East Stairs

Hiked East Stairs on 8/2/2017 with Bill Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was forecast to be clear and warm with a chance of showers or thunderstorms after 3PM. We got back to the cars at about 2:45 and heard some rumbles of thunder but it never rained. East Stairs is in the Presidential Range – Dry River Wilderness. We got there by driving to the end of Sawyer River Road and then hiking 2 miles on the Rocky Branch trail and about 3/4 mile on the Stairs Col trail before starting the bushwhack to East Stairs. Low water in all the streams.

Low water in the Rocky Branch

The bushwhack started off fairly steeply through open woods and then somewhat thicker spruce but not real bad. We then came to a cliff that was really tall and steep. Larry tried to climb up it but couldn’t get any traction so we worked our way to the edge of it and went up through the woods. There were good views from the top of it.

Working through the brush with blowdowns underneath
Larry trying to climb the cliff

We still had a short distance to go to get to the summit and it was some really thick nasty spruce. We finally found the summit after searching for a while through the thick stuff.

The three of us on the summit

We decided to go back to the cliff top for lunch and admire the views while eating. We found a better way to get there that didn’t go through the thick stuff.

Attitash Ski area and North Moat mountain
Bill and Larry having some potato chips with their lunch

We headed back to the Stairs Col trail and came across an area with lots of dead birch trees, must have been a big wind.

Birch graveyard

Only 29 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track for the day