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.
Looking up the Ragged Mountain Trail
Route: Ragged Mountain Trail, East Ridge Trail, bushwhack, (Ragged Mountain), bushwhack, East Ridge Trail, (Old Top), East Ridge Trail, Ragged Mountain Trail, Balanced Rock Spur, Ragged Mountain Trail
Pretty poor conditions. We put on snowshoes at the trailhead (don't be fooled by what looks like minimal snowpack there - it quickly increases as you enter the woods) and wore the the whole time.
Initially it was somewhat packed spring snow, but as we pulled away from the lower trail network, it quickly became a breakable frozen granular crust, sometimes on top of running or standing water. Take a step, wait, then you sink.
Perhaps around 1500 feet, we reached the icing, resulting in lots of leaning trees. One out of maybe five steps would stay on the crust, while the other four would punch through.
Reaching the ridge, the East Ridge Trail was very obscure in part due to leaners, as well as lacking the Greenway markings. With the exception of two side trip bushwhacks (one of which was to the highpoint), our track is pretty much kosher. Nice views from the ledge at the end of the ridge. Very surprised to see snowshoe tracks coming up from the north, which confirms my suspicion that there's a little known trail on that side. Snowpack close to 3 feet in places on the ridge. We also took the side trip to Balanced Rock and the ledges just beyond it.
Conditions were dicey enough that, even with our round trip, the trail is not well packed out. Even considering barebooting this in the coming weeks would be foolhardy.
Getting To Trailhead:
||Monday, March 31, 2014|
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The Ragged Mountain Trail trailhead near the Proctor Academy Field House
Looking east from the Old Top ledges near the Ragged Mountain summit
Sunset colors later in the day
Directions to trailhead: Take Route 11 West from I-93 to Andover and Proctor Academy. The Field House will be just off the road on the right. From the back of the parking lot, start on the access road leading uphill to the tennis courts. Where the road starts to curve left, continue straight into the woods on the Ragged Mountain Trail.
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