NE 4,000 Footers
NE 100 Highest
NH 4,000 Footers
NH 52 With A View
NH Belknap Range
NH Ossipee 10
Explanation of Ratings
Ossipee Mountains Notice
Chandler's Purchase, NH, Sargent's Purchase, NH
Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
There was a limited but decent window of partly sunny skies and relatively low winds - just about right for an above treeline trek. Starting at the Cog base station, I soon encountered snow on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. After crossing Monroe Brook, the snow was too deep and unstable to boot, thus I donned snowshoes.
Soon thereafter, the views were amazing - a recent avalanche had come down from one of the north gullies and taken everything with it, bumping up alongside the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. I'm not sure what was more impressive - the new views up the ravine or the countless knocked over trees in a long, wide line. I can only imagine what it was like to hike through here immediately after the avalanche - perhaps a feeling of a mini-Tunguska encounter.
After passing over the Gem Pool, the destruction was for the most part no longer visible (unless looking backward into the ravine in a few places). I ended up ascending via some snowfields above the treeline, snowshoeing until reaching the final crag below the hut. From there, it would be bareboots for the next few hours.
After a quick trip to Mt. Monroe, I headed up the Crawford Path to Mt. Washington, cautiously crossing over the sideslope snowfield. Fortunately, the snow was soft enough to get a good grip - otherwise, it would have either been crampon or detour necessary.
One last snowfield (being used by skiers) was crossed and soon I was at the windy summit of Mt. Washington. Other than some minor construction going on, I had the summit to myself. Seeing a big, dark cloud to the west, I weighed my options and decided to head down the Gulfside and make a decision at the Jewell junction.
Reaching the Jewell Trail junction, the clouds didn't seem to be as threatening. While the winds were up a bit, they seemed manageable. Thus, I continued north to Jefferson on generally bare trail.
Topping out on Jefferson, the views were increasingly hazy to the west, but still strong in other directions. Dark clouds still loomed just to the west. Not wasting time, I headed back on the Gulfside. Reaching the col, the clouds were almost suddenly gone, resulting in a nice blue sky. While it was tempting to linger awhile in the newfound nicer weather, I opted to continue down with the hopes of getting out well before sunset.
Nearing treeline, on-trail snow started, increasing to perhaps four feet in the woods. Not long after that, the lack of stability forced me to put on snowshoes for awhile, prior to reaching long patches below 3,700 feet. Sure enough, the patchy snow continued all the way to the bottom of the trail - a far cry from my trip a year earlier. Nonetheless, I was able to make it back before sunset.
The trailhead near the Marshfield Base Station
Avalanche debris as seen from the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Looking at Mt. Washington from Mt. Monroe
Looking down the Crawford Path on the way to Mt. Washington
Looking at the northern Presidentials from near the summit of Mt. Washington
The Gulfside Trail on the way to Mt. Jefferson
Looking Mt. Adams from Mt. Jefferson
Back to Mt. Monroe Profile
Back to Mt. Washington Profile
Back to Mt. Jefferson Profile