Tuesday, February 7, 2017

After a late night savoring the Patriots' incredible comeback win, I enjoyed a leisurely bushwhack on the west side of Dickey Mountain taking in several spacious, snow-crusted view ledges.

The morning featured bluebird skies, as seen here on the trail up Dickey, and a chilly wind.

There were downhill ski tracks in several places along the trail.

I left the trail to Dickey about a mile up and bushwhacked north through open hardwoods.

Snowshoeing conditions were great, with an inch of powder atop a rock-solid base.

Winter whacking at its best.

After a long traverse through hardwoods, darker but still reasonably open woods led up to the west ledges.

Snow-caked Mt. Moosilauke from the edge of the first ledge.

Looking up the first ledge. These great sloping slabs were sheathed in hard crusty snow with occasional pockets of wind-deposited powder.

A great morning for views.

From another ledge, Stinson-Carr-Kineo-Cushman.

Cone Mountain, overlooking Dickey Notch.

Working my way along an extensive band of wide, sloping slabs.

Moosilauke again.

Looking north to nearby Fisher Mountain and distant peaks around Franconia Notch.

Snow-caked Cannon and the Franconia Range.

Looking north along the ledge band to the wild spurs of Mt. Tecumseh.

Into the great wide open.

Looking back to the south.

Zoom on the Franconias, with Mt. Flume especially prominent on the right.

Friendly spruce woods, heading up to the next ledge complex.

This secluded ledge band at 2400 ft. may have been my favorite spot of the day, looking north to the Tecumseh spur ridges.

West Tecumseh, the SW spur of Green, Green Mountain itself, and Foss Peak (L to R).

A fine spot for a break, mostly sheltered from the wind.

Just to the north was this huge sloping slab.

Continuing up the slope towards the summit of Dickey, I crossed still more ledges.

Deer tracks at 2500 ft.

One of a few exposed patches of ice seen during the day.

An extensive area of ledge and scrub on the upper NW slope of Dickey provided an unusual view up the remote Shattuck Brook valley, which I had explored the week before. Closing in the valley on the L is the long ridge extending from Fisher Mountain over Hogback Mountain and the prominent SW spur of Green Mountain.

The ledges I visited on the Shattuck Brook trek are seen under the L slope of SW Green, on the R side of the photo below.

I continued up through the scrubby area and reached the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail just west of Dickey's summit.

The view north from Dickey's summit. I had planned to visit the great north ledge, but wind had scoured it down to bare rock, so I skipped it.

The Sandwich Range, with flurries moving in.

The sprawl of Sandwich Dome.

Bulbous Welch Mountain and Sandwich Notch.

Ghostly Tripyramid.

I used the Welch-Dickey trail for the descent. At the great south slab partway down I skirted below the top, which was rather icy. My MSRs bit well into the hard crust.

The view south from the big slab.

The trail runs across the top of the huge lower ledge on the SW ridge of Dickey.

Dickey and Welch, from the brink.

Ice flow below the ledge.

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