Sunday, September 15, 2013
EAST OSCEOLA: 9/14/13
My brother Drew recently retired and is pecking away at his 4000-footer list. East Osceola was one of the peaks he needed, and with a forecast for possibly sunnier skies to the south, that seemed like a good choice for this day. This was also Flags on the 48 day, an annual remembrance for those who lost their lives on 9/11. From 12 noon til 2 pm, flags are flown on each of the 48 White Mountain 4000-foot summits. Hundreds of hikers participate each year in this event, which had its origin just four days after the attacks, when six hikers raised a flag atop Mt. Liberty.
It was fairly grey when we started around 10:00 from the full parking lot at the Greeley Ponds Trail on the Kanc Highway.
There was lots of mud on the Greeley Ponds Trail from recent rain. Along the way we saw some fine new trail work by the Pemi Ranger District trail crew.
Signs at the junction in Mad River Notch. The hike to this point is 1.3 mi. with 350 ft. of elevation gain. The rest of the way to East Osceola is 1.5 mi. with 1850 (!) ft. of elevation gain.
A fine hardwood glade partway up the lower moderate section of the Mt. Osceola Trail.
A peek at the great cliff band on the NE spur of East Osceola, under which the Mt. Osceola Trail traverses. At this point the skies were brightening and we thought we'd be in for a fine day.
Partway up the steep section, we made a short detour to look at the huge wet rock slab on the south side of the trail.
One of the gnarlier sections of the steep climb to East Osceola.
From the slide crossing at 3700 ft. we had the best views of the day, before the clouds and fog rolled back in. From here the cliffs on the NE spur are seen far below.
The eroded gully at the very top of the steep climb. Unfortunately the fine outlook just above here to the right was totally fogged in.
Brothers at the summit of East Osceola. (Thanks to the hiker who took this photo for us.)
The summit was a busy place. A group of Boy Scouts and leaders from Troop 5 in Bedford, NH came across for a visit to East Osceola. Troop 5 took part in the flag-raising on the main summit of Osceola.
Troop 131 from Wrentham, MA, the flag-raisers for East Osceola. Great job, guys!
A fir wave viewpoint just north of the summit. Nothing but gray air today.
On the way down we dropped below the clouds at 3400 ft. I made a short side trip to the edge of the big slab for a view across to the Tripyramids, where the cloud deck was considerably higher.
The Tripyramids, with Mt. Passaconaway peering over behind Scaur Peak. The K1 Cliff on Mt. Kancamagus can be seen on the far L.
Looking across the slab.
Drew crossing the South Fork of Hancock Branch, which was running well after recent rains. Though our views were limited by the fog, we had an interesting and rewarding hike on one of the more rugged approaches among the 4000-footers.