FKT: Andrew Hostetler - Mt Carrigain Loop (NH) - 2020-07-15

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2h 19m 42s
GPS track(s)

I set out this morning to take one of two FKTs, but most importantly to have fun in the mountains. I was aiming for either the Carrigain Out and Back or the Carrigain Loop. Both seemed to be quite stout times compared to how I was feeling, but it would be a fun day in the mountains none the less. Both of these courses start and finish at the Signal Ridge Trailhead on Sawyer River Rd in Bartlett, New Hampshire. Following a mile warm up on the road and taking care of some personal business in the woods I set off on the winding first mile of the trail. This leads into a soggy length of trail scattered with logs and stones to assist you through, but the mud is cooling and feels nice between my toes. After crossing Carrigain Brook just before mile 2, the trail starts to wind its way up to signal ridge along a narrow rocky trail (after a bit of fun, smooth single track). Though this climb up to signal ridge is not the steepest and not the rockiest of White Mountain trails it is relatively challenging and unrunable 2 miles of rock hopping. Breaking out of the trees on Signal Ridge is one of my favorite spots in the Whites, even though I have yet to see a view unobstructed by clouds. My mind paints a wonderful view of the Presidential and Wild River Ranges. It's a quick drop and climb up to Carrigain where I climbed the fire tower (required for this route) for a quick summit selfie. Checking my watch, I realized I could either turn back and have a good shot of taking the out and back FKT or continue for a much less likely chance of taking the loop FKT on trails that I had not seen before. ... I am being scolded, it's dinner time ... In short - the Desolation trail descent is gnarly fun and the remaining 5 miles is a dream of a cruiser. Gotta go. Thanks.