Jay & Big Jay 8/9/8

AlpineZone

Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Cool Jay & Big Jay 8/9/8

    Date(s) Hiked: August 9, 2008

    Trails(s) Hiked: Long Trail, herd path

    Total Distance: 6 miles

    Difficulty: easy to moderate

    Conditions: wet, slippery in spots, muddy in spots

    Special Required Equipment: a pole helped for balance crossing the mud patches

    Trip Report:

    Una_dogger and I drove up Friday after work and spent the night in Saint Johnsbury so as to get an early start. Well, okay, to get a moderate start but at least not have to wake up painfully early. We found a yummy little breakfast café then hit the road for the final hour of driving.

    Jay Pass was buried in the clouds, so it was a grey, damp beginning. We wandered around the Long Trail for a bit just to see the area, as everything was so incredibly green and lush, a stark contrast to when una_dogger backpacked through here several years ago and even documented water sources were dried out.

    We took our time hiking up, enjoying the trail. There were several side paths leading to the ski trails, from which we saw we were between two different cloud layers; by the time the Long Trail itself reached the ski trail, we were back up in the cloud again. We crossed the trail and went up on the rocks for the final stretch to the summit, exposed to a strong, gusty wind. There wasn't much to see other than the eeriness of the tram cables stretched into the clouds, so we went right down to the tram station to get a bit of shelter for a snack.

    We went down and easily found the herd path. Fortunately, we knew the official word from the GMC was that it was okay to hike out to Big Jay, and that we could ignore the closure signs. The fences weren't an issue, someone or ones had long since cut them open. The path was easy to follow and the woods extremely beautiful. The drawback is the mud — there were numerous spots with deep, boot-sucking mud. We were able to use existing stones and fallen trees that had been placed across these areas to keep our feet dry, but it took great care and there were some near-disastrous slips.



    We easily found the canister, as the herd path ends at it. Unfortunately, I hadn't thought to bring a notebook, as there were only a few sheets of paper available as a "register". We signed in, had a quick snack, and made our way back.

    As we passed through the col, suddenly the clouds blew off and the sun came out. Back at Jay we had terrific views back to Big Jay and to the surrounding mountains. I could see another cloud coming, though, and pushed back up to the summit again, instead of going around, to be able to enjoy as much sun and scenery as possible before it turned grey again.

    That grey didn't last, though, and we had a sunny walk back to the car. I hope that someday the trail to Big Jay becomes official, because not only is it an extremely pleasant and lovely walk, but between the mud and a few blowdowns it's getting beaten up, and a modicum of trail work would go a long way toward preserving it for future hikers.

    As I said, we took our time and una_dogger was fighting a bad cold, so we took 6 hours to do the 6 miles and 2680' of this hike. Big Jay was #78 for her, and together both peaks were #98 and #99 for me. Not surprisingly, I took a few pictures.
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

  2. #2
    TheBEast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Too far south, MA
    Posts
    1,574
    Congratulations, one left to go!! What's the last one?

  3. #3
    Nice report. Sweet pictures! Love that shot first shot of the signs. What a difference 2 seasons makes from the time I stood there in February.
    ~Rich~

  4. #4
    The last one will be Boundary Peak. We came within a mile of it last month, after getting there the hard way (bushwhacking from White Cap), but due to time constraints and lack of water had to turn back. Grrr. This time we'll go in from the Canadian side via ZEC Louise Gosford, and hopefully climb Gosford while we're there, too.

    A different view for me from last January, too. Still, it sucks that they had to even attempt to close it due to those morons who cut up the side of Big Jay.
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

  5. #5
    bigbog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bangor and the state's woodlands
    Posts
    4,776
    Items for Sale

    .....arrgh..

    Not Good MJ!, now I'm really jonesing for a Jay Pass....only I'm a couple hundred miles away....
    SteveD

  6. #6
    *laughs*
    Trust me, I cannot wait for the start of the season, and we'll be up at Jay for at least one weekend this winter.
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:12 AM.