Mounts Kennebago Divide and White Cap

Submitted by Pat

Mountain: Kennebago Divide (3,775) and White Cap (3,856)
Date: July 29, 2012
Time: 4.75 hours
Weather: Partly sunny, humid, 70's
Miles: 6.4
Elevation Gain: 1,912
Trail: Herd path, bushwhack and back

Wow, what an incredible place Nancy found for us to rent for the week! It's called Mahara and we each have our own room - I have the basement room with private bath after Nancy and I flip for it - there's a full kitchen, dining and living areas, upstairs loft where Bernie sleeps, two bedrooms on the first floor for Eileen and Nancy, large deck, grill, pond in the backyard, fire pit, TV, DVD, Sirius radio. Last night we decide to try and get to the trailhead by 9:30 so we are up at 7am and on the road by 8am.

It's another long drive to the trailhead using hard-to-follow directions, but with Bernie in the lead and Eileen co-piloting we get there without a hassle. Today is a two-fer hiking day. We are hoping to bag two mountains, Kennebago Divide and White Cap. They share a trailhead but have no trail connecting them. We are going up Kennebago Divide first and start off on a path, which is really an overgrown ATV track. Every piece of greenery is wet and dripping with morning dew and we are soon soaked. Shortly we arrive at the cairn that marks our left turn onto the herd path. The cairn is in sad shape, hard to see, and we decide to rebuild it when we come down from White Cap.

We follow the herd path, lose it, find it again, lose it and decide to bushwhack. Not too hard, but I know we are bushwhacking. Lots of deep green moss and moose droppings and the occasional section of spruce hell. It's beautiful in a way, the forest without a path or trail, clean and empty of human contact. Nancy and I wear shorts - it's a warm day - and we are soon scratched and bleeding. Not badly, just a little, a reminder of where we are and what we're doing. After a while we find the herd path again and follow it all the way up the spine of the ridge to Kennebago Divide, or N. Kennebago. #95

I take my glasses off to take the summit picture and we don't linger afterward because the black flies are in suicide bombing mode. We still have to go part way down and then back up again to the summit of White Cap. We put on packs after a snack and head down on the herd path. Maybe 20 minutes into the walk I realize I don't have my glasses on, that I left them on the summit near where I had put my pack. I tell my friends that I am going to run back up and get them and be back in a flash. I hustle back up the trail, find my glasses, and start back down. I barely start down when Nancy, Eileen and Bernie show up - they aren't going to let me do it alone. What wonderful, thoughtful friends.

With my $400 glasses back on my face, we head down to the intersection of the herd path and the ATV trail and begin to make our way back up the next trail to the summit of White Cap. But before we actually head down, I start leading folks off the backside of the mountain, following a herd path, one of many, littering the mountainside. Bernie sets us straight and we have to head back and then down. We pick up a herd path and follow it all the way to the summit.

Feels like a long day. We are too tired to cook anything so we head back to the Four Seasons Café for dinner. All of us order the steak tips, but they are gristly, although tasty, and we decide we've had enough of the Four Seasons for a while. We discuss climbing East Kennebago tomorrow. We didn't reach the true summit on our first attempt so we are heading back...the right way...and both Eileen and Bernie actually agree to come with us. Way cool. #95 and 96!

95 and 96 out of 100 Highest