Wednesday, November 9, 2016


On an unusually balmy November day, I enjoyed an entertaining loop to ledges on Bald Knob and Acteon Peak at the lower end of Sandwich Mountain's Acteon Ridge. A combination of hiking trail, climber's path, bushwhack, and mountain bike path.

An unusual directional marker on a climber's path.

The "Yellow Jacket Boulder," one of many impressive chunks of stone scattered
across the SW slope of Bald Knob. This one is fairly popular with local climbers.

This behemoth is a little higher up the slope.

Another rock giant.

Nice glade at the base of a steep slope.

I bushwhacked up to this rock roof on the steep SW face of Bald Knob, part of an area called the "Upper Cliff" by climbers.

This would be a nice shelter in the rain.

  With a couple of tricky maneuvers, I worked my way up to the top of the cliff.

Approaching a great south-facing perch, a spot I hadn't been to before.

Warm sun and wide views.

Looking over towards Stinson and Carr Mountains.

This crack is at the top of a climber's route called "Gollum's Escape," located in a feature named "Gandalf's Cave." Yikes!

One of the tricky spots.

An "interesting" little scramble.

An unusual formation back down under the rock roof.

"Bald Knob Cliff," on the south side of the peak.

Lots of interesting rock formations in this area.

Hardwood whackin'.

A long rock wall in the forest.

A big white ash with three trunks.

Approaching another cliff.

View from the other side.

A steep climb towards Acteon Peak.

Oaks and rocks.

A towering oak.

Open softwoods on Acteon Peak.

Arriving at a favorite ledge.

South to the Campton Range.

Jennings Peak and Sandwich Dome, with Sachem Peak in front.

The two Black Mountains across the Smarts Brook valley.

Half-moon rising.

A downright balmy November day.

Nice light.

A herd path leading across some wooded ledges.

Approaching the brink of a big ledge ramp on a lower shoulder of Acteon Ridge.

A beautiful swath lined with burnt-orange oaks and tawny grasses.

The two Black Mountains, redux.

A stripe of blueberry color.

Still some foliage on Election Day.

Looking back up the ramp.

The lowest ledge of the ramp.

Oak foliage hanging on.

Down steeply through oak woods on a slippery carpet of leaves.

Farther down the slope, a giant white pine amidst the oaks.

On the flat lower ledges, benches for Hobbits.

Heading down an unofficial mountain bike trail which, after many hard-to-follow twists and turns, deposited me on the Yellow Jacket Trail.

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