Friday, February 6, 2015


On a cold and windy Thursday, I teamed up with Linda Moore for a late afternoon snowshoe climb up along the Beaver Brook Trail and its snow-buried cascades. Near the bottom we met three young guys who had just skied/snowboarded the cascades. It was amazing to see what they had come down.

The wind was whipping at the top of Kinsman Notch and the temperature was 8 above. The Whites are in deep winter mode right now.


I always enjoy the classic Dartmouth Outing Club sign at the bottom of the climb.

These are the three guys who had ripped it up on the cascades.

They had swooped down the first cascade.

Snowshoeing up the steep trail alongside the cascades.

The top of the first cascade.

Where the terrain briefly eases off, we headed out onto the brookbed and followed the skiers' tracks upstream for a ways.

A soft spot gave way under Linda just after I had crossed it - yikes!.

There was cold water underneath, but luckily no harm was done save for some heavy slush on Linda's snowshoes.

The skiers skirted this pool in the brook. We went back up to the trail here.

The snow was deep off-trail. Bushwhacking is quite arduous in these conditions, with more snow soon to come.

An impressive snow load on this blowdown.

The skiers' tracks on the next cascade.

On this near-vertical pitch the snow was sloughed off. This is always the trickiest spot on the trail. We would have had to take our snowshoes off and kick some uncertain steps to reach that rebar above, or use crampons (which we didn't bring).When I climbed Moosilauke this way last winter, I used a steep bypass through the woods to the left. But with knee-deep powder that looked uninviting, so we opted to make a bypass along the right edge of the cascade.

We crossed the brook on a shelf and had a good look at the skiers' route below.

A side view of the cascade.

We made a brief detour through the woods, then climbed along the edge of the cascade.

From the flat spot at the top of the cascade, looking upstream.

We continued up the trail, then edged out to the brook again where it splits into a twin cascade. The left one was untracked.

Instead, they dropped over the more precipitous cascade on the right. Are you kidding me?

A zoom on the top of the drop, complete with ice flows under the snow and a nasty-looking hole.

We continued up to a favorite spot where the brook levels off for a short distance, with the tallest of the cascades visible upstream.

Downstream, a view of the Dilly Cliffs over the brink of a drop.

Back on the brook. This was our turnaround point since it was almost 4:30 pm.

Back down the trail on a great snowshoe track. And thanks to the skiers for breaking the track out on their way up.

I scooted onto the brook at another spot and looked up at the skiers' rollicking line.

Scar Ridge in the distance beyond the Monkey Cliffs.

The skiers' view at the top of the big drop on the twin cascade.

Our route across the brook at the base of the next cascade downstream.

Ice flow at the top of the lowest cascade.

Cold light in the hardwoods at the end of the day. It was a short outing (1 1/2 miles round trip), but a wonderful adventure exploring the cascades, which are more accessible in deep winter when the slippery ledges are buried in snow. Kudos to the skiers and snowboarder!

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