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


  1. Terrific report about a terrific hike! And speaking of terrific, aren't those views from the talus-field area of Black Crescent simply awesome! Liked it so much the first time I was there, I went back for "seconds" several months later!


  2. Thanks John. We never actually made it down to the talus. The shots were taken from an opening about 100' or better above. It was a straight drop and no time to find a safe route down to it. I will have to return and check those out more closely myself someday.

  3. Hi Joe. I could tell from reading your report that your route didn’t take you down to the talus field itself. But, I knew that you must have experienced those terrific views, regardless of whether you were ON or ABOVE the talus. The view you got from ABOVE the talus was probably better than (or at least as good as) the view I got from climbing around on the talus field itself.