Peak Above The Nubble, a "Bushwhack" | 10/13/22
Updated: Nov 6, 2022
The instant my semester began, I knew I’d be spending October break in Lyndon with Ryan so that we could get in some hikes just the two of us, reconnect with friends, and help my long-time hiking partner and best friend Michelle get a little closer to her 48. So, with three rainy days to kill before the big day with Michelle, we scrambled around each day’s weather window to get something in during every day of break.
Having squeezed in a tiny 1.5-mile hike up Table Rock Wednesday, we were looking for something a little bit more significant on Thursday and also needed to do something somewhat in the vicinity of Lincoln Woods so that we could drop my car ahead of time for the traverse. So, despite telling myself Peak Above the Nubble would be the one bushwhack I solo, we found ourselves at the mouth of fire road 304A, gearing up to see what was above the nubble.
We started fairly late, around noon, and needed to beat the showers that were to begin at three. This ended up being pretty easy as the herd path for Peak Above the Nubble is effectively a trail in better shape than what you’d find in the Dry River Wilderness. The first portion follows the fire road until a cairn, for which you turn right and move slightly uphill until you enter a birch grove where the thin but well-packed trees form a beautiful shelter around you. Beyond the grove, we gained through a thick leaf pack that had us second-guessing every step as we meandered uphill.
After we were high enough that the tree types had changed to less leaf-bearing trees, the woods opened up into a natural glade that made for constant but friendly elevation gain. Along this entire stretch, there were maybe only 5 or 6 blowdowns, all of which very easy to hop over. About halfway through the open-glade area, we came up to the viewpoint, which is ever so nicely highlighted on Gaia.
Through the rest of the open area, the elevation gain grew easier past the view and there were only a handful of spots that presented any challenge up to the summit. All of which, in my opinion, were created by the sheer number of untouched leaves on the ground. More than anything, it was the thirty-five mile-an-hour winds sharking the trees and the roots that bound them to the ground that scared me! After easily navigating a few blowdowns, we had arrived at the summit canister before we knew it. Hour-and-a-half up and still no more than some drizzle on us.
We took in the phenomenal views of the North-Twin slides, the foliage in the valley surrounding the Sugarloaves, and how rapidly the trees around us were moving. With one extra strong gust of wind, we were out of there! We started making our way down quite quickly, but as we got back into the leaf-coverage I found it hard to move quickly without sliding everywhere. But that’s what I get for only buying Altras for the sake of how fast they dry. I have a very toxic relationship with my trail shoes.
Still lucking out to only be experiencing occasional light rain and a pleasant breeze, we made our way to Lincoln where shit started to go down. Through the notch, trucks were hydroplaning, leaves were blowing, and sheets of rain were coming down on us. Talk about good timing on our part. I was happy to be in a warm car for the late afternoon.
Final Stats: 4.47 miles | 1,987 gain | 0 frogs