Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mt. Whiteface trip report 6/13/09

Didn't plan on hiking Saturday but my mother (Tiny Tornado) called Friday and asked if I was hiking. The weather sounded all right so I said OK let's do it. Scott sat this one out as he had a long, stressful week at work and wanted to sleep in and get stuff done. Decided to do Whiteface in Sandwich Range as Scott (Ascender) and I only got a view of clouds when we hiked it in "07". I decided on making a loop out of it ascending Blueberry Ledge Trail and descending Rollins and Dicey's Mill Trail. We got to the town of Wonalancet late at 10:30, but to my surprise the usual overflowed Ferncroft parking lot had a couple spaces open. We headed up the popular route of Blueberry Ridge TR. The skeeters were buzzing and the black flies out too A pleasant gradual hike for about .6 miles then the trail get's pretty rocky before you come to your first rock slab, with limited views south. For the first time I was noticing lichen and moss on the rock in a different way after reading about granite succession in Tom Wessels book "The Granite Landscape " You continue your gradual climb in and out of trees/scrub & rock slabs before re-entering the woods. About 2 hours in you get your first good view to Whiteface's massive ledge then soon you reach the first set of rock scrambling. This area is tough especially the area where a ladder once helped out that is no longer there. If you have issue with heights or climbing you should not attempt this trail. Once you've climbed several ledges and rocks you are rewarded with several good eating areas and a ledge with view across to the whiteface ledges (which I seemed to miss this time...blocked by tree growth?). Soon after at 1:30 we reached the double rock knob of Blueberry Ridge, another good spot for lunch with views North East to Washington, East to Passaconaway, Paugus & Chocorua and South to the Lakes Region and South West to Sandwich Dome. We broke out lunch and swallowed it quickly due to the onslaught of black flies that were swarming us We continued on to Rollins Trail, dropped down then back up and passed the Whiteface true summit (a small cairn in the woods). Rollins Trail follows the "U" shaped ravine along the wooded ridge about 2 miles in length with 2 small ledge look-outs towards blueberry ridge and whiteface. You PUD (pointless ups & downs) your way along, at times with a 1500' drop to your right that would be pretty scary if not for the small pine making a safe barrier. The trail is rocky on it's upper sections but generally has pretty easy footing. We made our final drop and climbed over Passaconaways South Ridge to Dicey's Mill trail. We headed down on this TR saving Passaconaway for another day. Rollins Trail was very gradual with very easy footing with only a few steep pitches. We passed a Parish group from Tewksbury. Mass. of about 15 kids and 5 adults heading for camp Rich. We passed by several large old trees in the valley made a couple river crossings and got back to the road at 5:00 passing by some beautiful old homes who's homeowners have a great back drop of mountains to look at everyday Not too bad of a day dispite the BF's and an enjoyable route over an enjoyable mountain. Pics on Flickr>

1 comment:

  1. My hike trip on Mt.Whiteface was great! the weather was good and the visability was perfect. We could see Mt.Washington and so many of the Presidentials today.The hike was about 10 miles. Not an easy day but rewarding all the same. One more 4000 footer off my list! Oh Yaaaa.....