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.
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.
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.
Finally we got to a place where it opened up to a nice view of Whiteface and Passaconaway.
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.
We made it back without using our headlamps. Only 62 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest.