Waited out the winds, and with a late morning start was able to enjoy a wondrous winter afternoon snowshoeing to this fine viewpoint on Sandwich Dome.
Crossed Drakes Brook on a decent snow bridge (soon to be wiped out by warmth and rain) and headed up the valley.
A stellar day to be in the woods. Found 3-5" of fresh powder atop a firm though choppy base.
Artifact at the lower of two logging camp sites in Drakes Brook valley. Probably dates back to the 1920s and 1930s, when the valley was logged by International Paper Co. and Parker-Young Co.
Drakes Brook, named for Arnold Drake, one of the early settlers of Waterville Valley, who built a house around 1840 and later operated a small sawmill.
For much of the way the trail was lined with a procession of snow-draped softwoods.
A wide stretch of trail on an old logging road, high in the valley. Drakes Brook Trail was originally opened as the “Drake Valley Trail” in 1921 by “A. McC. Mathewson and others,” according to the 1922 edition of the AMC White Mountain Guide. It was soon closed by logging, but was reopened by the Forest Service in 1930, following a completely different route in its upper mile. The lower two miles was also a designated ski trail in the 1930s.
Snowshoeing the trail today was like passing through an endless gallery of Christmas card scenes.
Drakes Brook, smothered in mounded snow.
The steepest part of this generally mellow trail is where it turns away from the brook to climb to the ridge. After ascending just 1200 ft. in its first 2.6 miles, it goes up 650 ft. in the last 0.6 mile.
Junction on the ridge.
This way to Jennings.
Tunneling to the top.
First of the NE outlooks. Whoa!
The snow-caked ridge stretches away to Sandwich Dome.
Osceolas beyond the village of Waterville Valley.
Mad River Notch and North Hancock.
Tripyramids. South Slides well-displayed.
The Sleepers looking sleepy beyond sprawling Flat Mountain North. Mt. Passaconaway peeks over in back.
Mt. Whiteface in the distance beyond "Drakes Pass," the col between Flat Mountain North and Sandwich Dome.
Heading over to the south ledges.
There was not a breath of wind here, and the sun was almost balmy. How often can one spend an hour on a summit in January?
The jumbled ridges of Hancock.
The Presys in their winter glory.
Great snowshoeing on the way down. Had the mountain to myself today.
A favorite spot along Drakes Brook, high in the valley. Jennings Peak via Drakes Brook Trail is 7 miles round trip with 2050-ft. elevation gain.