This trip report is written by Rich Gambale aka Greenleaf. (edited by Arlette Laan)
January 14, 2016
The White Cap Bermuda Triangle
Thursday, January the 14th I set out to hike Kennabago Divide, White Cap and Boundary peaks. On this hike I was solo and took an Delorme Inreach, a tracking device, and a Garmin Montana gps. The hike up to Kennabago via skidder roads, old roads and a herd path to the summit went smoothly.
It was 1 pm when I summited, it had taken me 3.5 hours to get there. Going up White cap was slow breaking through 2-3 feet of snow. I was happy the snow depth was this low. I summited white cap at 3:30.
I left the summit and after 20 minutes I came across a snow shoe path. Oh nooo!!! They were my own tracks! I had descended in the wrong direction and just did a complete circle. Oh boy that was dumb. Luckily I hadn’t lost all that much elevation so climbed back up to the summit and continued on. I kept looking at the gps and had yet to figure out how to select a particular point in the direction I wanted to go. I’m obviously still learning how to use it and was unable to see which direction I was headed. Then the messages from Arlette started. With the Inreach she can see a live track of me on her phone. I said I knew I was lost. I turned off my music and studied the map, gps and compass with more focus. After 15 minutes I knew where I was and headed out. 20 minutes later I contoured past the White Cap Col. Arlette suggested to go south back to my mornings track we can do Boundary peak tomorrow. I was peak focused but finally came to the conclusion that I had made too many mistakes and bailed at 5:30 so I wouldn’t still be hiking at midnight and worry Arlette.
That night at the Farm House hostel in Rangeley I was determined to figure out the gps and played around with different functions. The next day we hiked up to Boundary. We were able to drive all the way up to the boundary swath and start hiking from there.
We put the snow shoes on and were breaking trail the entire way. It got a little easier when we were on top of some old snow mobile tracks because at least some of the snow had consolidated.
We made it to a summit that I thought was Boundary. The problem was it was 300 feet too low. I was now not sure where the peak was. Arlette asked what happened to the coordinates we put in the GPS. I had to admit that I deleted them because I thought they were wrong based on yesterday’s White Cap’s being off. She couldn’t believe I did that. And now we’ve hiked in so many miles and we don’t know what the high point is? Oh boy! We looked at the map she had saved on her phone and found we had cell reception. We thought it may be a peak a little further ahead and luckily got a call through to my dad who was able to look up the correct coordinates.
It was a mile away with a bonus peak involved. Still shaking her head in disbelief about me deleting the coordinates she followed me along for another mile. Luckily she wasn’t mad but there were definitely jokes about my brain being the size of a walnut. We hiked on to the true peak and then turned around to head home.