Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Greens Cliff / First Ledge at 2200' 5/12/12

Saturday my significant other and I hiked Blueberry Mtn in Benton. Beautiful hike but fairly short and quick, we were done by noon. With such a gorgeous day, I myself was not ready to call it quits. So I dropped the girlfriend off in Lincoln, had a bite to eat, and decided on Greens Cliff. The intent was to hike all the way to the true summit for NH200. After a lunch I headed east on the Kanc. for the Sawyer river Tr. I started out with water shoes as I knew the crossing of the Swift River was a bit high and didn't want to spend a lot of time searching for a route across. The photos below are the cascades just above the crossing and the crossing itself.
After making it across I switched to my boots and headed of on trail. The plan now was to head in a couple 10ths of mile more or less and head up the west ridge of Greens Cliff. Looking at my map I noticed I had another crossing of Meadow Brook. Never having been on this trail I didn't know that I would be able to pick up an x-country / snowmobile trail with a bridge over Meadow Brook. That works.
I myself have not seen much for wildflowers this spring. All I could come with was some Painted Trillium and Hobble bush on the way in.
Shortly after crossing the bridge I started my ascent up the ridge. I thought I saw more hard woods down low from the Kanc. but my starting point was in fairly open but scrappy rock and ledge laden area. A little tough going after having hiked earlier.
The woods started to open up a bit but now it was fairly thick, young hardwoods. 
I was starting to feel a little beat and my legs were stinging since I decided to try this one in shorts. Never again. I decided I was not going to make it to the summit after about an hour and a half of slow going so I headed instead for a ledge I knew was at about 2200'. I started pushing south and within .1 miles popped out on the ledge. 
Now I had stopped at The Mountain Wanderer in Lincoln on my way through. In talking to Steve Smith about my plan, he said if I only made it to the first ledge, that was a worthwhile destination in itself. No argument there. Fantastic views. 180* or a little less.
I took my usual, too many photos, then took a nice break. The skies were blue and breeze was blowing. Alone on a ledge with views like this is indescribable. 
When it was time to leave, I decided to descend on a different route which landed me in some very thick saplings. Along with that. I hit  some bog areas which was bordered with thorns. My legs weren't happy at all. Did I say no more whacking in shorts? Looks innocent enough but I got pretty sliced up going through here.
I finally made it back to the snowmobile trail and spotted one more wildflower. Wild Violets, one of my favorites.
Took me about 3hrs. 15mins. to do this one. I'll be returning this summer probably, to get to the summit.
Great Bushwhack!

Tracks- Top ascent / Bottom descent

Photos of the ledge are in reverse order as I entered at the top and worked my way down.