Monday, September 19, 2011

The Black Crescents 9/17/11

Greg and I decided to bushwhack the Black Crescents Saturday. Two are on the NH 3K list and the third is on NH 200. As on all bushwhacks I plan, I look at Google earth to see how the woods look. When doing so, I could see there had been some major clear cut logging almost to the summit of N. Black Crescent. Which to me would equal views so that was the plan for the ascent. I asked someone about the logging and he said it was last logged in 2006 so no telling what it might be like now. The starting point would be a spot on Bog Dam Rd. which is off York Pond Rd. We arrived at the spot I thought would take us to the clear-cut and headed out.
From this clearing at the start, we hit mostly open woods. Almost road like.
We were in these woods for no more than a couple tenths of a mile when we could see signs of it really opening up.
As soon as we got through that we came out on a ATV/snowmobile trail. And beyond that, waist high or less scrub. AKA, views.  :D
The higher we got, the better the views. Kilkenny Ridge behind us.
Franconia Ridge to the south.
And north toward the Percy's
So far, I can't really say we were bushwhacking. The scrub was pretty thick in  spots but walking on this wide open side of the mountain was such a treat that the thick scrub was barely noticeable. 
Getting close to the summit we had to go back in the woods. This this is what the woods were like there.
Five minutes later, we were at the summit.
After a quick signing of the log, we headed for what is called S. Black Crescent on the 3K list but it is actually the middle one. No clear-cut now but we found it to be a great open woods ridge.
It took us about a half an hour to 45 minutes to make to the next peak. At the summit there was a large boundary marker right next to the high point.
After signing the log at this peak we discussed weather we were going to go for the third Black Crescent which was is on the NH 200 highest list. But I at least wanted to try and find a talus slope which was on the east side of the next bump. Again going through great woods. 
We got to where I thought we'd be able to get to the slide. I descended a little and could see the northern Presi's through the trees. I came to the edge of a shear drop. I could see the talus below but it was about a 150 straight drop down to it. I was probably standing on the edge of a shier slide. Oh well, this was a pretty decent lookout.
After taking a couple photos here, we decided we were going to go for the last peak, South Black Crescent. 
Now up until now we enjoyed great woods. There were some good woods on the way to the next target as well.
But we did manage to find quite a few blow down fields as well. Which I'm really starting hate. No patience for them anymore I guess. Anyway, we made it to S. Black Crescent. Greg, signing the log.
It was here that we realized we both had brain cramps in the morning. Since I would be car camping somewhere tonight, we both took our cars here. We both were thinking in the morning that all 3 peaks were a possibility. Did we spot a car further up the road? Nope, both were parked together which meant we'd be having about a 1.5 mile road walk at the end. :(  So we headed off for the road in more beautiful woods.
At about 2500' we ran into more old logging giving us back our views.
We found an old logging road around here took that most of, the rest of, the way down.
Now all we had was the road walk back to the cars, sitting just as we left them, side by side. Ooops :-)
An absolutely, great bushwhack.  :D

The Tracks

Monday, September 5, 2011

Little Wildcat 9/4/2011

After a couple of long hikes on Friday and Saturday I was looking for something a little shorter for Sunday. With 4 of the 5.5 miles on trail I picked a bushwhack to Little Wildcat. The baby of the Wildcats. I started on NBT around 8:00am. under cloudy skies and in fog.
I was not on trail long before I came to the first of many damaged sections of the NBT from Irene. I'm not sure how they will deal with all the washed out sections of trail. 
With Nineteen Mile brook still flowing heavy, I had to spend some time doing the water photo thing. :-)
I spent a good half hour going down to different spots along the brook to take some shots. The sun was coming  out now making the brook particularly beautiful.
When I got to the bridge that crossed the brook I found it only half intact with a make-shift repair. The rest of the bridge was down stream.
The further in I got on NBT the more damage I was seeing. Completely washed out sections of trail.
At the junction of NBT and Carter Dome Tr. I started that bushwhack for Little Wildcat. Right off the bat I found beautiful, open woods.
It was steep but the woods were so open it made for pretty easy going. I did manage to find one small view towards the Carters.
Nearing the summit I had a few small blow downs to deal with but nothing that hard as to just go over them.
The worst thing I had to deal with on this entire whack as for as woods goes (tons of black flies on the descent :-( ), was this 20 foot section of pencil woods at the summit.
I made the summit about 45 minute after stating the bushwhack.
I didn't stay too long on the summit as a couple minutes after arriving I heard a loud crack close by. Definitely larger than a bread box. Not having seen any moose sign really I decided I didn't want a possible close encounter with a bear and headed down.
Just before getting back to the NBT I found a really great campsite. I'll have to remember this one.
On the way in I spent a lot of time photographing the water so on the way out I chose fungi. :-)
I finished up the hike in 5 hours. A great day in forest.