Finally, I got to see Brian and Greg again. They were planning on traversing the Attitash Trail in order to do Table (a short bushwhack) and Big Attitash. Little Attitash went out the window with the soaking the night before, so I was in, being up for a mostly trailed hike, and this trail has always piqued my interest as going somewhere that's kinda “out there.”
We headed up from Bear Notch Road, saving some elevation gain in the process. I was worried after not hiking for just over a month that I was going to have trouble keeping up with these two, but I felt good and the pace, though quick, felt right. As they were pursuing their NH300, I feeling a bit out of place, though, trying to keep up with peaks I never heard of, and knowing I had missed out on adventures, as all of our hikes are. Ah well, the usual foolishness was firmly in place and we laughed our way up, and there was plenty of water to look at on the way up.
The climb went easily and we started to pop out on a series of ledges on Table Mtn., probably the highlight of this trail. Unfortunately, we were socked in by the clouds.
After about the third ledge, I was determined I would be coming back here again on a clear day.
We made a wrong turn high up on a herd path that was blocked by blowdowns. Hmm, wonder if that was the old trail that went right over the summit. Now it skirted below, so Greg decided to head at the summit at an angle through thickish woods. I had my rain jacket and donned that while the manly men plowed ahead. I caught up quick enough and the woods opened right up after a short time and we breezed to the summit.
We headed out straight at the trail through easy woods right up until a 10 foot drop. Ledge to the left and to the right, but Greg found a little sluice down with some handholds and contortions. Back on trail, it was a bit steep to the col, and I enjoyed the flatness of that, although it was indeed wet here. This is the trail at one point. Time for a little more whacking.
There were a couple steep pitches heading up Attitash, and I was glad to hear Greg commenting on it. Guess I wasn't in that bad shape. We passed some bumps near the top that would never come, and I was surprised to find when I got home there were four contours of the same elevation on this summit. Hmm, may have to come back here too to check out the other ones, but at last we hit what folks recognize as the highpoint and took a break.
Going down was, well, steep. Really steep. And wet. Brian was cursing up a storm as we all slipped around on hidden roots and rocks and it took what seemed a lifetime to finally come out on good grades. Damn, I'm glad we didn't come up this way.
Then there was the next issue. Lucy Brook. We had to do a few crossings of this. We kept our feet mostly dry on the first one, but each successive crossing got worse to the point of we said screw it and just crossed in places where the current wasn't terrible, going calf deep at points. Another crossing had too strong of a current, we had to rock hop, and as usual, I stopped short of a jump with a sloping rock that I could picture a big slip 'n' swim. I found a way across while Greg snapped away pictures waiting for the dunk. I wouldn't expect anything less. I'd do the same.
One portion of the trail was flooded thanks to a blowdown so Brian and I had fun splashing around smashing it and tossing it out of the way, watching the big flood flowing downstream. Good fun! A quick break at Diana's Baths and back to the Moat parking lot (oh, and by the way, the sun was out now...) to the smell of cannibis. Some brazen folks next to my car decided it was ok to smoke with the top down right in the lot. It wasn't the smoking, but that seems pretty brazen.
Back to where we started, and I was anxious to get home, as always, so I ended up following the guys out and had a big laugh as they pulled off at the Mexican place in Lincoln. Great hiking with the guys again.