Hunter and Southwest Hunter aka the COVID hike
- Peaks: Hunter, Southwest Hunter
- Type: Loop
- Time: 6.5 h
- Distance: 10.5 mi
- Elevation Gain: 2260.5 ft
- Hikers: Dan, Alex
- 9:50 AM Start hiking
- 12:00 PM At Hunter summit tower
- 1:30 PM Leave trail for Southwest Hunter
- 2:00 PM Summit Southwest Hunter
4:25 PM Back at the car
- Tracks: AllTrails, eBird
This was a slog — I really struggled up the ascent, which had me worried for my big hike next week. I initially thought it was because I was sore from climbing yesterday and Millbrook a few days before. But in retrospect I was starting to feel Covid booster side effects (I’d gotten the omicron booster the previous day).
The trail got very birdy once we got into higher elevations. Lots of kinglets and chickadees, and a shocking number of yellow-rumped warblers, especially at the summit of Hunter. The Hunter fire tower was spectacular. The very top wasn’t open, but the views from the staircase were panoramic and spectacular.
I hadn’t realized that SW Hunter was a “herd path”. This gave me pause at first (were we bushwhacking!?) but it wound up being an incredibly well-defined trail, almost as clear as the main, blazed path. It looked like there might be some views to the south of SW Hunter but I wanted to keep moving and didn’t explore. In any case, this was our first canister.
The hike down was very long and I wasn’t feeling amazing. When we got home for the evening, I had a 101° fever! So I’m glad we did the hike, but in retrospect maybe we shouldn’t have.