North and South Crystal

Hiked North and South Crystal on 11/15/2017 with Bill Schor. This was our second hike of the day as we hiked West Tucker in the morning. We ate our PBJs in the car after driving over from West Tucker. We started the hike by staying to the edge of a recent clearcut area. Lots of evidence of hunters in the area but nobody was around midday. We both had some blaze orange on. We soon headed in to the nice open woods and made our way to the summit.

Looking over the clearcut area to West Tucker
Open woods leading up to the summit

It was a nice hike to the summit with lots of evidence of moose and deer and we thing bear foot prints. We easily found the summit of North Crystal and signed in and then headed over to south Crystal. This was the last 3000 foot summit on the list and meant that Bill and I have climbed all the 3000 foot peaks in New Hampshire.

North Crystal summit

The trip over to South Crystal started out very nicely with nice open woods and lots of animal prints. Then we climbed over a little bump and it became very steep with a couple of small cliffs to work around. It got a little exciting in a couple of spots, I wouldn’t recommend doing this route in reverse as it would be quite difficult going up. Eventually it flattened out and then a very gentle up to the summit of South Crystal.

Bill and I at the summit of South Crystal

We have now completed the New Hampshire 200 Highest list and all we had to do was get back to the car, which we did.

Our tracks for the day

Below is a map showing all the New Hampshire 200 Highest peaks that are in the Great North Woods area of New Hampshire. There is quite a bit of driving on dirt roads to get to all these peaks and they aren’t necessarily well maintained. It was fun but I’m glad it;s done.

The northern part of the New Hampshire 200 Highest peaks

West Tucker

Hiked West Tucker on 11/15/2017 with Bill Schor. It was a nice sunny day with temps in the low teens to start but it warmed up to 33 by the end of the day. We drove up the day before and spent the night in Errol at the Errol Motel. There are 5 restaurants in Errol and 4 of them are not open on Mondays or Tuesdays. Things are pretty slow this time of year. The place that was supposed to be open, Subway, closes at 6 but as we drove into town the sign was not lit up. We called them from the motel and nobody answered so it looked like we would have to drive 20 miles to Colebrook for dinner. However, on our way to Colebrook we stopped at the store and they were actually open just didn’t turn the sign on. We got up early in the morning and drove to Corser Brook Road which is a dirt logging road and followed that for 6 miles and then 9 miles on Four Mile Brook Road which slowly deteriorated the further in you got. We got to our starting point and headed up to West Tucker. We followed a skidder path for a while and then headed up into the woods.

Start of our hike up West Tucker
View to the northwest

Unfortunately we hit some fairly thick hobblebush on the way up that slowed us down. Eventually that ended but the last little bit to the summit was pretty thick spruce. After wandering around a bit we found the canister and signed in and then headed back down to the car. No view from the summit.

Bill at the summit

We went down our same track as it is easier to follow your tracks in the snow than to take a different route that might still have a lot of hobblebush. On the way down we found a deer antler that both of us had stepped over on the way up but hadn’t seen it.

Deer antler

We got back to the car and made the short but treacherous drive over to the start of our next hike. Only 2 more peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

West tucker is the upper track

Black Northwest

Climbed Black Northwest on 11/12/2017 with Bill Schor. We drove down from Pittsburg after climbing Mt Pisgah and arrived at the starting point at lunch time so we ate in the warm car. We were able to follow old skidder paths for quite a while but we finally had to enter some pretty thick and steep woods which really slowed us down.

Looking to the summit on the skidder path

We did see a moose in the distance but he was too far away for a picture and didn’t hang around long.

Looking west towards Dixville Notch
Wind turbines on Dixville

We finally reached the summit and then spent quite a while looking for the canister. Bill was ready to give up but I finally found it in a pretty thick stand of spruce.

Summit canister

We headed down the same way we came up as there didn’t seem to be any better alternatives. We got back to the car and had another long drive home. Only 3 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track

Mt Pisgah

Climbed Mt Pisgah on 11/12/2017 with Bill Schor. Temperature was 15F and stayed there most of the day. It was predicted to be cloudy but was sunny all day. We drove back in the same logging roads that we had driven yesterday but didn’t take any wrong turns so it was a little quicker. We got to the start of the hike and could see the summit so we just headed into the woods and went uphill. We walked almost a half mile through open almost flat woods and then we went uphill fairly steeply but still through nice woods. We reached the viewless summit and signed in and headed back down.

Summit canister
The wooded summit

We did manage to find one view on the way down, but they were in short supply on this hike.

Lake Francis

We got back to the car and headed south to Errol for our next hike. Only 4 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track

Blue Ridge North and Crystal Northwest

Climbed Blue Ridge North and Crystal Northwest on 11/11/2017 with Bill Schor and Bill Cronin. Temperature was 5F and snowing even though it was predicted to be a bright sunny day. We had to drive about 15 miles on somewhat icy logging roads to get to the start of the hike plus we took a couple of wrong turns on the unsigned roads. We finally got to the end of the road and started up Blue Ridge North. We followed a skidder trail for a short distance but then just headed for the summit. There weren’t any views and it was too cold to take many pictures.

Summit canister

We headed down and then did a short drive over to the start of the hike to Crystal Northwest. We ate our PBJs in the car before we started the hike. It was still snowing some but the sun was trying to come out and it did finally succeed.

Crystal Northwest with a few snowflakes coming down

We had to go down some at first and then through a boggy area before we started up. We skirted around a few bumps before we got to the approach to the summit.

Open woods on the way up
The summit between the two trees

We reached the summit and found the canister, quickly signed in and headed back down. It had warmed up to 15 and the sun was out so it felt warm after the chilly start to the day.

Summit canister
View of Lake Francis in the distance

We had hoped to do another hike but it was obvious we were going to run out of daylight so we opted to call it a day and head back to Pittsburg. Only 5 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Getting back to the car before the sun went down
Our track for both hikes

Mt Teapot

Climbed Teapot on 11/10/2017 with Bill Schor. We got a late start as I had a doctor’s appointment so we didn’t hit the trail until about 12:30. It was cold, 15F, and snowing lightly. By the time we got to the summit it was only 9F. We had to keep moving to stay warm. The route starts on a gated logging road off Meriden Hill Road in North Stratford just south of Colebrook. We ate our PBJs in the warm car before we started up.

Start of the hike up Teapot

We followed the logging road for about .4 miles and then turned onto an older logging road that we followed for about .5 miles. We then just headed into the woods and went uphill until we got to the summit. The route was through mostly open woods and not very steep.

The summit canister with a teapot

We took a different route down that was through more open woods and made for quick trip down. The temperature was still dropping.

Open woods on the way down

We got back to the car and then headed north to Pittsburg to spend the night and get ready for the next days adventure. Only 7 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track for the day

Jay Peak and Big Jay

Hiked Jay Peak and Big Jay on 11/4/2017, the weather was forecast to be clear but I was in the fog until noon time when it finally cleared. These two peaks are in far northern Vermont near the Canadian border. Jay Peak is also a ski area. There is a trail that is part of the Long Trail that goes to the summit of Jay Peak and there is a herd path that goes over to Big Jay. Temps were in the low 30s to start and low 40s by the time I got back to the car. The trail was quite wet in places probably runoff from the big storm back on sunday and monday. I also removed a few large branches from the trail but there didn’t seem to be any new blowdowns blocking the trail. It was an uneventful hike up to Jay Peak and no views due to being in the clouds all the way up.

Stairs over the pipes for snow making equipment

It was nice to have the stairs except they were covered with a thin layer of ice and the other side was a slippery ramp. It was only .2 miles to the summit up the ski trail from here. You could also stay on the trail over some slippery rocky ledges which I chose not to do. I continued over to the herd path to Big Jay. This is a trail that was illegally cut a few years ago and not maintained since then. There were quite a few new blowdowns from the recent storm which made for a few instances of searching for the trail on the other side. There were also some nice sections of walking and a few really muddy sections.

Rime ice on the trees

I reached the summit where there was a rescue toboggan oddly enough as there are no trails from here and I’m quite sure no ski patrol. I tried to sign into the register but neither of the pens worked and there wasn’t a pencil.

Rescue tobbogan
Summit jar but nothing to write with

While I was eating my PBJ the sun came out and warmed me up and the clouds lifted and on the way back there were some views.

Jay Peak from near Big Jay summit
View down into the still green valley

I had to navigate the fresh blowdowns again but managed not to lose the trail this time.

Fresh blowdown
Mountain Ash berries

Since it was now clear I returned to the summit of Jay Peak where there were some nice views.

Big Jay from Jay Peak
Looking to the east from Jay Peak

Walked back to the car and started the very long drive home. Only 13 peaks left to finish the New England 100 Highest list.

Track for the day

Seems the trail location on the map is in the wrong place as I was definitely on the trail all the way to Jay Peak.