Little Bigelow is such a nice hike – great terrain, awesome views, deep woods – that this latest Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust hike was full months ago. Then, early last week, the forecast started taking shape. A few people decided early on to drop out and seek alternate plans. A few days later, the forecast seemed rock solid: it would be cold, but the big issue would be the bone-chilling winds. A few more people dropped out. A core group of five decided to proceed with the hike and pay it by ear, knowing that the conditions would be chilly.
And they were right. The coldest spot was probably the parking area on East Flagstaff Road when everybody was gearing up. It was about 0 degrees and would remain there for the rest of the day. The group was adequately covered and layered so everything went pretty smoothly in the sunny woods. There was a fresh foot and a half of snow to be broken through, on top of a few feet that was already there, so it was not a speed hike.
At higher elevations past the junction with the A.T. shelter side trail, conditions were much colder and the winds had yet to diminish. Despite adequate footwear and even toe warmers, feet started getting cold and not warming up. Everybody knew at that point that we’d at least reach the open ledge below the summit of Little Bigelow, but not the peak itself.
Which was fine! It was a great day out on the A.T. and we all had fun. Our next hike will be on Saturday 1/19 up West Baldpate in Grafton Notch. Still a few spots left!