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About


Mt. Whiteface, Mt. Passaconaway
Albany, NH, Sandwich, NH, Waterville Valley, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Blueberry Ledge Trail
Looking up the Blueberry Ledge Trail

Route: Blueberry Ledge Trail, Rollins Trail, (Mt. Whiteface), Rollins Trail, Dicey Mill Trail, (Mt. Passaconaway), Dicey Mill Trail

Upon waking, I quickly realized I didn't have much energy. As a result, I decided not to do anything that would require much driving. Fortunately, the Ferncroft parking area is only a few minutes away.

Arriving a bit after sunrise, I talked with a few folks in the parking lot as I put on my snowshoes, and then was on my way up the Blueberry Ledge Trail.

The road portion of the trail was okay for snowshoes, as it was covered wall to wall in packed snow and ice and hadn't been sanded - it could have easily been barebooted, but I felt like getting my snowshoes ready before putting on my backpack.

Fortunately, the trail had been broken out after the series of snowstorms earlier in the week. Nonetheless, extended portions were completely covered over from wind - if I hadn't hiked this trail multiple times before, it would have been somewhat hard to follow in a few places due to this.

I was making decent time until I arrived at the first of the many scrambles. Due to the powder, I struggled to dig the crampons on my snowshoes into the underlying ice/frozen granular. As a result, the upper portion of the trail took a bit longer than I had hoped - and had zapped my minimal energy.

While it was a bluebird sky morning at sunrise, clouds quickly moved in. By the time I reached the southern ledge view point on Mt. Whiteface, the sky was almost completely overcast. Nonetheless, I was still able to see Mt. Chocorua, the Ossipee Range, Lake Winnipesaukee, and even some of the Belknap Range.

After spending two minutes taking photos and eating a chocolate/peanut butter bar, I was on my way to the true summit.

Quite frankly, I would have been content with turning around at the Whiteface summit. Nonetheless, I continued on the Rollins Trail. Extended portions were covered by windblown, requiring a bit more effort than the already packed portions.

By the time I reached the Dicey Mill Trail, I was wicked hungry and worn out. Nonetheless, I decided to see how much further I could push it without a true break. Boy was that a tiring portion of trail! I tend to think of the final portion of the Dicey Mill Trail being brief and not climbing much vertical - not quite true! The first portion is gentle enough, however the further it goes, the steeper it becomes. By the time I reached the true summit, I was more than ready to take a break.

I quickly downed some chips and chocolate/peanut butter bars while sitting on a pair of gloves - it felt good to be off my feet for a few minutes! I was ready to call it a day, so I limited by break to a few minutes and backtracked to the viewpoint at the top of the Dicey Mill Trail. I thought about going around to the (better) viewpoint, however the trail wasn't broken out and I wasn't up to adding anymore distance to the hike in cloudy conditions.

I quickly remember why I chose to ascend via the Dicey Mill Trail the previous time I did Passaconaway - its long and somewhat boring! Extended portions on the flats before the Tom Wiggin Trail junction were concealed to windblown snow. By the time I crossed the field back in the 'residential' area, I was more than happy to take off my snowshoes at the end of the plowed road - suddenly my feet were a lot lighter!

All in all a nice day out on the trails, despite the lack of energy and clear, sunny skies.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Whiteface
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Passaconaway
Length: Difficult
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Saturday, January 5, 2008
Hike Commenced: 7:54 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,140'
Destination: Mt. Whiteface
Ascent Commenced: 7:55 AM
Summit Reached: 10:44 AM
Time Elapsed: 02:49
Trailhead Elevation: 1,140'
Summit Elevation: 4,020'
Distance: 4.2 miles
Vertical Gain: 3,055'
Destination: Mt. Passaconaway
Ascent Commenced: 10:45 AM
Summit Reached: 12:48 PM
Time Elapsed: 02:03
Trailhead Elevation: 4,020'
Summit Elevation: 4,043'
Distance: 3.1 miles
Vertical Gain: 863'
Hike Ended: 3:20 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 07:26
Hike Distance: 11.9 miles
Hike Vertical Gain: 4,038'


The Blueberry Ledge Trail trailhead at Ferncroft
The Blueberry Ledge Trail trailhead at Ferncroft

Looking southeast at the Ossipee Range from the Mt. Whiteface southern ledges - Click to enlarge
Looking southeast at the Ossipee Range from the Mt. Whiteface southern ledges

The Rollins Trail from Mt. Whiteface to Mt. Passaconaway
The Rollins Trail from Mt. Whiteface to Mt. Passaconaway

Looking west at the Tripyramids from one of the viewpoints near the Mt. Passaconaway summit - Click to enlarge
Looking west at the Tripyramids from one of the viewpoints near the Mt. Passaconaway summit

Topographic map of Mt. Whiteface, Mt. Passaconaway - Click to enlarge


Directions to trailhead: Take Route 113A to Wonalancet, then take Ferncroft Road. The trailhead (the road) and parking lot are both on the right next to the pasture.

Back to Mt. Whiteface Profile
Back to Mt. Passaconaway Profile




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