Wednesday, January 23, 2013


On a chilly Tuesday Cath Goodwin and I made an afternoon trek to some remote ledges on the west or "back" side of Dickey Mountain. We hiked about a mile up the Dickey side of the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail, then bushwhacked along a wide swath of hardwoods across the flank of the mountain. The snow cover was surprisingly sparse down in this area, compared to the fairly deep snow currently found in the woods along the Kancamagus Highway. At times the snowshoeing was a bit marginal, but it was far easier than bare-booting it through the woods (though we did wear Microspikes up the thinly-covered, firmly-packed trail).

After whacking about 3/4 mile through the hardwoods, we pushed uphill through some dense conifers to the first of the western ledges.

From the top there's a good view back to Cone Mountain.

A closer look at Cone, with its great off-trail north-viewing ledge well-displayed to the right of center, above the ledgy knob that overlooks Dickey Notch.

I'd been to these ledges a couple of times before, but I misdirected a bit this time and steered us too far to the right towards some impassable terrain. 

But we did get to see some interesting features before retreating and finding the correct route. The rock wall we encountered was split by a flume-like formation.

Along the base of the wall was this neat cave.

This would be a cool place to hang out on a hot summer day.

After correcting our course, we made our way to the farther western ledges just as a snow squall was moving in.

A large crack in the ledge that could trap an unwary snowshoer.

Waiting out the snow squall, cold and windy.

After the squall passed, we were able to enjoy some of the fine views available from this spot, such as this vista of Fisher and Hogback Mountains seen across the Shattuck Brook valley.

Squall clouds to the SW.

Looking west towards the Mill Brook valley.

Parting shot of Fisher, Hogback and SW Green.

It was cold enough for an ice beard to form.

A good bear tree on the way back.

A weather-beaten oak, one of many on the lower and middle slopes of Dickey. This low, ledgy peak is a very interesting place to explore.

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