Sunday, September 04, 2016

St Mark's Summit

We've been working up to this one... Really nice hike with beautiful payoff. Some of the reviews had me worried, but we did this in only 4 hours, including 20 minute lunch break. At a moderate fitness level (me), this was not gruelling at all (keep in mind that by gruelling I mean feeling uncomfortable during, or completely shattered at the end. This is still strenuous—full disclosure, I had a long nap afterwards, whereas my super-fit freind caught a matinĂ©e). There are enough flat groomed areas to make it pleasant at the beginning and end. A couple of pretty meadow areas with ponds, and about 3 peek-a-boo views of the sound and the Lions. There are just enough steep technical areas (mostly gnarled roots, not too much rock) to make it a challenging workout. We had one pratfall (not me this time).

Only 3 tips. Follow the Howe Sound Crest Trail "East" (I don't think there were any "St Mark's" signposts), prepare to get muddy feet, and get there VERY early, or on a weekday. This was the busiest trail, with lots of people to navigate around on the way back down. Plus, just a few too many at the top. We wore bug spray, but saw no mosquitoes. Peak was a bit chilly. Long-sleeved layer recommended.

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