On a cold, crisp day I enjoyed a sunny snowshoe bushwhack with Cath Goodwin from the Sabbaday Brook Trail to a favorite ledge on the northern spur of the Fool Killer. The top of this large, open slab offers a unique perspective on the Sandwich Range Wilderness.
In the photo below taken earlier in January from Mount Passaconaway, the Fool Killer Ledge is the snowy patch in the foreground, lower right.
We set a leisurely pace, pausing often to admire interesting sights in the forest, such as these snow-capped shelf fungi.
We passed the Wilderness boundary beside a tributary brook.
Cath spotted this unusual intertwining of a maple and a beech.
Good snowshoeing was enjoyed in the sunny woods.
Another interesting tree, getting a grip on granite.
Consistent with previous trips in this area, the woods were predominantly open.
Cath admiring a towering hemlock.
This is a big tree!
We passed through an extensive open stand of hemlock and spruce.
The final approach took us on a steep ascent through open spruces followed by a fairly strenuous sidehill traverse on a slippery crust.
The sun-washed ledge opened an unusual view up the Sabbaday Brook valley to East Sleeper, with Mounts Passaconaway and Whiteface beyond - the heart of the Sandwich Range Wilderness.
Looking east to Potash Mountain, Mount Chocorua and Mount Paugus.
Zoom on Potash and Chocorua.
The great wooded dome of Mount Passaconaway.
The big snowy ledge slab below.
The sun was amazingly warm here, with no wind. We were able to lounge comfortably for more than an hour.
Parting shot of Passaconaway & Whiteface.
It's hard to beat these woods!
Late afternoon light on "South Potash."
The ice is slowly building up on Sabbaday Brook, but it will take another week or two of cold weather to build solid snow and ice bridges.