Wednesday, December 5, 2012
LIVERMORE PASS: 12/4/12
It was a dismal, dreary day with low fog and drizzle. It's hard to get motivated for a hike when the weather is like this! But after working a half day at the store, I really wanted to get out. I settled on a 4-mile round trip hike on the Livermore Trail, from the Kanc Highway to Livermore Pass, the remote-feeling gap between Mt. Kancamagus and Mt. Tripyramid's Scaur Peak. Needless to say, there were no other cars at this lonely trailhead.
The trail starts out with easy walking on an old gravelly logging road.
In 0.3 mile it emerges in a grassy, brushy wildlife opening maintained by the Forest Service - a neat area.
Erosion from Tropical Storm Irene.
Farther up the trail, more storm erosion.
These leaning yellow birches overhang the trail as you approach the short, steep climb into the Pass.
The ravine on the N side of the Pass is a cool place, featuring some gnarled old yellow birches.
This is an especially neat area in the winter.
The trail climbs on a narrow sidehill footway, which makes for some difficult snowshoeing in crusty condition. It was a little tricky even today with some patches of ice and wet snow.
The final approach to the Pass leads up through a jumble of rocks in a dry streambed.
I wondered if this tumble was caused by Irene; I don't recall it being this rocky before.
But my last few previous visits here were all in winter.
On a clear day, when the leaves are down, from the top of this pitch you get a glimpse out to Mt. Carrigain.
At the top of the climb you abruptly enter the deep, dark woods on the flat floor of Livermore Pass. Late in the afternoon on a dreary, dripping day, this was a wild and lonely place.
A little ways into the Pass the trail skirts this small open bog. It was absolutely quiet here, save for the chattering of a red squirrel.
Large blowdowns blocked the path just beyond here, but I worked my way around and onward for another 0.1 mi. to the sign marking the high point of the trail in the Pass. Then it was time to head for home, just barely making it out without using my headlamp.