Friday, March 30, 2018


A fine spring morning for a snowshoe trek to a favorite off-trail old beaver pond in the Oliverian Brook valley with an imposing view up to Mt. Passaconaway.

A sign of spring along the Oliverian Brook Trail.

For a short distance I snowshoed along a spur logging railroad bed that parallels the trail.

The snow depth at this junction was about the same as a week earlier.

Good bushwhacking woods off the Passaconaway Cutoff.

Making tracks in soft wet snow.

Wild spruce forest surrounds the old beaver pond. A Brown Creeper was singing in these woods - one of the earliest sounds of spring.

 Mt. Passaconaway is in view where a small inlet brook trickles into the abandoned pond off the slope of Hedgehog Mountain.

Mt. Passaconaway front and center. The top of the East Slide (1938) can be seen on the left. The great north outlook is out on the bump to the right.

Nanamocomuck Peak and its 1938 slide.

The old beaver lodge.

Side view of Square Ledge. The summit is the nubble on the right.

Only a small pool of water remains. Firm sunbaked snow made it easy to explore around the pond. A history book for the town of Albany has a photo of a logging camp named "St. Clair's Camp," located "on a small pond between Passaconaway and Hedgehog Mts." I've done a little searching in summer, but have not found the site. Need to come back and look some more.

Looking back across the opening.

 The old beaver dam, buried in snow.

Hedgehog Mountain and the East Ledges to the north.

Zoom on the East Ledges, where AMC rock climbers explored routes as early as 1928.

Lounging in veiled but balmy spring sun.

The upper cone of Mt. Passaconaway is speckled with crags.

Departing the pond.

Elbow tree.

Fine hemlock forest along Passaconaway Cutoff.

On the way home I stopped at a Kanc overlook and with binoculars saw ski tracks on all four forks of these slides on the western end of Mt. Osceola.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Mark Klim and I enjoyed spring sunshine and clear vistas on this rocky 3119-ft. peak along the Davis Path - one of the best viewpoints in the Whites.

Trailhead signs by the parking area off Rt. 302, across from the Notchland Inn.

Looking up the Saco River to Mts. Webster and Jackson from the Bemis Bridge.

After crossing a stream channel on a two-log bridge, the trail wanders a short way through open hardwoods.

We spent the day in the Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness.

After its initial easy opener, the Davis Path makes a relentless climb to the ridgecrest, in one section ascending something like 1300 ft. in 0.9 mile.

The track was chopped up in places with bareboot holes, including this deep one. We wore snowshoes up and down for stability and traction, and smoothed out the trail as best we could.

Looking out from the first view ledge, where the climb eases.

We took a nice break here in the warm spring sun.

The Bond-Twin Range. 

The Sleepers and Tripyramids beyond the lower Sawyer River valley.

The Davis Path ascends over more ledges.

A wide expanse, partly melted off.

Climbing up the big ledge at the start of the spur path to Mt. Crawford.

Approaching the summit.

The Giant Stairs beyond a huge ledge on a shoulder of Crawford Dome.

One of the great perches. We eyed the hardwood ridge in the left-center of the photo, a western spur of Stairs Mountain, as a potential future bushwhack route - but we would have to get across the Saco River to reach it.

Mt. Crawford's classic view of its namesake notch.

The wild, gravel-splotched mass of Mt. Resolution, beyond Crawford Dome.

Mt. Monroe, Mt. Washington and Boott Spur.

Mark peers down into the wild Sleeper Brook valley.

We could get lost down there!

The mighty Carrigain.

Mt. Parker and a spur knob of Crawford known to some as "Crawford's Bunion." Attitash ski trails in the distance.

We enjoyed a comfortable summit stay of more than two hours, including time for a snooze. We had considered continuing along Davis Path to bushwhack to some ledges in the Crawford Dome area, but beyond the spur there was only one set of snowshoe tracks and the snow was getting soft and wet. So we decided to just stay here and savor Crawford's amazing vistas.

Parting shot.

Into the great wide open.

Trail history.

Saturday, March 24, 2018


A beautiful morning for a hike up this fine little peak (on the NH 52 With a View list) and a check on blowdowns along my adopted section of the UNH Trail.

A new route was needed through this microburst caused by the late October storm.

The blowdown in the foreground was cleared last fall by axeman Chris Garby. Today I trimmed the stubs on the leaner in the back.

More Garby axe work.

A bit much for the Silky saw, this will wait til later in the spring. Easy enough to get around, or over.

Cleaned this one up for easier passage.

Emerging on the north-side summit ledges. There was a fine packed snowshoe track on the trail, ideal for 'shoeing with small MSR Denalis.

Early view to the west, looking at Mt. Tripyramid.

North to Mt. Tremont and Mt. Washington.

The Oliverian Brook valley from the summit.

Mt. Chocorua beyond the East Ledges.

The commanding presence of Mt. Passaconaway, with its eastern spurs on the left. It was fun to trace the middle part of the route I used to climb Passaconaway two days earlier.

What a mountain!

Nanamocomuck Peak and its 1938 slide, where I lounged for a while the other day.

The Sleepers, South Potash, and Tripyramid.


Scaur Peak, Mt. Osceola, East Osceola, north spur of the Fool Killer, Mt. Kancamagus, and Potash Mountain.

North view.

The Hancock Range, with Mt. Bond, Mt. Guyot,and South Twin in back on the right. The Captain under Guyot. The two south-facing glacial cirques on the east ridge of Hancock are well-displayed.

A fine stand of hardwoods runs up to the unusually high elevation of 3200 ft. on this ridge below South Tripyramid (on the left). I passed through this stand three years ago on a late May bushwhack up Tripyramid from the Sabbaday Brook valley.

How those hardwoods looked in spring, which will get here eventually.

Mt. Carrigain, Vose Spur, Green's Cliff, Mt. Lowell and Mt. Anderson, with Church Pond below.

The four wild peaks of the Nancy Range, with Mt. Field peeking over in back.