Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Campton-Weetamoo Loop: 5/6/19

A fairly long bushwhack loop over the two officially named peaks in the Campton Range, on the southern edge of the WMNF. A perfect spring day with a variety of interesting features and views. This little range is full of surprises. Lots o' photos.

A pleasant approach along the USFS Chickenboro Road. Unlike the previous week, birdsong was breaking out, and 17 species were recorded for the day.

Old beaver dam on Chickenboro Brook.

An old maple.

I followed the length of this undulating stone wall on the lower slopes of the range. Hope to add it to the database for the NH Stone Wall Mapper project. There were several farms out here in the mid-1800s, but the area was abandoned by the late 1880s.

Ascending a beautiful hardwood drainage.

A stout sugar maple.

Beauty of the season.

Looking back at Mt. Tecumseh along an oak-wooded ridgecrest.

Old apple trees at what appears to be a long-abandoned high-elevation orchard, on a shoulder at ~1800 ft.

Black cherry and apple, side-by-side.

Inviting hardwood col on the ridge.

Layered ledges.

A peek at Sandwich Dome and the two Black Mountains.

Wandering along a neat ledgy ridgecrest.

Weather-beaten beeches.

Remnant of what must have been a deep snowdrift.

Sandwich Dome from a ledgy spruce knob.

First trout lily blooms of the season for me.

A major col on the ridge, more nice hardwood.

Traversing across a vast hardwood slope towards Campton Mountain.

Trout lily.

At the base of the final climb up Campton Mountain is a stream with the lovely name of Winter Brook.

An ancient yellow birch.

This glade was wonderfully open when snowshoeing on a couple of feet of snowpack. Without the snow, there is a low tangle of hobblebush.

Into the spruces on Campton Mountain. From here across the ridge to the far side of Mt. Weetamoo, it would be a conifer-whack.

An unusual little wetland pocket right by the summit of Campton Mountain.

From a ledgy spot on Campton Mountain, a fine view SE to Mt. Israel, the Ossipee Range and the northern part of the Squam Range. Pretty wild area out there.

The southern half of the Squam Range.

Looking east, Mt. Weetamoo peeks over a nearer bump on the Campton Range.

Heading across the ridge. Careful navigation was required amidst several humps and bumps.

Birch glade with what almost looked like an old road.

Sun-drenched fern glade. There are several of these beauty spots on the Campton Range.

Made a side trip partway down a southern spur to visit some ledges.

A nice spot, though not as open as I had hoped.

Continuing along the main ridgecrest, I was surprised to stumble upon another ledgy viewpoint.

Getting closer to Mt. Weetamoo, with Sandwich Dome beyond.

Sachem Peak and Jennings Peak, with Scaur Peak (Tripyramid) behind.


A little pool on the ridgetop, still partly frozen.

This moose scat looked pretty fresh. I wondered how the moose did its business without breaking through this old rotten ice.

Thicker woods ahead, with some old snow lurking beneath.

Steep climbing up to Mt. Weetamoo.

Weetamoo summit ledges. In the late 1800s there was a trail up Weetamoo from the Chickenboro valley that was popular with guests staying at inns in Campton, but it was abandoned many years ago.

Summit art.

Expansive southern views from a clifftop.

Looking back at Campton Mountain.

Time to relax before heading down.

A brief late-day visit to the marvelous open fern glade east of Mt. Weetamoo.

Open enough to afford some views.

Another meadow-like area along the ridgecrest.

A peek at Dickey Mountain and Franconia Ridge from the north slope.

Magnificent yellow birch.

Sweet hardwood whacking down the north slope of the range.

One of the champion sugar maples of this fascinating little range.

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