Thursday, May 30, 2013

Salvaging Memorial Weekend on North Bald Cap, NH. 5/27/13

I'd had big plans for my 4 day weekend (including Friday) peak-bagging in the Great North Woods. As everyone knows by now, the weekend was pretty much a washout. Friday I headed up to bag Mt.'s Pisgah and NW Crystal but could only manage Pisgah. Just too darned wet and the forest roads conditions were deteriorating. On the way back to Lincoln I stopped at a place I'd passed several times and stopped once last year. Beaver Brook Falls in Colebrook, NH.

This was it last summer

This was it last Friday

So with the way things were, Saturday was a visit to some cascades day and Sunday I was foolish enough to join some friends on another bushwhack in freezing cold snowy woods. Yet another abort.

Now Monday, the last day of the weekend, comes along being a gorgeous day. I couldn't really do anything real long as I wanted to head home by noon or 1:00 at the latest. I'd been saying all weekend that if Monday were to be nice I was going to do North Bald Cap. I didn't realize at the time that bushwhacking to ledgey goodness would become a love of mine but I spotted NBC from The Outlook on the Success Trail. And how ironic is it, that it was on Memorial Weekend 2010.

Mike and Brian noticed it right off. 

The longest part of this hike was going to be the drive to Berlin and Success Pond Rd. So it was an early rise and out the door by 6:00 AM. I couldn't resist stopping at the bridge at Loon Mtn. for a photo of the once again snowy Moose.

The drive up Success Pond Rd. to an old logging road I was looking for was slow. It's in pretty rough shape IMO. Spotted my target from the road and an old logging cut.

Somewhere around 5-6 miles in I took an old logging road on the right. It has a fork almost immediately, which I took the right. I was able to drive about 1 mile up it to about 1800'. A high clearance vehicle is required in one spot.  I found a good spot to park and set off on what was left of the road. 

The road ended at a small brook and or drainage. It then became an old skidder road. It was littered with logging debris, thorns, water, mud, and snow. Good times. 8)

Higher up it became a little easier to deal with.

I hiked to the col between NBC and the nameless peak next to it. There I found myself with a pretty wet bog between me and the bushwhack.

I was pretty close to the NW end of it and could have gone around but decided to just pick my way across on what solid ground I could find since my feet were pretty wet already from the water, snow and mud.
Of coarse once across and whacking I find the blow-downs.

But it wasn't long after I got to what I'd come for, "Ledgey Goodness".

SE, SW and a Presi. Preview

Then more open ledge up.

From Here I headed east towards the cliff face of NBC. Very nice.

The last climb to the high point was a bit scrappy. What I haven't mentioned yet was that all the spruce was covered with enough snow to get me pretty soaked by this point. That and it was quite windy and chilly. I was hoping very much the high point was open and dry so I could change some clothes. It was.
Great views from here. Presi's
Nash Stream Peaks
Dixville Peaks

After warming up a bit and changing a couple layers, I ventured over to the cliff side again.
Where I first saw this place from. The Outlook.
 The look down to the valley below was really cool.

Heading back along these ledges gave me more great views SW.

It's always tough to leave these places but I had to get back to Lincoln, pack and head home. In short order I was back on the skidder road. Great views from the road too. :D

Then the logging road and done.

This is one great little mountain. :-)


Monday, May 6, 2013

Cater Ledge, Three Sisters, & Mt Chocorua 5/4/2013

This hike came about from a collaboration of ideas by a couple friends. Saturday was definitely looking like nothing other than a views hike would fit the bill. The final decision for peaks was Carter Ledge, Middle Sister, Chocorua and Blue. It was to be a traverse using the Carter Ledge Tr., Middle Sister Tr., Piper Tr., Liberty Tr., and finally Hammond Tr. out. On the drive up the tone was set at Chocorua Lake.

And by the lake we get the tale.

We started out together on the Carter Ledge Tr. but Greg and Brian broke off at the first junction with the Middle Sister Tr. as they were the only 2 interested in hitting Blue Mountain. Bye guys, you'll be missing the fun. :)

Desi, Becky and I continued on the Carter Ledge Trail. It was not too long before we were treated with views like these. 

As has been described in a couple reports as of late, the Carter Ledge Trail is views overload.

From Carter Ledge summit we threw a shout-out to Greg and Brian on Blue.

Now it was time to head for the real fun section of the Carter Ledge Tr., the scrambles.

And the the views from there.
Higher up on the Carter Ledge Tr. we had more great views and a good look at our second target, Middle Sister. Actually I think the photo is of North Sister.

Before long we met up with Brian and Greg on Middle Sister who somehow beat us there. I believe it was because we had much more to look at along the way. ;) We had the summit all to ourselves for a nice long lunch break to savor the great views from there.

Next up Chocorua. 

Enjoying great views along the way.

Nearing the summit we saw something I've never seen while hiking before, a goat.

Turns out he was the hiking companion of 3 young women. I never found out what the story was but his name is Walter. 

Then finally the grand prize, Mt Chocorua summit.

Which was pretty crowded on this simply gorgeous spring day.

But I was somehow oblivious to them. I'd only been on Chocorua twice prior. Once when I was 14 and remember next to nothing about the hike. And in July of 2010 on a very hazy day. No contest to this day.
Compare this photo to the one from Saturday. Just realized it's exact same shot. What are the odds.

Being able for the first time, to really enjoy what Chocorua had to offer, seemed to make the crowd on the summit insignificant. What magnificent views.

We finally did have leave. So we headed off on the Liberty Tr. first stopping at Jim Liberty Cabin.

Then a final look back to where we were early in the morning (Cater Ledge) from Weetamoo Rock and a last look at Chocorua. Man that is one photogenic mountain.

It just doesn't get any better that!