Sunday, January 15, 2017


I enjoyed a fine snowshoe trek with my brother Drew up this WVAIA trail to an open bank with a fine view of the Waterville Valley backcountry. Crusty conditions prevailed on a windy but spectacular day.

After walking 0.3 mile up the wide, hard-packed Livermore Trail, we turned left onto the Greeley Ponds Trail, donned our snowshoes, and headed a mile up the Mad River valley at easy grades on the road-width trail. There was a solid track made by snowshoers and backcountry skiers prior to the recent thaw and refreeze. We chatted with one group of three hikers heading back out after tramping partway up the trail with Microspikes.

At 1.3 miles we turned left onto the relocated Greeley Ponds Trail, which for the next 0.7 mile ascends gradually on an old logging road that was formerly part of the Timber Camp Trail.

We took a food break by the junction where the Timber Camp Trail veers off.

A new sign points the way.

This trail hadn't been traveled for a while, so we took turns breaking trail through breakable crust with some sugar snow beneath.

It took some time to break out the 0.6 mile to the main Timber Camp Trail viewpoint, which is a large gravel bank in summer. The crystal-clear view was worth the effort, including this vista of Scaur Peak, Flume Peak and the Tripyramids.

A closer look at Tripyramid, with the top of the North Slide peeking over.

The long SW ridge of Mount Kancamagus, with the "K1 Cliff" on the left and a nameless set of crags on the right.

The "K1 Cliff" (right) and "K2 Cliff" (left); K2 overlooks Upper Greeley Pond.

A zoom on the "K1 Cliff" and the snowy talus slope beneath.

Drew at the top of the gravel bank.

Perhaps the most striking view here looks up at the hollowed-out Painted Cliff on a spur of East Osceola.

On the way back down, Drew emerges from a spruce trap. There's some snow out here!

Late afternoon along the Mad River.

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