Thursday, April 19, 2018


There was no bare ground to be found after the inch of dense, heavy sleet from Monday's storm, so it was back to the snowshoes for a very interesting bushwhack to Campton Mountain in the Campton Range, on the southern edge of the WMNF.

I approached the whack via the Chickenboro logging road off Sandwich Notch Road.

A blowdown from the high winds on Monday.

The road ends at a former logging yard, now maintained as a wildlife opening.

A short bushwhack led to a large beaver meadow on Chickenboro Brook, with a view to the NE ridge of Mt. Weetamoo.

Chickenboro Brook meanders through.

Looking back for a view to the NW ridge of Mt. Weetamoo, my next objective, with the hope of a view or two up there.

Chickenboro Brook near where I crossed. There were several sets of coyote tracks here, but I figured they wouldn't be heading up onto a ridge.


I fashioned an interesting crossing of the brook on rocks and a spine of snow atop an old beaver dam.

Next up was crossing a southern tributary.

Into the hardwoods.

Partway up the ridge I came across this old stone wall - perhaps from an upland pasture in the mid-1800s. At that time there was a settlement with several farms in the Chickenboro Brook valley, complete with its own school, but it was abandoned by the 1880s.

On this steep slope there was only patchy snow an inch or less deep, but it was so dense I was able to snowshoe up it.

Looking back down the slope, almost a corridor of some sort.

On the top of this shoulder were several apple trees, I believe.

Just beyond the trees was a clearing. Wonder if this could have been a high, remote orchard?

At a low spot farther up the ridge was a magnificent open, Catskill-like hardwood stand.

A ledgy spine along the crest.

From a ledge at the top of the western spur of Mt. Weetamoo (2180 ft.), a peek at the main Weetamoo summits.

Turkey tracks up here.

An unusual view north to the ridges of Sandwich Dome.

The Smarts Brook valley beneath Jennings Peak.

The SE ridge of Sandwich Dome behind a bump on the NE ridge of Weetamoo, where I was exploring a week earlier.

A short, steep descent led to a fine hardwood col.

From here I made a traverse southward across the headwaters of Winter Brook through acres and acres of hardwood.

Looking back at the west spur of Weetamoo.

The flat crest of Campton Mountain in sight ahead.

Winter Brook.

A yellow birch that has seen many winters.

The spring snowpack was firm under a thin top layer, ideal for bushwhacking.

The climb to Campton Mountain brought me through some gorgeous open glades.

The best in snowshoe whacking.

Looking back.

It was wintry in the ridgetop conifers.

A unique feature of Campton Mountain is a bog right next to the 2387-ft. summit.

I scrounged around for some views from scrubby ledges. This vista looks east to Mt. Israel, the Ossipees, and the northern end of the Squam Range.

Across the Beebe River valley to the Squam Range.

I was surprised to see that a bear had been recently checking out the views.

From another outlook, a long view south, with the Squam Range on the left and Prospect Mountain in Holderness on the right. Perch Pond can be seen in the middle.

Prospect Mountain has an interesting profile. Mt. Kearsarge and Ragged Mtn. can be seen in the distance to the right.

Near the summit I stumbled upon this bear scene.

Did the bear make a bed in the snow?

Back down through the glades, past a woodpecker multi-level.

Moose have been browsing the hobblebush in the glades.

Moose postholes.

Back down on the NW ridge of Weetamoo, I found this view of Sandwich Dome and its two Black Mountains.

Fine old sugar maples.

I took a different route off the ridge, descending into a drainage with a steep headwall.

Headwaters of a Chickenboro Brook tributary. Interesting terrain.

This pile of rocks, presumably made by a 19th century Chickenboro farmer, was near the stone wall on the lower part of the ridge.

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