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. :-)



  1. Wow Joe! You should go into the salvage business! You certainly did a terrific job of "salvaging" the Memorial Day weekend!

    Have never been to North Bald Cap, but you've rekindled my thoughts about visiting this spot! Had seriously considered going there a few weeks ago when I was at Gentian Pond. Was going to head over to it from the Mahoosuc Trail, but plans were thwarted by deep snow (and no snowshoes)!

    Excellent report all around! Enjoyable narrative and terrific photos.


  2. Thanks very much for your comments John. It would have been a real bummer if I was 0/4 for views for the weekend. This was a great way to end it.

    Just an fyi, I've heard the bushwhack from the Mahoosuc Trail to there is pretty rough. But 2 each his own. :)

  3. Interesting TR- Great Views from all around! That must be a superzoom of the windtowers? I see you can see the lower half of Berlin from there, I'll have to remember next time I'm up that way to look for that ledge in the horizon as I am heading out of town. Looks like a gem you found there! That whole Northern area is just gorgeous isn't it!!! You get the Presi's, Kilkenny's and Mahoosics all from one vantage point, pretty cool if you ask me. Wouldn't living in the area be a great jumping point for hikes in the Great North Woods and surrounding areas? Something to consider for retirement Joe!!

    Hiking Lady

  4. Thanks very much for your comments Hiking Lady

    "Something to consider for retirement Joe!!"

    Already being considered. :)

  5. Nice exploration, Joe, and lots of great photos! Never been up there. A couple of years ago Keith and I whacked along below the cliffs through the clearcuts after a traverse of Mt. Success. Ledgy goodness, indeed! Thanks for sharing.


  6. Thanks Steve. Very surprised you haven't checked this one out yet. Great views for a pretty easy bushwhack.