Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I stayed low and stayed south for a short but steep bushwhack loop to four sunny view ledges on the south side of Bald Knob (Acteon Ridge), including two fine perches I hadn't visited before. This rugged area is always entertaining.

It was looking a bit like winter on Old Waterville Road.

New snow frames a watery sluice.

Open hemlock bushwhacking.

A pleasant sunny, ledgy area.

A big ledge looming ahead.

Rugged terrain!

I followed the tracks of a good-sized animal up this steep slope. The tracks had little definition in the powdery snow. Maybe a bear?

Looking back down at my own tracks.

A great perch awaited at the top.

This is a big, steep granite slab.

A nice view south.

Looking SW to Stinson and Carr Mountains.

Above the slab I ascended an interesting ridgecrest with oaks and snowy ledges under deep blue sky.

Big old red oaks.

A peek at the Black Mountain ridge.

Approaching the big open ledge at the top of the south spur of Bald Knob.

I sat on my pack here for a while, soaking up the sun, a rarity in December.

The snowy peak of Sandwich Dome.

Welch and Dickey Mountains beyond the steep face of Bald Knob.

From here I could see the day's last objective - a cliff (lower left) on the rugged south slope of Bald Knob. Would there be a feasible way to the top?

The cliff from the mini-valley below.

Side view of the cliff, which is occasionally ascended by rock climbers with a taste for remote crags. The prime route here is called Journey to Lost World  and is rated a difficult 5.10.

A small dike eroded into the granite.

It wasn't easy, but I was able to find a way to the top, where I discovered a surprisingly open viewpoint. Sandwich Dome's two Black Mountains were in full view.

A closer look at the Blacks.

By descending carefully to the edge I added Sandwich Dome's summit (far left) to the view.


Looking across to the south spur of Bald Knob, where I'd been a half-hour earlier.

Steep and slippery on the way back down from the clifftop, where Stabilicers proved handy for extra grip.

Not much to hang onto here!

This crawl-through was the key to the route up to the top of the cliff.

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