Saturday March 24, 2018
New England Hundred Highest: North Weeks (attempt)
The Grid: Cabot
Elevation gained: 4086'
I arrived at the trail head around 9:30am and was on trail by 9:45am. Before I left the parking lot, I looked around and tried to find where the Unknown Pond Trail exits, but couldn't locate it. I started up the Bunnell Notch Trail; at the intersection with the York Pond Trail, I saw that there was some mild packing down of that trail. I decided to go for it and try to get to North Weeks and South Weeks.
After 0.7 miles, the tracks left the trail. I headed upward, breaking trail in 2-3 feet of snow. It took me an hour and a half to snowshoe 1.5 miles to get to the trail intersection with the Kilkenny Ridge Trail.
Once there, I was exhausted. Nothing else had been touched; at my pace, I would have been out past dark if I went for the mountains. I decided to turn back and go up Cabot as a consolation prize.
I could have tried the 3.0 mile trail over Terrace Mountain to get to Cabot, but it wasn't broken out and would probably take ~3 hours. I went back down to where the tracks left off, and followed them, hoping they'd connect to the other trail. They didn't. So I turned around and went back to the original trail intersection, 0.2 miles from the parking lot after hiking for 3 hours+.
I turned and followed the Bunnell Notch Trail back up to the Kilkenny Ridge Trail and up to Mt Cabot and the Mt Cabot Cabin.
By the time I got to the cabin, I was completely exhausted; I was almost out of water and hasn't been eating enough. I sat down in the cabin for a while, drinking the last of my peppermint tea water and devouring a Steve's Original Whoopy Pie. I then headed the last few tenths to the summit of Cabot.
I was frustrated to find that it looked like the Kilkenny Ridge Trail towards Unknown Pond, the Horn, and the Bulge was broken out. However, I only had a few hours of daylight left, and I wasn't confident that the trail was broken all the way back to the cars. I knew that I didn't have the time or energy to turn around and go back uphill if I needed to backtrack. So I scampered back the way I came, arriving at my car an hour and a half later.