Friday, April 10, 2015


On a raw, grey day the forest - featuring hardwood and birch glades galore - was the attraction on this snowshoe bushwhack in familiar territory on the north slope of Mount Waternomee. From 4 to 8 inches of dense new snow atop a solid base made for great 'shoeing. With warm spring weather finally in the forecast, this might have been the last good snowshoe trek of the season.

On this trip, it was open hardwoods right from the start.

On the lower section the Dilly Cliffs were a constant presence across the Notch.

On the way up I visited unofficially-named Pulpit Rock, one of my favorite boulders.

The glades go on forever along these slopes.

Laying down fresh tracks in superb conditions.

A few diminutive spruces are sprinkled among the hardwoods.

A cryptic sign presumably placed by a backcountry skiing enthusiast.


Looking back at Kinsman Ridge.

This hardwood glade is amazingly open and park-like.

The grade of the slope is fairly steep here.

Wonderful gnarled old yellow birches at the top of the glade.

The Zem Zem Glade, on the slope above a sign bearing that name.

A century-old, cross-slope tote road at 2550 ft.

Up here the snow was deeper and softer.

The spot I most wanted to visit was this gorgeous upper glade at 2750 ft., which Erin Paul Donovan and I visited last summer.

This magnificent yellow birch stands guard at the bottom.

One of the real beauty spots in Kinsman Notch.

Since we're on the cusp of seasonal change, I'm including some comparison shots from the same locations late last summer. In that season the glade was lush with ferns, shrubs and wildflowers.

There's a wide, open swath in the upper part of the glade that looks somewhat like the track of a small old slide.

The swath is filled in with shrubbery in summer.

A tree with tentacles.

A solitary balsam fir standing tall and proud.

Sweet snowshoeing!

It will be a while before the snowpack is gone up here.

Winter was still in full form up here.

I continued up to this buried brookbed at 2950 ft.

It's a rocky swath in summer.

The brook pitches down through this small gorge.

The same spot in early September, when the brook was nearly dry.

I bushwhacked down through fairly dense conifers, where, in contrast to the sun-baked hardwoods and birches, the snow was soft and unconsolidated, and worked my way out to a perch with a view down into a deep gorge. In winter it's a canyon of snow.

The same spot in summer, when it's rocky, rugged and slippery.

Following another old logging road back down the slope.

The logging road in summer, looking uphill.

Swooping down through hardwood heaven.

Another peek at the Dilly Cliffs.

An upper Pulpit Rock, a hundred feet in elevation above the other one.

Woody's been busy here. The only bird I saw during this four-hour ramble was a solitary Brown Creeper. But in a few weeks these woods will be free of snow and flooded with songbirds - yay!


  1. Steve, as I'm certain other readers will agree, it was a real treat to see your photos comparing the appearance of various locations in wintertime versus summertime. The difference is quite dramatic!

    It's never boring living here in New England where there are distinct changes in the scenery during each of the four seasons.


    1. Thank you, John! For some reason the difference between summer and winter really struck me at these particular spots. Looking at these glades, it seems hard to believe they will be bursting with wildflowers in a month or so!


  2. John, let me be the first to agree. I don't get into the woods as often as I'd like, so I can't make this comparison in my mind when I'm snowshoeing in the Whites. Steve, these photos really reveal how deep snow turns the mountains into a different universe in winter. It's enough to make me yearn for the return of winter!

    1. Thanks, Steve - it's amazing how there are two different worlds just a few months apart!