Mt. Jeffers

Hiked Mt. Jeffers on 1/27/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor. Day was forecast to be cloudy with snow showers but we never saw any snow, views were very limited with the clouds. We parked at the trailhead for the Glencliff trail up Mt. Moosilaukee and walked down to the North – South road which was plowed for logging but the gate was closed.

Gate on North - South road
Gate on North – South road

It was nice having the road plowed as we had to walk about 2.5 miles on the road to get to where the bushwhack started. We got to the start of the bushwhack and then started the .5 mile hike up to the summit. It was really easy as the snow had a thick crust that we didn’t break through and the woods were open with no thick spruce and no really steep parts. Easiest bushwhack in a long time.

Diane on the summit looking for the canister
Diane on the summit looking for the canister
Bill and Diane with the canister
Bill and Diane with the canister

We signed into the log which took a little while as the canister was frozen shut. We finally got it open and then headed back down to the road. It was too early to eat our PBJs.

Diane headed down with Mt Clough in the background
Diane headed down with Mt Clough in the background

We ate our PBJs at the road and took off our snowshoes and then headed back to the car. Got home before dark which hasn’t happened in a while. Still have 60 peaks left to  finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest. I had marked one has completed that I hadn’t climbed yet.

Our track for the day
Our track for the day
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Little Wildcat

Hiked Little Wildcat on 1/22/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor. It was a cloudy day and quite warm. It was 36 degrees when we started which made for heavy snow. Little Wildcat is located behind the Glen House on Rt 16 in Pinkham Notch. It’s only a mile bushwhack but it took us 2.5 hours with the deep heavy snow and pretty steep route once we got near the summit. We started up one of the XC ski trails but that only lasted about 100 yards before we went off into the woods. It was pretty open woods for most of the route which was nice not having any thick spruce to deal with.

Bill and Diane making their way through the woods
Bill and Diane making their way through the woods

There wasn’t much to take pictures of on the way up to the summit and we were also in the fog most of the time. Just before reaching the summit we saw some snowshoe tracks of someone who had come up from Nineteen Mile Brook trail. He and his dog were still at the summit when we got to the summit. We were not expecting to find anyone else out in the middle of nowhere. We ate our PBJs and chatted for a while.

Me on the summit
Me on the summit
Bill, Diane and I on the summit
Bill, Diane and I on the summit

We started down on the same route and went much faster and enjoyed the fog shrouded woods.

Foggy woods
Foggy woods

Only 60 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track for the day
Our track for the day.

Kinsman Notch Peak – North and Blue Ridge North

Hiked Kinsman Notch Peak – North and Blue Ridge North on 1/20/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor. It was forecast to be a sunny day but it turned out to be cloudy but not much wind. If you were above 4000 feet apparently it was a bright sunny day but we were below the clouds all day. There wasn’t much bushwhacking today as Kinsman Notch Peak – North was only 10 feet off the trail and Blue Ridge North was 63 feet off the trail in a thick patch of spruce which made it a little difficult to find. We started up the Appalachian trail, which is the Kinsman Ridge trail in this section, rather steeply which really got the heart pumping.

Bill and Diane coming up a steep section
Bill and Diane coming up a steep section

After the initial steep section the trail flattened out a bit with a few ups and downs but nothing very steep. There was a lot of fresh snow on the tree branches which we knocked off rather than have it go down our necks.

Snow laden branches
Snow laden branches
Small open boggy area
Small open boggy area

We got to the first bump of Kinsman Notch Peak and searched around for the canister but couldn’t see it even though we were at the correct elevation. We went on to the second bump and couldn’t find the canister there either. Since the peak is less than 3000 feet there may not be a canister or it may have been removed. We then headed over to Blue Ridge North which was about 1.5 miles further along the trail. There were a few ups and downs but nothing like the start of the hike.

Bill and Diane thinking about their options with the ice
Bill and Diane thinking about their options with the ice

We made it to the summit of Blue Ridge North where the canister was hidden in a patch of spruce and was just a bottle hanging from a tree rather than the PVC canister.

Snow covered summit bottle
Snow covered summit bottle

We ate our PBJs and then headed back along the trail. We stopped again on Kinsman Notch Peak – North but still couldn’t locate a canister.

Snow on the trees
Snow on the trees
Bill and Diane coming down the final slope to the road
Bill and Diane coming down the final slope to the road

Only 61 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list. Kinsman Notch Peak – North is on the New Hampshire 300 Highest list. I think I have 98 of them left to do.

Our track for the day
Our track for the day.

Mt Paugus

Hiked Mt. Paugus on 1/13/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and their friends Gene and Michelle. It was a windy clear day with the temperature a balmy 36 when we started but cooled down to 22 when we returned to the cars. All the trails had a thick crust that would sometimes hold and other times you would break through it. The most dangerous part of the hike was the parking lot which was a sheet of solid ice.

Icy Parking lot
Icy parking lot

Mt. Paugus is located in the Sandwich Range Wilderness and can be accessed in several ways. We parked in Ferncroft and took the Old Mast Road to the Kelley trail to the Lawrence trail to its high point and then started the 1/4 mile bushwhack to the summit. The Kelley trail is pretty nice as it follows a small stream for most of its route giving views of small waterfalls and ledges.

Brook alongside Kelley trail
Brook alongside Kelley trail
Gene and Sadie on Kelley trail
Gene and Sadie on Kelley trail

We came to the end of the Kelley trail and turned right onto the Lawrence trail which unfortunately took us down hill and then back up. It’s never nice to lose elevation when you are headed up.

Dianne and Michelle on one of the steep parts
Dianne and Michelle on one of the steep parts

Finally we got to a place where it opened up to a nice view of Whiteface and Passaconaway.

Whiteface way in the back on the left and Passaconaway on the right
Whiteface way in the back on the left and Passaconaway on the right

 

Bill and I were the only ones to do the bushwhack and the others headed down. It was a tough 1/4 mile with lots of thick spruce and spruce traps. We never found the summit canister although our GPS clearly had us on the summit. We spent about 1/2 an hour looking for it with no luck. We headed back to the trail and then hustled to try to get out before dark.

Bill with the sunset behind him
Bill with the sunset behind him

We made it back without using our headlamps. Only 62 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest.

Our track for the day
Our track for the day

 

Flat Mountain

Hiked Flat Mountain on 1/9/2017 with Bill and Dianne Schor and Larry Babcock. It was a nice clear day with no wind. Temperature was 0F when we started and warmed all the way up to 10F on the summit. We started out following the Drakes Brook trail for a short distance and then followed Fletcher’s Cascade trail to its end at the Cascade. Both trails were broken out and were easy walking. Then the work started.

Lower Fletchers Cascade
Lower Fletcher’s Cascade

First we came to Lower Fletcher’s Cascade which was all frozen over and covered with snow. The trail went somewhat steeply up the side of the stream. Then we came to Upper Fletcher’s Cascade which was very steep and icy and the trail came to an end.

Upper Fletchers Cascade
Upper Fletcher’s Cascade

We bushwhacked up the right side of the falls in woods that were open but quite steep and several feet of snow with a 2 inch crust on top. We had to kick into the snow with every step before you could make forward progress. It took over an hour to get to the top of the falls where it flattened out but then we had to contend with some thick patches of spruce and still had the crust to deal with. Sometimes the crust would hold but usually you would break through it. I had thought we would get to the summit by noon but we didn’t get there until 2PM, it was a very late PBJ.

Only view of the day
Only view of the day Courtesy of Larry Babcock
Making our way through the woods
Making our way through the woods

We finally got to the summit and signed into the register took a few pictures and beat a hasty retreat.

The four of us on the summit
The four of us on the summit Courtesy of Larry Babcock

Fortunately it only took us 2.5 hours to get back to the parking lot just before it got dark. Only 63 more peaks left to complete the New Hampshire 200 Highest.

Our track of Flat Mountain
Our track of Flat Mountain

Engine Hill South

Hiked Engine Hill South on 1/6/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was forecast to be clear but cold and windy, fortunately it wasn’t as cold or as windy as predicted. It was snowing when I left home but it eventually stopped made the driving a little bit slow but I got to the trailhead on time instead of early. We started up the Rocky Branch trail off Rt 16 and followed the trail for 3.3 miles crossing into the Presidential Range Dry River Wilderness.

Bill and Larry at the wilderness boundary
Bill and Larry at the wilderness boundary

We continued to the height of land where what is known as the Engine Hill Bushwhack heads north to the Isolation trail. We headed south to Engine Hill South. It was only .6 miles over to the summit but it took us 1.5 hours to get there, much slower than anticipated. The snow was deep 2-3 feet with a crust on top and there were also many spruce traps to add to the fun.

Larry entering the woods
Larry entering the woods
An area with potential spruce traps and blowdowns
An area with potential spruce traps and blowdowns
Spruce trap that I fell into
Spruce trap that I fell into

A spruce trap is the area around a spruce tree where the snow doesn’t completely pack in because of the branches. when you come along you fall into it because the snow is less densely packed. I fell into this one up to my waist and it took a while to get out as I had on snowshoes which get tangled up in the branches. I have known some people to take as much as a half hour to escape from a trap. We got to the summit and found the canister and ate our PBJs.

The four of us at the summit
The four of us at the summit

It only took us 45 minutes to get back to the trail but there wasn’t enough time to continue on to Mt Isolation so we headed back down the trail to the parking lot.

Heading down the trail
Heading down the trail

It was a really nice winter hike and we got back to the cars before dark which always a good thing. Only 64 more peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Track of our route
Track of our route

Some photos by Bill Schor and Larry Babcock.