|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Whiteface, NH|
||Blueberry Ledge Trail, Rollins Trail, Dicey's Mill Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, September 3, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||The main lot was full when I arrived at noon. There is a second small area of the field that wasn't used yet, maybe room for another ten cars there. Nobody left when I returned at 9pm. |
||Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Two easy rock hops. Would have liked to walk the white birch bridge, but the bark was still wet. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||The 2 large blowdowns just above the Blueberry Ledge Cutoff on the Blueberry Ledge trail (mentioned by Scottb in his Aug 7th report, thanks!) were already cleared when I got there, as was the evergreen at the first scramble and the smaller blowdowns. I picked out a few large easy step overs to chop out, just to justify having brought the ax. On the Rollins trail, I chopped out one of the leaners, and didn't see any others, so the other three must have been dispatched by the other trail worker. And, lastly, I had quite the contest with a big stump that blocked the trail with upturned roots. Eventually, I chopped enough roots out that I was able to finally rip the stubborn bastard out of the ground. There is a new 14" white birch across the Dicey Mill's trail, running semi parallel to the trail. It's probably one and a half miles in from Ferncroft. At that point, my ax head had been loosened up so bad from the stump encounter that I could only swing it 6-8 times and I would have to tamp the head back on, and it was late, so I didn't start on that one. |
||I occasionally heard them, but didn't need spray. |
|Lost and Found:
||Plan was to clean up the blowdowns in Scottb's report, and get either one or both of the peaks. Thanks to the maintainer who had already cleared the blowdowns!! Plenty of evidence of past work was impressive as well.|
Blueberry Ledge trail was still steamy and wet on the way up, even in early afternoon. I think it must have rained there last night. The ledges were still grippy even when wet, but only up to a point... once the angle was steep enough, you could slip. There wasn't enough air circulation to dry well on the lower half, but the ledges were easy enough down low. As I ascended, more and more of the ledges were dry, as air circulation got better and better, and the scramble area was thankfully dry. The many many well placed rock steps were very helpful. Amazing amount of work done there.
I was reliving my winter hike of this trail and the entire way I was at ease thinking the scrambles were of no concern to me at this time of the year. But I still had a good 'Yikes!!' moment when I first saw that first monster scramble. It just doesn't pay to get cocky at my level of experience. Enjoyed my conversation with John there at the base of the scrambles. I would have liked to tack on Passaconnaway, but I didn't get to Dicey Mills until after 7, so it would have been pointless. I heard some large brush snap on the hill as I descended by headlamp, so probably just as well not to be up there under that full moon anyway!!
On Whiteface, and looking out at the mist shrouded views off Rollins, lately, the more I find myself atop these peaks, the more I experience this elusive feeling of connection with the heights. I cannot put my finger on it, or put it into words, or even really understand what it is I'm trying to connect to. I only know that when I'm up there, and I look out over the expanse, there it is again, that strange momentary feeling of connection to something unworldly. I only know that I come to understand it a tiny bit more each time, before my civilized mind treads and kicks too much dirt over the entrance way to feel it. One has to experience it as an animal, moving and then briefly pausing, and as one pauses, and looks, just a little bit more of it seeps in.
||Steve Marion |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.