Savage and East Spruce

Hiked Savage and East Spruce on 12/11/2016 with Bill Cronin and Bill Schor. It was 5 degrees below 0F when we started.

Dashboard thermometer
Dashboard thermometer

It was a rather chilly start to the day even though it was bright and sunny with no breeze. We started out on a nice open logging road with about 3 inches of snow and lots of animal tracks and some views.

Looking west from the logging road
Looking west from the logging road

We followed the road for a while and then onto an ATV track and then into  the woods with the occasional thick patches of hobble bush which were difficult to walk through.

Bill C and I with Savage in the background
Bill C and I with Savage in the background

Eventually we reached the low point between Savage and East Spruce and we headed up Savage. It was tough going with some thick patches and steep patches and everything covered in snow and blowdowns and we had on snowshoes which make navigating all of the above a little more difficult.

Bill C looking for a way through the spruce
Bill C looking for a way through the spruce
Bill S plowing through the spruce
Bill S plowing through the spruce
Me coming up one of the step spots
Me coming up one of the steep spots

As we approached the summit we hit an area of large blowdowns and deeply drifted snow.

Blowdowns and deep snow
Blowdowns and deep snow

We spent about 15 minutes looking for the summit canister. We finally found it and we all had walked right by it but because it was encrusted with snow we had all completely missed it. In our defense it was smaller than what we were looking for. We signed in and ate our PBJs and then headed down to get over to East Spruce. It was 12 degrees on the summit.

Savage summit canister
Savage summit canister

We were running behind schedule and were concerned about not having enough time to finish the hike before dark. We decided to go for it and despite a couple of small navigational errors we made it to East Spruce.

East Spruce summit canister
East Spruce summit canister

We followed our tracks back a ways and then took an old skidder path that was headed in the right direction that took us down quite a ways to a large logging road. After looking at the GPS we discovered it was only 300 feet through the woods to our track from the morning. We found the track and followed that down to the car. There was an almost full moon so we didn’t have to use our headlamps. It was a balmy 17 degrees when we got back to the car. Only 2 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 100 Highest and only 68 left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest.

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