January in November! A winter acclimatization hike on familiar trails in Waterville Valley. The temperature was 12 degrees when I started late morning, and 12 degrees again at dusk.
A few diehard XC skiers had negotiated the thin snow cover on Livermore Trail.
The Kettles Path dates back to the 1890s, when it was laid out by Waterville hiker and guidebook author Arthur L. Goodrich.
I didn't quite have first tracks on the trail - this critter preceded me for a good half-mile. Red fox?
One of the three bowl-shaped glacial "kettles" along the trail.
This giant white ash is a survivor.
One of many rock faces around The Scaur.
The traditional black-on-yellow of WVAIA signs.
On this bitterly cold and windy day Mt. Tecumseh was obscured by "wind fog."
Surprisingly, it was sunny, windless and rather comfortable at the south-facing Scaur, looking south towards Sandwich Dome and Jennings Peak.
Ghostly vista of Middle & South Tripyramid and West Sleeper.
Looking out towards Lost Pass.
Fuzzed-out East Osceola and the Painted Cliff.
Mt. Osceola and its long southern ridges.
Along Irene's Path just beyond The Scaur, you pass by Waterville's Rock of Gibraltar.
Bright day on the Scaur Ridge.
Tracks from a rambling Ruffed Grouse.
Bear in the neighborhood!
I bushwhacked east along the ridge from the point where Irene's Path drops down towards Flume Brook.
Enjoyed the sun in this beautiful maple glade about 1/3 mile along the ridge.
I returned to Irene's Path and headed down to the Waterville Flume. Microspikes went on at the top of the steep descent. Wind fog continued to obscure the Osceolas at this favorite viewpoint partway down.
A fine profile of East Osceola.
Snowshoe hare. About 3-4" of snow on the trail here.
Trail junction down by Flume Brook. A deep, cold valley.
The Waterville Flume, one of the neatest attractions in the region.
Flume Brook already freezing up, in mid-November!
Fractured ledges on the west wall of the Flume.
On the way back along Irene's Path, I noticed that the bear tracks led to the base of this beech tree.
Maybe the bruin snagged some beech nuts up there.
Mt. Tecumseh beyond the cliffs of The Scaur.