Friday, November 16, 2018

Bald Knob Spur: 11/15/18

On a chilly day with high clouds moving in, I enjoyed a favorite shoulder season bushwhack to ledges on the SW end of Acteon Ridge. 

There was only a thin coating of crunchy snow in this area. Left the snowshoes at home.

A wrap-around ledge.

Home sweet home, summer 2018.

This route is 95% hardwood.

Interesting gall on this skinny tree.

Sign of an abnormally cold November.

Cascades of water and ice.

Delicate beauty.

A steep climb through oak forest.

Elongated ledge on the ridgecrest.

Some tight maneuvering was required to access this lofty south-facing granite perch.

Profile of the Campton Range.

Heading up to the top of Bald Knob's southern spur.

Base of the big summit ledge.

Another good southerly vantage.

Welch & Dickey.

Cliffs on Bald Knob.

A high hardwood glade.

Down through the oaks.

A jumble of stone.

Hardwood heaven.

A tiny stream leads the way down a drainage.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Osceola Brook, 11/14/18

First snowshoe hike of the season, on a cold and windy November 14th! Followed several Waterville Valley XC ski trails, which had decent cover and were lightly packed by snowmobile, then bushwhacked up along Osceola Brook to several cascades. The 5-6" of dense, crunchy snow made for surprisingly good snowshoeing conditions. A day to stay low in the woods.

A Forest Service worker had just closed the gate on Tripoli Road for the season.

The scene at Osceola Vista Campground.

The southwest slide of Mt. Osceola is prominent in this view.

North Tripyramid and its North Slide.

Light grooming by snowmobile on the XC trails. They were not yet officially open for the season, but the nordic director's blog invited snowshoers to come help back down the base.

Sliding cascade on Osceola Brook - possibly the location of a feature known as Emerald Pool, shown on the 1892 edition of A.L. Goodrich's map of Waterville Valley.

A mini-flume.

The lower end of Osceola Rapids.

Osceola Rapids, which were accessible by trail from the 1890s through the 1930s.

Looking down on the rapids from a high bank.

Closeup of the upper end of the rapids.

Looking down the rapids.

Multi-hued ledges a bit farther upstream.

Open hardwood whacking in November snow.

The site of Osceola Camp, used in the 1940s by loggers of the Parker-Young Company.

A photo of Osceola Camp in the 1940s, which appeared in an issue of the Pycolog, the Parker-Young Company's monthly publication.


A pail partly buried in the snow. Not the best conditions for artifact-seeking.

Rusted barrel.

A sled runner sticking out of the snow.

A magnificent maple.

Impressive girth!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Little East Pond: 11/8/18

A late fall visit to a favorite backcountry pond. Turned back on an attempted bushwhack to a ledge on a spur of Scar Ridge.

Easy walkin' on the Little East Pond Trail, following the grade of the Woodstock & Thornton Gore Railroad (1909-1914).


View through the trees from the site of a logging camp by Clear Brook.

Part of a gravity-fed water supply that served the camp.

Looks like a hitch of some kind.

A piece of leftover rail beside the trail.

Thanks to the abundant late fall rain, the water level of Little East Pond was way up from the summer.

I hoped to bushwhack to a potential view ledge on a spur of Scar Ridge, northwest of the pond. After crossing Little East Pond Brook, I found decent woods for a ways.

Birch graveyard. Beyond here the woods quickly "went downhill" with dense conifers and blowdowns.

To get to the ridge with the ledge, it would be necessary to cross a broad, deep drainage. Going into the drainage, the woods looked like this as far as I could see. I started down, but the footing was treacherous and I could not see under the neck-high small conifers.

I do a lot of solo bushwhacking, but these woods spooked me, and the climb beyond to the cliff looked dauntingly steep.Scar Ridge was living up to its gnarly reputation. Time to head back to the pond.

Back at the pond, my consolation whack was a circuit through the woods behind the shore. This was slow going through very dense woods with copious blowdown.

Peering out from an inlet brook.

Looking up through the trees at Middle Scar Ridge.

A rare spot of sun on a gray afternoon.

View from the north shore, looking across to where the trail emerges.

An old, moss-grown beaver lodge.


I stumbled upon this large metal artifact on the NE shore.

It might be some kind of stove base or back. I poked around the nearby woods and didn't find any other artifacts, but it's possible that there was a temporary logging camp somewhere up on the flat floor of this basin.

View across to Scar Ridge from a hard-earned break on the pond's lone sitting rock.

On the way down I bushwhacked partway alongside Little East Pond Brook, which was in good flow this day. No real cascades, but attractive nonetheless.