HOGBACK MOUNTAIN: 2/2/16
It was a fine sunny and comfortable day for a snowshoe bushwhack with Mark Klim to Hogback Mountain, a wild, ledgy SW spur of Mount Tecumseh. We saw lots of interesting stuff in the woods and enjoyed great views at the top.
Early in our bushwhack we came across what we thought might be bobcat tracks.
And there were many deer tracks as we meandered through an extensive hardwood forest.
Wild Turkeys had also moved through the area.
We stopped to admire this great old bear tree.
Bracket fungus adorned the lower trunk of this old giant.
Woodpeckers have been working diligently on this weathered trunk.
Mark leads across the first of two small brooks we crossed during a long traverse across the slopes of Fisher Mountain.
This was one of the biggest burls we've ever seen.
This looked like a "bear's nest" in the top of a tall beech.
Open hardwoods were the rule for much of the bushwhack. The snow was shallow and crunchy but actually provided some decent 'shoeing.
Our route led us up through a portal of sorts past this interesting boulder.
This looked like coyote tracks and scat, at an elevation of about 2400 ft.
An unusual rock formation on the flank of Hogback Mountain.
After one false start that dead-ended in impassable rocky terrain, we found a good route up onto the ledges of the northern summit of Hogback (2754 ft.).
We made our way out to a spectacular west-facing perch, where we could look over nearby Fisher Mountain to many distant ridges.
Mark takes in the views to the Carr-Kineo-Cushman region, with the fields of Mill Brook valley visible on the left.
A great spot to relax in the sun for lunch.
A stellar view of Mount Moosilauke, wearing a small cloud-cap and displaying the ice cliffs on the Jobildunk Ravine headwall.
A happy bushwhacker.
We made our way to a secluded north-facing ledge. Here we could study the long SW ridge of Mount Tecumseh rising above the Haselton Brook valley, a wild and trailless area. This region, now largely forgotten, was extensively described in Moses Sweetser's comprehensive 1876 guidebook to the Whites. Sweetser personally ascended Mount Tecumseh (whose pointy summit is seen at the top right corner) by two routes from this area and reconnoitered a third. "The Hogback" he described as "a massive pile of white rocks fringed with trees."
The view also takes in the SW spur of Green Mountain (L) and Foss Peak (R). This scrubby, ledgy area was apparently burned in a large forest fire around 1820.
The view to the northwest.
The ledgy lower ridge of Tecumseh's Bald Mountain.
The Kinsmans, the Cannon Balls and Cannon Mountain.
The snow was deeper in the scrub on this north-facing slope.
Sandwich Dome and a shadowed Jennings Peak.
This is the wild side of Tecumseh.
Next we whacked across a broad scruffy saddle to the open ledges of Hogback's southern summit (2770 ft.).
From here we could see the dark side of Dickey Mountain.
King of the hill!
A different perspective on the Tecumseh ridges.
Looking over Fisher Mountain's broad dome.
A nice expanse of ledge hidden away from civilization.
A last look before heading down.
Weaving through the spruces on the flat saddle.
Descending through open glades.
Afternoon shadows in the hardwoods. It was an excellent bushwhacking journey.