The morning started off early. I woke up in North Conway after a quick visit to my relatives.
Out the door a few minutes early but quickly realized I was running late. My GPS displayed getting to
Five Corners at 7:04am and I havenít even eaten breakfast. I called Wil who is already in route from a
family gathering. He is 5-10 minutes ahead of me. We planned on meeting after a stop at a local Irving
station on Rte 302. I drove right by it and reached the Rte 3 intersection. I said, "Screw it!" and
continued to Five Corners, as I was late as is. Went to call Wil back and realized I was out of range.
Got to Five Corners and started to prep my pack. A few minutes before I was done, Wil showed up and we
headed for the Garfield Trail trailhead to drop off my truck. We decided to park our two vehicles at
two different trailheads; it saved us 1.6 miles of dirt road. That is a godsend after a 13.5 mile hike.
We started from the Gale River Trail parking lot. It starts off with a quick river crossing.
Then quickly turns to the right, away from the river. It is a constant climb at a reasonable grade for
a mile and a half or so. Then you hike along a river where multiple tributaries join the Gale River.
At 2.5 miles, after the second or third crossing you come to a section of stepping stones. From here,
the trail gets steeper. At 3.1 miles, the first decent view comes. Itís an open view to the east of
what I could only assume was North Twin. I could be wrong. From here, the grade picks up and the last
half mile is rather steep with muddy sections and wet, exposed rocks. We finally reach the AT after 4.0
miles. We took a break and I decide to get a dry shirt on. It was very humid out and I had already
soaked through one of my towels. After a quick bite to eat we strapped up and headed east towards
Galehead Hut. The grade is somewhat the same but seemed to go quicker since we knew how far the hut was.
We reached the Frost Trail just before the clearing for the hut. Reaching the hut gave you
great views of the Twin Range and Galehead. It has a great porch in front for resting just before or
after going to the summit. We choose to keep on going and headed for the summit. The Frost trail took
a slight decent before hitting the final ascent to Galehead Mountain. About two thirds the way up a
great outlook appears on the left, with great view of the Bonds and the Twins. The summit is a dead
end in the trail marked by a cairn and a makeshift camp site. After a quick bite to eat and a drink we
headed back down the summit to the hut. We were able to fill up our bottles from a faucet inside the hut.
There were restrooms available, food, and an indoor seating area. It was very clean and peaceful. See Mt
Garfield Trip Report for the rest of the story.