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Giant 4/13 & Colvin 4/14

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  • Giant 4/13 & Colvin 4/14

    Not having climbed a High Peak since July I was excited to get in a rust buster trip. Arrived at the Roaring Brook lot at 10 AM and it was full. Luckily I was able to find a spot across the street at the Ausable lots. Climbed up to the upper falls site and set up camp. A little ice along the way here so I had the hillsounds on. I was warned by a large group descending that the crossing at Roaring Brook was sketchy at best. When I arrived the crossing was raging and not rock-hoppable so I checked downstream and upstream only to find there was spot to cross and keep feet dry (I maybe only ventured 20 or 30 meters in either direction, patience is not one of my virtues). The decision was made to just take the spikes, boots and gaiters off and cross. Water was very cold but refreshing and they dried fast in the warm, bright sun on the other side.

    I continued on as the views got better and the snowpack got deeper. Put the clown shoes on around the junction where the ridge trail connects (and coincidentally after I sunk down into a hip deep hole). Top few inches of snow was soft which made for a lot of skidding back down and a proper workout on this short climb. It was simply a beautiful day to be out hiking. Great views from the summit and headed back down. Descended the ridge trail to the Washbowl to change it up and enjoy some of its stellar vistas. Lost the trail somewhere between the Washbowl trail and the connector with the RB trail. Just followed the sound of the Roaring brook and found the trail no problem. Forded the brook again (the water was noticeably higher/faster) and was back at camp in no time.

    Saw a lot of people today (certainly not "overcrowded" though), most had boots (saw a bare footer), some had spikes, and a few had snowshoes. One guy I saw high on the mountain looked at my clownshoes and gave me a "your crazy" look. I probably gave the same look back at him after seeing at his sandals!

    Next morning had an enjoyable crispness to it (around 30F) and I decided to climb Colvin via Gill Brook. What a splendid/underrated climb this is! The first time I climbed it from the other side after having come from Sawteeth via Wardens camp. Only a few steep pitches, the rest is just a steady climb. Again the top few inches of snow was soft and made for lots of skidding/slipping around. The last ledge before the summit took some patience but otherwise no big deal. Made the summit in 2 and 1/2 hours and had a splendid view. Got out of dodge before the rainstorms came.

    Still 4+ feet of snow up high and the rain will certainly deteriorate the conditions. Stream crossings will be an issue for sure. Hopefully some of the snow will be melted for when I return in mid May.

    Also, there is a bird song that is extremely and uniquely intricate/long that I hear spring through fall all over the park which makes me think its rather common. I am not much of a birder but I think it is some sort of Warbler or Sparrow. I have heard it near hardwoods and softwoods, and listened to lots of songs online and have not been able to identify it. Also I have not seen it. Any help identifying it or pointing me in a direction would be appreciated. I know this is almost no information to go on!

  • #2
    I'm not an expert at all, but it sounds like you are describing the song of the Winter Wren. Try listening here:

    and check if that is the song you were hearing.


    • Earthworm
      Earthworm commented
      Editing a comment
      Holy cow thank you that is it! The song is so unique I was hoping someone much smarter than I would be able to identify it. My friend and I have spent a lot of time trying to identify it to no avail. It is always hard without an idea what it looks like haha. I'm too lazy to lug binoculars into the backcountry. The complexity of the song always impresses me. Thanks I really appreciate it.

  • #3
    Sounds like an awesome trip EW. I'll be listening for that song now.
    24/46 (19 solo)
    12/12 solo 4/12 W solo