ICY EAST SIDE TRAIL: 1/5/12
The early winter snow drought has left the trails at lower elevations in the Whites treacherously icy. Traction is needed on even the easiest of trails. To check the conditions at Lincoln Woods, I took a morning walk up the East Side Trail. On a midweek morning in early January, the place was nearly deserted.
A new composite material sign for East Side Trail.
Wall-to-wall ice on the gravel road, which is open in summer for vehicle use only for Forest Service folks for management of the Franconia Brook Tentsite, 2.6 mi. up the road. Microspike material from start to finish.
This view of the East Branch a half-mile in was opened up by Tropical Storm Irene.
As shown on a post-Irene post on this blog, parts of the Pine Island Trail were obliterated by the storm. The Forest Service does plan to reopen this delightful, easy path, which Carol and I had just adopted in July, by moving it farther back from the river.
At the one-mile mark, the road crossed a small brook coming off the slope of West Hitchcock. Amazingly,during Irene the brook moved this culvert some distance downstream...
...creating this washout. Latest word from the Forest Service is that there are plans to construct a bridge here in spring/early summer of 2012.
One the way back I did a little whacking in the open hardwood forest on the east side of the trail. These open woods extend quite a ways up the slope of West Hitchcock, which I took advantage of years ago on a couple of whacks to the steep, slabby, slide on the west face of West Hitchcock.
That slide, seen in the upper left of this photo from Lincoln Woods Trail, is pretty tricky to get out on because of overlapping slabs. I did find a perch near the top with a view west down the valley towards Lincoln. That was during pre-digital camera photo days, so no pics to share here.
As I made my way parallel to the East Side Trail, I passed this little feeder brook coming off West Hitchcock. Just a nice little forest vignette.
I worked my way down to where Pine Island Brook (on the R) feeds into the East Branch.
Looking downstream on the East Branch. A long way to go before the river freezes over.
A tangle from Irene seen below the Lincoln Woods Trail. It's always amazing to see the power of the water from that storm.