I continued some off-trail snowshoe exploring in Kinsman Notch on another cold but beautiful day. Mine was the only car in the Beaver Brook Trail parking lot when I set off late morning; the temperature was 3 above.
One of the day's objectives was the cliff on the left end of the lower ridge in front. I also wanted to get a close-up look at the impressive craggy knob in the back. And I hoped to see some large yellow birches on the plateau between the cliffs and the crag that are shown in the Kinsman Notch gallery on photographer Erin Paul Donovan's website, www.scenicnh.com.
I went a short way up the Beaver Brook Trail and then headed off into open hardwoods.
A frozen waterfall on a small tributary of Beaver Brook.
The snowshoeing was pretty steep on this slope, but the woods were open.
An Ent tree loomed overhead as I approached the bottom of the cliffs.
A side view of the cliffs.
I saw a shark nose with teeth. John Sobetzer, a Facebook viewer, saw a pirate. Yup, now I see that, too.
There were no safe open perches atop these cliffs, but I found a unique standing view down Kinsman Notch, with Scar Ridge, Osceola, Tripyramid, Tecumseh and Sandwich Dome on the horizon.
Looking down at my lonely car in the Beaver Brook parking lot.
A good dropoff below.
I circled around to a higher clifftop with a flat and comfortable perch. From one side, there was a view of Mt. Waternomee across the Beaver Brook basin.
This spot had a little different angle down Kinsman Notch.
Mt. Tecumseh, its ledgy southern spurs, and Sandwich Dome.
The spectral Tripyramids and Sleepers seen through Thornton Gap.
The Dilly Cliffs (L) and Monkey Cliffs (R), with Scar Ridge beyond.
I had an initial snowy glimpse up to the craggy knob, but there were better views of it to come.
At the base of the knob, on a 2500-ft. plateau, I found a lovely birch glade.
From here there was an impressive look up to the crags.
A magical place in winter.
There was a foot of snow in here - powdery on top, firm beneath - best snowshoeing I've found so far this season.
Snowshoeing northward across the plateau, I found some of those big trees, including this maple...
and this old yellow birch.
While making my way out to some lower cliffs, I crossed an open boggy area with an imposing view of the craggy knob. This impressive feature deserves a name. Perhaps it could be called "Jakey's Crag," after woods boss James "Jakey" McGraw, who figured out a way to log the near-inaccessible spruce up behind the cliffs using a donkey engine and cable line.
Late in the afternoon I made my way out to the lower cliffs overlooking Beaver Pond and the heart of Kinsman Notch.
Mt. Tecumseh and Sandwich Dome seen through the Notch.
Looking across at Mt. Waternomee.
For my descent I circled northward into the Stark Falls Brook drainage, catching a glimpse of crags on the north side of the valley.
I ended with a chilly traverse of solidly frozen Beaver Pond.
A final look at the cliffs and Jakey's Crag looming up behind.