Thursday, February 18, 2016


On a warmish partly sunny day following a strange weather day of 4" wet snow, then 2" of warm rain, I spent an interesting afternoon exploring in the "land of the boulders" on the flank of Mt. Osceola.The parking lot for the Livermore Trail was a skating rink, and the first part of the trail was icy in places and closed to skiing. Greeley Ponds Trail was mostly hard-packed snow.

By the Goodrich Rock Trail junction there's a good view of the Mad River, still iced-over after the heavy warm rain. I wouldn't trust that ice!

The Goodrich Rock Trail is a redliner's delight - lots of interesting stuff to see.

Partly buried rock steps on the initial stiff climb.

Lots of fine hardwood forest on the lower half of the trail.

The first of many interesting boulders.

The trail goes through this crack.

I had no problem getting through with snowshoes and a bulky pack.

Looking back through from around the corner.

This assemblage of huge rocks is known as the Davis Boulders. They were named for J.W. Davis, a summer resident of Waterville Valley who built the first trail here in the late 1890s.

A cool overhang.

Another passage between boulders.

Greenery in February.

A portal view into the forest.

This crevice is an optional route. A great trail for kids!

From the Davis Boulders I bushwhacked east and then north up through open hardwoods, in search of a potential view rock spotted on Google Earth and in a couple of photos taken from viewpoints to the east. 

Here there is a hint of the Tripyramids beyond gnarled old trees.

Tall yellow birches.

Woodpecker work.

A peek at North Tripyramid and its slide.

A magnificent maple.

Leaving the bright open hardwoods, I climbed through darker woods and rougher terrain, seeking my objective rock.

I found the possible view rock - a huge steep-sided boulder 150 ft. in elevation above Goodrich Rock. But I was unable to work out a way up onto the top of the rock to see a view.

Side wall of the rock.

With deep snow it might have been possible to get up on the rock from the back end, but not this winter.

From there I bushwhacked down through some scrappy terrain to Goodrich Rock. From this vantage I could see that the slope of rock above the top of the ladder was glare ice.

This is one of New Hampshire's largest glacial erratics, discovered in the late 1800s by Arthur L. Goodrich.

The ladder from below.

Goodrich Rock is on the "Terrifying 25" hiking list, and today it was more terrifying than usual. I switched snowshoes for spikes and climbed to the top of the ladder where this view awaited. No way I was going to attempt that without crampons, especially coming down to the top of the ladder.

Heading down from the rock on an icy stretch of trail, I caught this glimpse of Sandwich Dome and Jennings Peak.

An old-style WVAIA sign. There are very few of these left on the trails.

A natural table at the base of Goodrich Rock.

This giant rock, I call the "ocean liner." Rock climbers have dubbed it the "Old Old Wooden Ship."

A peaceful evening in the hardwoods.

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