Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Black Mountain Pond: 1/21/20

Great day of snowshoeing to this remote backcountry pond with Mark Klim and Ray "Jazzbo" Caron. By pure happenstance, at the start of our bushwhack off Sandwich Notch Road we ran into Fred Lavigne, longtime stalwart of the Wonalancet Out Door Club. It was our lucky day - Fred joined us for the trip to the pond and shared his extensive knowledge of the Sandwich Notch area and the Sandwich Range.

Ray heads up the Sandwich Notch Road on a chilly morning with the temp at 3 above.

Bushwhacking buddies.

Faded sign at the Notch height-of-land.

Fred (center) was planning to bushwhack to a favorite spot in the Notch, but quickly decided to join us for the trek to the pond.

Fred breaks trail on the historic Old North Road, dating back to the early 1800s hill farm settlements in the Notch. Fred is a noted authority on the history of the Notch and is adept at "reading the woods." He was also a driving force in the expansion of the Sandwich Range Wilderness in the mid-2000s. He is both a logger (mostly retired) and a self-professed tree-hugger.

Fred pointed out this horseshoe in a tree.

Snowshoeing up an old woods road. The dry powder provided some of the best snowshoeing of the season.

A stout old yellow birch.

A leisurely trek with lots of interesting conversation.


A hard-packed moose bed.

Fred spotted what appeared to be tooth scrapings - perhaps from a moose - on this bracket fungus.

Heading up towards the pond.

At the end of our bushwhack we dropped in on the Black Mountain Pond Trail.

Emerging at the south end of Black Mountain Pond.

Ray crosses the open expanse of the pond. We took a lunch break in the warmth of the sun at a ledge outcrop on the shore.

Looking up at Black Mountain (3500 ft.), the craggy SW shoulder of Sandwich Dome.

Ice cliff on the flank of Black Mountain.

Fred, Ray and I headed across the pond to the woods on the north side while Mark started back down on the return trip.

We snowshoed a loop through gorgeous open hardwoods on the slope north of the pond.

Hardwoods + powder = snowshoe heaven on a sunny winter day.

Heading across the top of our loop.

Down through more glades.

A beech tree with many offspring.

Could have wandered out here for hours.

Back across the pond, into the sun. In winter it seems broader than its listed six acres.

Ripples and ledges.

Parting shot, looking back at the SE ridge of Sandwich Dome.

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