Tuesday, November 13, 2012

West Baldface 11/10/12

With Saturday's forecast being a beauty, I decided to hit something on my list with views. West Baldface ended the the choice because of it's views ledges. It was tough deciding what route to take to this trail-less peak as all would be pretty long. I decided on the XC ski trails that start from  Black Mountain Rd. in Jackson. I figured this to be around 13 miles. I arrived at the East Pasture trail-head early and was off. Shortly after starting I came to this sign and junction.

From here it was right onto the Bald Land Tr. One of the maintained trails thus a virtual road.

It passed a nice little pull-out with a view of Chandler Mountain.

The trail I believe turns into the Woodland Trail as far as I could figure out which is maintained at first but not further in. I also started seeing these numbered markers which I've no idea what they represent.

It was getting a bit monotonous on this long road walk but occasionally there was something to look at. Like this small beaver pond under the Black Mountains.

Sable & Chandler through the trees.

The final leg was probably an old logging road by the amount of growth I was seeing.

Which basically ended in this clearing.

Who would have thought the bushwhack would have been the easiest part of this hike. The woods were incredible.

You can just see the summit through the trees. The last 1/4 was steep but not extreme.

Caught my first hint of views a couple hundred yards from the top.

Finally the summit.

And subsequently, the real views. Mom and Dad. :)





It was a gorgeous day so I spent a good amount of time looking for all the views possible. I spotted some ledges which were on the east peak of west. Did that make sense? 8)

Not being far away at all I had to go check those out. This turned out to be the worst of the bushwhacking. Pretty darned thick and a ton of blow-downs. I was about hundred yards away from the ledge still but saw an opening in the trees. It had pretty much the view I'd have gotten from the ledges so called it quits there.

Now time to make the, VERY, long journey out. But you've gotta love woods like this.

Took a short very trek off trail to check out some cascades on what I believe was Gulf Brook.

I don't consider any hiking a waste of time, normally, but this next little side trip was. I passed this sign on the way in and figured I'd check it out on the way out. Should you ever be in this area, don't bother. It's an old sign.

8 hours later I was done.

I love to bushwhack to some secluded ledge or peak with views but if this one wasn't on my list I'm not sure I'd have done it. It's a long way from nowhere and you get the same, but better, views from North Baldface. It ended up being 14 miles and a significant amount of elevation gain and loss on these XC ski trails.

But I'll go with the best answer I can. Beats a day at work anytime. :D