Saturday, September 22, 2012

Western Slope of Agony Ridge Talus Field 9/16/12

Sunday was going to be just a clean the condo in Lincoln and head home kind of day. 3 long hikes Thursday-Saturday had me pretty sore. But while having my morning coffee watching New Hampshire Crossroads with Fritz Wetherbee I was reminded of a bushwhack I've wanted to do for some time. The episode was Franconia Notch. It was something I'd spotted from Cannon a few years ago and thought would make for an interesting and quick hike. The title of the blog is the best way I can describe the spot. This is what I saw from Cannon.

So I packed a light bag and headed for Boise Rock parking area where I was going to start the bushwhack from. I'm not sure about this but I think Boise Rock may be the least visited spot in Franconia Notch. I use it more as a rest stop and almost never see anyone there. It is an interesting story though.

I'd be starting from about 1900' going to 2400'.  The woods from the lot were nice and open.

Somewhere around 2250-2300' I started hitting huge boulders. 

I had to be very careful navigating through this area. I imagine these were a continuation of the talus but the centuries have covered most of it with earth. Carpets of moss were spanning gaps in the rocks making for some deadly moss traps. Well, maybe not deadly but certainly serious injury would occur if one was to step on one of these bridged gaps. So I made sure each step was on solid rock and caught a preview at 2350'.

I went up and north for another 50' and came out at the top of the talus.

Pretty close-up and personal view of the Cannon Cliffs.

I think these feature on the Cliffs has a name but I don't know what it is. I have seen climbers in there so perhaps it's just a nickname they've given it.

No one on the summit tower yet.

From the top I didn't have a great view of the notch so I started making my way down. Many of these rocks / boulders were huge. I took one photo with myself in it to show some scale.

From this vantage point I had a better view of the Notch. South & North.

Profile Lake. I've yet to visit the new park with the Old Man profile.

A last look up and one more photo of the Notch.

I dropped back into the woods again having to slowly pick my way through the huge moss covered boulders. It may be hard to tell from a photo but this is the depth of the gaps in these rocks.

Once out, I was near the other end of the parking lot from where I was parked and noticed 2 things I hadn't noticed on the dozens of times I've driven through. Not much but interesting just the same. First this.

Then this.

Not exactly the perspective of the Notch I thought I would get from that vantage point but for a 2 hour romp, I'll take it. Below are tracks of bushwhack.


  1. Hi Joe,

    Yet another of your many terrific explorations! As your reports and photos show, there are some unique views that can be had from the various talus fields and ledges in the Franconia Notch. All involve a steep climb, and the footing isn't always great, but the rewards are worth the effort!

    Thanks for posting. This was a very enjoyable read!


  2. Thanks for kind words John. Glad you pointed out something I forgot to mention....Steep!

  3. Neat little whack, Joe - unusual views! Sure looks like some treacherous footing in there. Thanks for posting.


  4. Thanks, Steve. Not the most expansive views but decent enough for a 2 hour whack. Yes, you have to watch your step in there for sure.