Friday, December 14, 2018

NW Ridge of Mt. Chocorua, 12/13/18

I Micro-spiked 2.5 miles up the Champney Falls Trail packed highway, then strapped on the snowshoes for a slow bushwhack to a favorite view ledge on the gentle NW ridge of Mt. Chocorua. A great day for views.

It was still cold late in the morning, but warmed up some in the afternoon. In December I start hikes later after tending to mail order business.

Champney Brook from the trail.

Smooth Microspike sailing on a well-packed trail.

Several ice flows along the trail required careful foot placement.

A maple monarch.

Sunshine and deep snow on the NW ridge.

A mix of open glades of dying birch and fields of hobblebush.

In some spots the snow was fairly supportive.

Yes, lots o' hobblebush.

Deep and soft amidst the hobblebush, where it was slow going. The 2.5 miles on Champney Falls Trail took about 1 1/2 hours. The 0.45 mile snowshoeing along the ridge consumed 50 minutes.

Moose postholes.

Spruce traps awaited in the conifers.

This was a good one.

The ledge!

Many peaks across the horizon, including 25 4000-footers.

Owl's Cliff/Mt. Tremont, the Nancy Range, and Field/Willey.

The Hancocks, Green's Cliff and Mt. Carrigain.

Mt. Washington shone like a beacon beyond Bear Mountain.

Looking westward, the high peaks of the Sandwich Range beyond the northern ridge of Mt. Paugus: Whiteface, Passaconaway, and the Tripyramids.

The mighty Passaconaway, with the East Slide (1938 hurricane) clearly seen.

Snow-caked cliffs on the NE spur of Mt. Paugus. Osceolas in the distance.

The dark, sprawling mass of Paugus rises above the Paugus Brook valley.

Side view of the great rock slab on the 2820-ft. knob along the north ridge of Paugus. A relatively low but wild and rugged mountain, is Paugus.

Winter version of a boot shot. With sun and virtually no wind, an hour's stay was comfortable.

Side view of the ledge.

Back through a birch glade.

Crossing tracks with the moose.

The upper NW ridge rises ahead.

First and Middle Sisters through the trees.

Paid a quick visit to the ledges at the top of Champney Falls on the way down. I did not descend the falls loop trail as there is an exposed rock staircase that can be dangerous if icy.

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