- Date: October 2, 2010
- Trail: Crawford Connector, Crawford Path, Mizpah Cutoff, Webster Cliff Trail
- Total hiking time: 10.5 hours
- Weather: cloudy, mid-40s
"The wind chill was 10 degrees, I struggled to put boots onto Quinn's front paws for a descent over some sharp edged rocks, and I wondered if I could hear enough over the howling, biting-cold wind."
Read more about Randy's thoughts on Mt Pierce hike here.
Hike Leader Trip Report
The group of nine participants departed at an early 7:08am from the Mt Clinton Road trailhead, with temperatures hovering in the 40s. The Crawford Connector Path was moderate, with few roots and rocks, ending at a bridge (with rails and partly without) over Gibbs Brook. Gibbs Brook was raging, most likely due to the edges of hurricane weather that had passed through a few days before. In fact, much of the weather front still lingered, as we found ourselves hiking through misty clouds and high winds throughout the day.
After a quick glance at Gibbs Falls around .6 miles, we made very efficient time up to the Mizpah hut, including the cutoff trail, which had about a dozen or so bog bridges to contend with. The trails were generally very muddy and contained running water from recent storms. We arrived at the hut at 10:20am, clocking almost a 1 mile/hour pace. With spirits high, we tended to a few creature comforts of restrooms, soups, hot drinks, and food. At 11:00am, we departed the hut with full wind gear on, and embarked upon the most challenging part of the hike. The Webster Cliff Trail ascended steeply from the hut – with several rock scrambles in addition to two ladders where Quinn came off harness. Climbing was slow, but not treacherous. Once the steepness wore off, we hit dozens more bog bridges and a false summit, before arriving at the top at 12:30pm.
We spent 30 minutes chatting with folks, tugging with Quinn, and celebrating before heading down the north face of Pierce, which was getting chilly with high winds. Randy's continual "pants problems" meant stopping before we descended the exposed face, and upcoming shale meant putting on Quinn's booties. It was a freezing ten minutes before we continued down into protected tree line again. The descent proved to have the typical challenges, including ones that didn't seem so hard on the way up. Randy and Quinn moved through well, keeping about a 2/3 to ¾ mile an hour pace. We fed the gray jays at one final rest stop, and then Randy experienced two small slips on the rocks. The descent was tiring because it was a longer trail, but we were grateful for the less technical sections. We arrived in good yet tired spirits back at the trailhead at 5:30pm.