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.


  1. Hi Joe,
    I really enjoyed your report and your photos. Green's Cliff is a terrific spot, and there is a lot more to explore there than meets the eye. For example, I've been to the summit, and have visited a couple of viewpoints on its northeasterly end. But, I've yet to explore the southwesterly end that you explored.
    Thank you so much for posting this!


  2. Thanks John. I hope to get up to the summit and check out some of those other ledges later this summer.

  3. Great trip report and pics. This is the second TR I've read this week on this peak... "busy place" last weekend. You've whetted my appetite!

  4. Thanks. Yes, it's a great spot.

  5. Excellent report, Joe. Glad you found that lower ledge, it's a sweet spot. Nice pics of the views. Every time I bushwhack in shorts, it reminds me why I don't bushwhack in shorts.


  6. Thanks very much. You were certainly spot-on saying that that ledge was a worthwhile destination in itself.


  7. It sounds like you visited what is called by rock climbers 'Meadowbrook Slabs'. I have explored it to check the climbing potential (great rock, but the starts of existing routes have become very overgrown). Below it is very thick regrowth from extensive logging, so it can be a bit laborious on the approach. If you ever make it over to the main cliff and the walls surrounding it you will be well rewarded: beautiful views and dramatic rock features. These other cliffs are more often used by climbers, so anyone reading this, please be respectful of any gear or ropes you may see (lives depend on them) and treat the area well.
    I actually prefer shorts when I am schwacking. They don't catch and my legs dry a lot faster when hiking through wet vegetation. You just have to toughen up, learn how to move through thick woods and not worry about a few scratches ( unless out for many days without a way to wash well). Skin heals;pants don't ;)