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    Phil Smith saved Piper Trail

    4 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Wildcat Range Trail

    8 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Glen Boulder Trail

    8 months ago

    Phil Smith reviewed Mount Kearsarge North

    9 months ago

    The trail itself is nothing special, though it is very well-marked and easy to follow. The view from the summit would make fighting your way through 3 miles of thorns and vines worth it, though. I climbed twice last summer, yesterday was my first winter ascent here and spikes are an absolute necessity. It was icy from bottom to top, with several sections of extremely hard, thick ice that showed evidence of people sliding once you got past the ledges. Full crampons wouldn’t be overkill, I brought mine “just in case” and we saw several hikers wearing them. Make the effort to really stamp your spikes in, and if you use poles drive those in as well.

    It was a bluebird sky almost all the way up, but clouds started blowing in when we got near the summit. The views were still amazing, my partner was huffing and puffing his way up after 3 months of forced rest from a bad mountain biking wreck and he thought the views were worth the effort. The temp was maybe 5F, with 20+mph winds, so the 15 minutes or so we spent out of the wind in the fire tower after getting our pics were a nice break before the trip down.

    Total time spent on the mountain, including breaks, was 6.5 hours. It was a very enjoyable hike, one I won’t have any problem doing again.

    Phil Smith saved Catamount Trail

    10 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Kingman Farm

    10 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Barrington Town Forest

    10 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Blue Job Mountain Loop

    10 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Parker Mountain Trail

    10 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Mount Roberts Trail

    10 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Stony Brook Trail

    11 months ago

    Phil Smith reviewed Mount Tecumseh Trail

    11 months ago

    A great trail, pretty much steady uphill the whole way with a couple pretty steep areas. There’s not a wide view at the summit but you can see pretty far in a limited arc. Washington and the Southern Presidentials were snow-capped and looked great, and Tripyramid was pretty imposing about 5 miles away.

    Bring spikes, you’ll need them. It got snowy maybe 3/4 mile up on Nov 25.

    Phil Smith completed Mount Tecumseh Trail

    11 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Mount Tecumseh Trail

    11 months ago

    Phil Smith reviewed Piper Hammond Loop Trail

    11 months ago

    I did most of the Hammond side of the trail (Piper-Weetamoo-Hammond-Liberty) Friday night and Saturday morning, to test some new cold weather gear at Jim Liberty Cabin. It was pitch dark by the time I got to Piper trailhead, but the trail was no problem by headlamp. Hammond and Liberty were starting to get icy in spots, so definitely bring Hillsound or Kahtoola spikes along. In the dead of winter real crampons may be better above the treeline.
    I got to Liberty Cabin around 8pm, after about a 3 hour hike up. It was comfy enough considering the outside temp was maybe 15F with 30+mph wind, but there are 2 windows with broken panes that I didn’t notice at first. After I closed the inside shutters the temp inside didn’t go up, but it didn’t drop much further either. It sure would have been nice if the chimney had a little fireplace!
    My original plan was to summit before dawn to get pics of the sunrise, but the sleeping bag was so warm there was no way I was getting out of it at 5am to face the cold and wind! Heading back down in the morning there was more ice on the trails, but secure footing on either side in most cases. Before leaving enjoy the view of the summit above the cabin, it’s very picturesque on a clear day. Being the first time I’ve traveled Weetamoo Trail during daylight I was absolutely dumbstruck at the size of Weetamoo Rock - it almost looks like a mountain all its own! Less than a mile along Weetamoo the trail became smoother and stayed that way all the way to Piper and the trailhead. You’ll hear the Chocorua River in the draw below you for quite some time before coming to it. There’s a huge jumble of rocks and downed tree trunks where the trail crosses the river, and once you cross it (very easy for klutzy me even in the dark with a 35lb pack) you’re almost home.
    Mt Chocorua is just an awesome hike no matter how many times you’ve done it. You get views to rival those from the Presidentials without the strenuous climbs, but you still have to work for it. It’s kind of my go-to mountain for longer weekend day hikes.

    Phil Smith saved Carter Ledge Trail

    12 months ago

    Phil Smith saved Middle Sister Trail

    12 months ago

    Phil Smith reviewed Tripyramids via Sabbaday Brook Trail

    12 months ago

    Pretty strenuous on the steep portions, but with no real views and pretty much nonexistent trail markings I won’t be doing this one again.

    Pine Bend Brook Trail wasn’t bad at all but Sabbaday Brook Trail was just terrible, we did most of it at night and once you start crossing the brook (7 or 8 times!) you have to search for the trail almost every time because there’s no cairn or obvious blaze to mark the stream crossing exit. After what turned out to be the last crossing we searched for the trail without any luck, until we decided to just bushwhack by dead reckoning and staying near the brook. 10 minutes or so later we came to the wide portion of the trail, and found that the trail was closed for maintenance. Ya think? It just doesn’t seem like it’d be too much trouble for someone to hike it with a couple cans of spray paint every year and refresh the blazes.

    The steep portion of Sabbaday Brook Trail (the first 1/2 mile of the descent) is crazy steep - over 1000’ in 1/2 mile - and looks like it’d be almost suicidal in the rain. It was definitely a challenge going down.

    The challenge is really this trail’s only strong point, if you’re not hiking the 4Ks then don’t bother.

    Phil Smith saved Moat Mountain Trail

    12 months ago

    Phil Smith completed Piper Hammond Loop Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Phil Smith reviewed Piper Hammond Loop Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Not a single negative about this mountain! I’ve hiked Chocorua twice this year, this loop this past Sunday and Champney Brook Trail in March, the first times since maybe 1984-85. Being older and fatter it was obviously more strenuous, but not too difficult. The worst part was the very summit, it’s rocky and exposed with some pretty steep drop offs, and I don’t like heights!

    The day started off cloudy and slowly cleared up, at the last overlook the summit still had wisps of clouds on it but by the time I hit the tree line it was bright and sunny up there. A little time on the summit to take pics and get a Clif bar in my stomach, then down I went. The Liberty Cabin was a good place to stop for pics of it under the summit, and if I’d had any real food I would have cooked it there. Due to my late start I did most of the Weetamoo Trail by headlamp, it’s little more than a footpath compared to the highway that’s Piper. I reached the trailhead at 1930 after about 7.5 hours on the mountain, but I was hiking for enjoyment and took a lot of pics. I also had to attend to a couple blisters along the way.

    My only negative is a pretty minor one, and it’s that the trails aren’t blazed very well. The marks that are there are pretty high on the trees in many cases, so you have to tilt your head back to see them by headlamp. Trails that see less use, like Weetamoo, are easy enough to follow now but when they’re covered with fallen leaves in a couple weeks good blazes would be very handy.

    All in all a great hike, and I’m glad I didn’t turn around and go home while driving there like I so badly wanted to do. I’ll be doing it again by another trail before too long!

    Phil Smith saved Gulfside Trail

    about 1 year ago