NE 4,000 Footers
NE 100 Highest
NH 4,000 Footers
NH 100 Highest
NH 52 With A View
NH Belknap Range
NH Ossipee 10
Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Heading up the Firewarden's Trail to the Pleasant Mountain summit
Route: Fire Warden's Trail
My original plan was to do a short hike after work. I found myself passing through Conway much earlier than planned, so I did some quick number crunching and realized I could get up Pleasant Mountain in time for the sunset if I really booked it. Thus, I continued east.
While conditions at the trailhead looked to be bootable (and warm - mid 30s!), I opted to wear my snowshoes, not knowing how much snow would be up high. As I worked my way up the trail (which doubles as a snowmobile trail), I could see that light traction would have been a better option. After crossing the little bridge, I soon reached one of many blue ice bulges, likely remaining from the heavy rain a few weeks earlier.
Upon arriving at the summit, I was surprised to see how high in the sky the sun still was - while I knew I was moving at a decent place, I was a good 10-15 minutes ahead of plan. Thus, I had time to sit around and get cold in the brisk wind.
The sunset was decent, but not necessarily spectacular. Nonetheless, with a forecast of mostly cloudy skies, the clear skies were most welcome.
I was able to make it back out to the trailhead without using a headlamp. Though cold with the winds up high, the temperatures were still hovering around freezing at the base.
Getting To Trailhead:
||Thursday, February 11, 2010|
|Hike Time Elapsed:
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Fire Warden's Trail trailhead
Extended ice bulges on the upper Firewarden's Trail
Looking northwest from the Pleasant Mountain summit at Kearsarge North Mountain (left) and the Presidentials
The sunset as seen from Pleasant Mountain
Directions to trailhead: From the New Hampshire border, take Route 302 to Wilton-Warren Road (a right). The road will turn to dirt. The trailhead and small parking lot are on the left just after an old wooden bridge.
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