Ascent of Galehead Mountain on 2011-08-13

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Saturday, August 13, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Galehead Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4024 ft / 1226 m

Ascent Trip Report

I enjoy loop hikes when possible, so I parked at the Gale River TH lot on Gale River Loop Road, and hiked 1.6 miles west along the road to the Garfield TH. I hiked the Garfield Trail 4.8 mi to the Garfield Ridge Trail, which I followed 0.2 mi to the Garfield summit. I then hiked east the Garfield Ridge Trail 3.1 miles to the Galehead Hut. Along the way I bushwhacked to Garfield Ridge West (not recommended unless you're a little nutty like me) and Garfield Ridge East (a little easier but still no picnic; it offers a majestic view of the Pemi Wilderness). From Galehead Hut, I took the Frost Trail 0.4 mi up Galehead Mtn, and then backtracked to the Garfield Ridge Trail and descended 4 mi along the Gale River Trail.

Once I reached Galehead Hut, I went in, refilled my water bottles, and enjoyed one of the $1 chocolate chip cookies they happened to have on this day. I then set out to bag Galehead Mtn.

The Frost Trail up Galehead Mtn is a moderately steep and rocky climb, but by the time you reach Galehead Hut, you'll certainly have already traversed much longer and steeper trails. From that perspective, Galehead is an easy hike.

I stopped at the overlook just below the Galehead summit, and took in the view of South Twin. Just above the overlook, a small cairn is on the summit, and a narrow spur trail leads a short distance away from the summit and abruptly ends. I was confused by that; maybe the trail leads to another candidate for the true summit?

I returned to Galehead Hut and took the Garfield Ridge Trail to the Gale River Trail for my descent. The top part of the Gale River Trail is steep, but then it levels off, and the hiking becomes an easy, scenic woods walk.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:264 ft / 80 m
    Trailhead:Galehead Hut  3760 ft / 1146 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy

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