhead. It was broken out up to the Firewarden's Trail, I believe, and the trip to the third crossing went pleasantly enough, excepting that I had to backtrack about ¼ mile to retrieve the gloves I left on the ground. Argh. Much guffawing on Brian's part.
At the third crossing, I dreaded the climb to come, but sucked it up knowing things would be easier after hitting the view ledge just before N. Twin. My groin right at the interior of the hips starting hurting, and I seemed to remember something similar on the Carter trip. Who knows. Onward. CrazyBob led the whole way I was there, and I least did what I could to smooth out the trail, which in some cases was tiring enough. It was one of those sucking wind days. Rick dropped out, not feeling well at all. I, as always, jokingly offered to accompany him to weasel out of this. We stopped, I ate, unusual that early, only because I needed some energy. Many thoughts of bailing, but no, I was going to do this for the gang. We finally got to the steeps before the more level ridge, and my groin was really hurting at that point, and every slip backwards was grueling. Greg and Joe were making their usual jokes at me, which I love and laugh heartily at, but not anymore. I wasn't mad, just nothing was funny to me anymore, which tipped them off I was really hurting. I finally made my decision, deciding to backtrack 5 miles rather than go forward with 8 more. I felt really horrible about this, but the guys were great in telling me they understood. Joe gave me his keys so I could get to my car – thank you so so much.
So down I went, hoping the pain would go away now, but it didn't. I saw a couple of separate people heading up, one of which I found out afterwards was arm from Views. Every large step down was painful, and I ended up doing a faceplant after catching the tip of my shoe in a divot. Argh. I just wanted to take a nap at that point, but that wasn't an option. After yet another eternity, I was at the 3rd crossing and took another food break, eating the mighty Sour Skittles and some Slim Jims to hopefully get me moving better, but no go there either. It was an agonizing trip back, I almost knocked over a cross country skier, and I opted for the old trail, which was a much more direct track back. I don't think I've ever been happier for a hike to end.
Fortunately, everyone else made the loop, with only Greg, Joe and Brian summitting Galehead. I heard horror stories about the trip between the Twins due to drifts, and the Gale River Trail was a long death march out, arriving back at 8 PM. Best I can say is it was very wise I bailed when I did. If I ever feel the need to see N. Twin again, I think the spur trail will do very nicely!