Friday, April 21, 2017


NORTH RIDGE OF MOUNT WEETAMOO: 4/20/17

Gloomy skies prevailed, but I enjoyed excellent hardwood bushwhacking -- 99% snow-free --for this afternoon ramble on the Campton Range.

For the approach to and exit from the north ridge of Mt. Weetamoo, I used the Chickenboro logging road (off Sandwich Notch Road) and this unofficial mountain bike trail.



While whacking up this slope I saw something large and dark moving up ahead. I think it was a bear, but didn't get a clear look. I made sure I went a little farther around in the other direction.



Approaching a col on the ridge.


Happy Golden Anniversary to somebody! I packed it out.


I made my way to a ledge with a nice view of Mt. Weetamoo across the upper valley of Chickenboro Brook. I first visited this spot a year ago in April.



Stinson and Carr Mountains in the distance.



A pretty good dropoff in front.


Moose sign on the ridge.



Just a few feet away was this bear tree.


There are a number of black cherry trees on this ridge, rather unusual for the Whites.



A ridgetop erratic.


A fallen black cherry.


Hardwood cols like this are cozy, somehow.


How does a tree get twisted like this? Remarkable!


This ferny ledge offered a surprise view north to Sachem Peak and Jennings Peak.


Zoomed in.


From another spot nearby there was another surprise: a view east across Sandwich Notch. Upper Hall Pond is below.


Mt. Israel and Dinsmore Mountain. I had just explored Dinsmore a few days earlier.


A level ridgetop glade.


Poor lighting, but this mossy beech was an eye-catcher.


This spot reminds me of the open glades and gnarled hardwoods of ridges in the Catskills.



I investigated one more ledge, which had a peek at the next hump southward along the ridge.


My descent back to the valley started at this col.



I descended through this fine mature hardwood forest on the flank of the ridge, at the base of a very steep slope.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017


DINSMORE MOUNTAIN: 4/17/17

On a perfect spring day I enjoyed an interesting bushwhack to this 2303-ft. neighbor of Mt. Israel on the eastern side of Sandwich Notch. Lots of hardwoods, some steep terrain, and pretty good views, though I had to work for them.

This is a view of Dinsmore Mountain from the fields near the Mead Base trailhead. I went up over the two spurs in front to the summit in the back.

I found some mellow hardwood whacking after leaving the Wentworth Trail a short distance up from the trailhead.


I crossed the brook that drains the south-facing valley between Dinsmore and Israel.



A steep slope led up to the ledgy southern shoulder.


I was surprised to find a stone wall at the top of the 1900-ft. shoulder. There was another stone wall farther up the ridge towards the summit.


 
Down at the edge was ledge perch looking across the Mead Base fields to the Ossipee Range.


Mt. Israel looms close by to the east.



It was a spectacular spring day.


Red Hill and Dinsmore Pond.


Impassable-looking cliffs guard the next spur to the north.


A long flanking maneuver around some gnarly terrain was required.


There are a number of cliffs hidden in the woods.


A weaving route got me to the top of the cliffy spur, and a nice view of Squam Lake.


The spur drops off in some seriously steep oak-wooded terrain.



This stretch across a flat snow-filled conifer shoulder wasn't a lot of fun.


The wooded summit of Dinsmore, a "2000-footer." Mine was the second 2017 entry in the register.



Heading north along the ridge, I dropped into this lovely hardwood draw.


An unusual fusion of beech and maple.


By a roundabout route, skirting more hidden cliffs, I found the best spot of the day: a secluded ledge with a view NE to the Sandwich Range.



The Tripyramids, the Sleepers and Mt. Whiteface.


Next to the ledge was this neat little hardwood ravine. I love finding little spots like this in the backcountry.


Late afternoon sun in the broad Dinsmore-Israel col.



A massive split oak on the descent through the valley.







CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS TRAILS: 4/16/17

Summer made an early appearance on Easter Sunday, and Carol and I took advantage of it with a leisurely hike around lower elevation trails at the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area in the Ossipee Mountains. It's a wonderful trail system, and there are lots of geocaches to seek.

Shannon Pond is a peaceful spot on the Castle grounds.





Wagon wheels and other interesting relics near a geocache site.


The Whitten cellarhole dates back to the late 1700s.


Carol logs a geocache at the Oak Ridge Lookout, reached by an easy mile's hike from the upper trailhead at the Castle. There's a fine view of Lake Winnipesaukee here.


A panorama created by Ossipee and Belknap mapmaker and trail advocate Dave Roberts.


Why it's called Oak Ridge.


The trails are well-marked with Lakes Region Conservation Trust signs.


An inviting path leads to the lookout off the Lower Bridle Path.


A nice spot to hang out in the sun.


Fine spring walking on the Faraway Mountain Trail. On our five-mile loop we used portions of ten different trails.


The Ossipee brooks were running high.



Before we headed home I took a quick hike down the spectacular Brook Walk, which passes seven named waterfalls in 0.6 mile. Shannon Brook was certainly roaring over Roaring Falls.


There are interpretive signs at the viewing point for each waterfall.

Bridal Veil Falls is my favorite along the trail.


The Falls of Song, the tallest of the waterfalls, is seen from a viewing platform at the base of the trail.