Bare rock beckoned on this sunny, near 50 degree day. A short bushwhack put a new twist on an old favorite.
Brilliant sun in the hardwoods along the east loop of the UNH Trail. Conditions were sloppy, especially in the afternoon. I wore small snowshoes for more stable footing.
The headwaters of White Brook.
Near the top of the east loop I diverted to a bushwhack route up a draw between the East Ledges and the main summit. This is approximately the route of a long-abandoned section of trail. Despite the warm temps, the snow base was rock-solid under the top 3" layer of wet newer snow.
One of the larger red spruces I've seen recently.
The route took me along the base of a hidden cliff.
A Pileated Woodpecker masterpiece.
From the East Ledges, the classic view of Mt. Passaconaway. To the left are Nanamocomuck Peak (marked by a 1938 slide) and Wonalancet Hedgehog.
Looking west to the Sleepers and South Tripyramid.
Not normal for February 28, but we'll take it!
Had an excellent look at a pair of Red Crossbills in a spruce down below. The mix of red and orange plumage suggests that this is a young male. We saw Red Crossbills on Great Hill the day before, and have seen a number of White-winged Crossbills this winter as well. Pine Siskins seem to be everywhere.
Chocorua off to the east.
On the way down I removed a couple of blowdowns on my adopted trail section.
I didn't mess with this leaner - these can be dangerous to remove solo and are best done with at least two maintainers.We'll get it in the spring.