November 16, 2014 / Comments (4)

Galehead and South Twin

The view from Galehead Hut- taken an hour apart
 This is my fourth time atop Mount Galehead, but my first time writing about it! I don’t always get around to doing trip reports for all of my hikes. There are some very straightforward hikes with viewless peaks that don’t always get the attention other peaks are given. Galehead is definitely one of those hikes!
With winter-like conditions (there’s still a month before winter officially begins) and a bonus of bagging South Twin, Galehead finally makes the cut!
The hike starts on Gale River Road which is closed during the winter. Check the list of forest road closures here! I called the Pemi Ranger district to double check as there was new snow on Thursday. I assumed not enough to close the gate, but I wanted to be sure. It was indeed so I didn’t have to do a long road walk.
The hike with South Twin is a little over 12 miles with 3900 feet of elevation gain.
Trail relocation sign

The first four miles of the trail are generally moderate, with a few steeper climbs toward the end. The beginning is very flat and a nice warm up. The elevation gain was nice as it was only 10 degrees out.

The Galehead Hut is about 4.8 miles from the trailhead at Gale River Road. It is open seasonally, but we made use of the benches for a snack break.

This little guy darted in front of the hut and leapt high in the air. I found him hanging by the hut later.



Before reaching the viewless summit of Galehead, there is a viewpoint. The sky was beginning to clear up!

I tried to make the 4,024 foot summit of Galehead more exciting. There is a cairn to mark it, if that makes some folks feel better!

After Galehead, we headed up to South Twin. South Twin is less than a mile from the hut, but it’s steep! My legs felt like lead weights the whole day and this section didn’t help. I hurt my ankle a few weeks ago (darn leaves cover up roots!) and took a couple weeks to let it mend itself. That along with wearing my winter boots for the first time this season were probably two factors. There’s always a day where you just don’t function the right way.

South Twin summit 4,902′

The only time it was really cold was South Twin as there were 25-30 mph sustained winds.


Quick Stats:

Galehead: 4,024′
South Twin: 4,902′
distance: 12.2 mile
Book time: 8:04- my time:7:00- includes all breaks

Map created with wmgonline.org

Last modified: September 2, 2017

4 Responses to :
Galehead and South Twin

  1. I was up South Twin in August and the fog came in so thick I could barely see the signs, let alone the view, so I am vicariously enjoying it now via your pics.

  2. Danielle says:

    Hey, Im based in Maine and am always hiking in the white mountains.
    Could you tell me what you wear for your winter hiking layers?
    Im trying to figure out my bottoms layering system.
    Also, what gloves do you use?

  3. Hi Danielle! I am in the process of adding some packing lists, but I’ll give you a quick rundown of what I wear. It really is specific to each person and the particular hike.

    Go with lots of thin layers- I typically will wear a short sleeved synthetic top with a base layer top over it. If I need to go all the way down to a t-shirt on big climbs I can. The base layer is a long underwear top. I have luck finding ones on sale at REI. I then will have a mid-layer over that. This layer should be breathable to allow moisture to escape. Nylon/polyester synthetic filled “sweaters” are my choice. Finally, I have a puffy and rain jacket in my pack. If it’s really windy or snowy/rainy I can put the rain jacket over my puffy to stay even warmer as it acts like a wind jacket. For gloves, I don’t have a brand that I am in love with. I do wear liners and mittens when it’s very cold. Mittens are much better than gloves for warmth. I have a pair of mittens from my fiance’s uncle from the 80s probably that work the best. not sure of the brand. I also bring goggles, a balaclava, and a buff (they make fleece ones too). For bottoms I cut a pair of long underwear to just above me knee as the full length ones tend to make me too warm. I then have a pair of salomon windbreaker tights over. I use tall gaiters for my feet and wool socks. I use trailrunners for the other seasons but switch to hiking boots (salomon toundras) for the winter. Hope this helps! I’ll be adding my winter list hopefully by the end of the day!

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