Saturday, April 14, 2018

SPRING FOR A DAY: 4/13/18


With several days of dismal weather in the forecast, today was the day to get out for a few hours and return to an area where I knew the bushwhacking would be snow-free, on the south spur of Bald Knob.

This is what I look for this time of year. It's a little too early for the full ASAP (April Snow Avoidance Program). Though the approach trails were covered in ice and old snow, I did not step on one patch of snow along the bushwhack route.

A beech, swaying to the music of spring.



A random giant white pine, high on the slope.



Water flowing through a miniature sluice.



Lichen-crusted.


The long arms of the oak.


Approaching the big granite ledge atop the south spur of Bald Knob.



Peering south at the Campton Range. Two days earlier I was exploring the lower foreground ridge in the center of the photo.



I enjoyed a sweet hour-plus of sun and 50-degree temp on the ledge. A junco was singing and the wild cry of a Pileated Woodpecker issued from the nearby woods.



Heading down a ledgy spine.



I stopped briefly at a lower perch along the crest - another big granite slab.


A side view of this steep slab, with Cone Mountain in the distance.


Steep terrain.


Lichen hairdo.



Reaching for the sky.


Snow lingers in the shade of this linear rock formation.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

CAMPTON RANGE RAMBLE: 4/11/18


On a 40ish day I repeated a favorite April bushwhack (for the third time in three years) over several bumps on the north ridge of Mt. Weetamoo in the Campton Range, starting from Sandwich Notch Road. There were many interesting sights along the way. This trip has become a rite of spring.

The approach was via the Chickenboro logging road and an unofficial mountain bike trail.



This trail, along with many others in the Smarts Brook-Chickenboro Brook area, is slated to become an official WMNF bike trail as part of the Wanosha management project.

An attractive drainage leads up towards the ridge.



Jumble o' rocks.



Boulder-strewn.


Looking down the drainage, a typical April scene.


A double-trunked white ash.


Steep approach to a col. Bushwhacking puts you more in touch with the terrain.


Lingering icicles.


I made my way to a view ledge I discovered a couple of years ago, looking across the Chickenboro Brook basin to Mt. Weetamoo.

Out the valley towards Stinson Mtn. and Carr Mtn.


Lounging in the sun for a while.


Bear and turkey, side-by-side.



Hiker, bear and turkey.



Coyote trail.


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Coyote tracks.



An early spider.


Heading south along the ridge, the spring snow was perfect for bushwhacking, even sans snowshoes. An inch or two of wet surface snow atop a solid base.



A fine hardwood ridge.


Bear tree.



Bear "nest" for feeding on beech nuts.



A wandering turkey.


Ridgetop erratic.



A nice hardwood col.



Black cherry bark. This is one of the few places in the Whites I've seen this tree.



Last spring I found this view of Sachem Peak and Jennings Peak.


Sandwich Dome behind the two Black Mountains.



Hiker tracks - presumably from avid peakbaggers Brian and Mary Bond, who whacked East Weetamoo and Mt. Weetamoo on 4/7.




View east through Sandwich Notch from a small ledge.




Mt. Israel and Dinsmore Mtn. above part of Upper Hall Pond.



Catskill-like glade and ledge-meadow.



Looking up the ledge-meadow.


Great spring whacking descending off the ridge.



Beautiful hardwood slope.


More bear tracks.




Spring beauty abounds: a streamlet flows beneath a mossy ledge.