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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some photos by Bill Schor and Larry Babcock.