Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Colder weather made for a fine morning hike to the Greeley Ponds in Mad River Notch, always a special place in winter. In between the ponds I made a side trip partway up the snow-packed track of an old slide.

The South Fork of the Hancock Branch was pretty well buried.

There was a decent snow bridge, which required one step across a gap.

After a cold night following a thaw, the Greeley Ponds Trail was a Microspike turnpike.

The west knob of Mt. Kancamagus from Upper Greeley Pond.

The cliff band on the NE arm of East Osceola.

East Osceola ridges from the east shore of Upper Greeley.

The two upper forks of the 1892 slide on East Osceola. I planned to snowshoe partway up the lower track of this old slide. A fascinating account of an ascent of this slide in 1895 can be read here.

The slide track comes right down to the trail not far south of the Upper Pond. I hopped on and found ideal firm crusty conditions offering good bite for my snowshoe crampons.

A wonderful snowy swath up through the dense forest.

A large rock deposited by the slide.

The start of the long, steep part of the slide.

View across Mad River Notch to the Kancamagus west knob.

The K2 Cliff, accessed by a rough path a century ago.

Side view showing the steep slant of the slide.

I turned around at this ice bulge at about 2500 ft. I was only out for half a day, and snowshoes have their limits!

Looking down.

A pool with an interesting shape.

Looking back up.

The bog at the north end of Lower Greeley Pond.

Pitcher Plants at the bog.

View from the NW corner of Lower Greeley Pond. This pond is shallow and boggy, and some of the ice out at this end looked suspect.

A few small Atlantic White Cedars grow by the shore.

Rock profile on the K1 Cliff on Mt. Kancamagus, which also once had a path.

Looking north along the pond. A wonderfully quiet and desolate place in winter.

An icy open patch on East Osceola's 1897 slide. I've made the thick bushwhack to this spot a couple of times.

A shoreline sculpture.

Vista from the SE corner of Lower Pond.

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