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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States

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30 July 2016

A Cliff-Hanger! Bushwhack to Precipitous Cliffs NNW of Sawyer Ponds (NH)


A cliff-hanger!  Perhaps that is the best way to describe a recent trek to one of the precipitous cliffs along the ridge located NNW of Sawyer Ponds.   Considering a round-trip distance of only 2.8 miles (1.6 miles on-trail; 1.2 miles off-trail), this adventure would rightfully be categorized as rather small.  However, the views that it delivered were huge!

The band of cliffs that were targeted can be seen in the next photo which was taken about a year ago when walking along the shoreline of Sawyer Pond.  You'll note that Little Sawyer Pond is unseen in the photo since it is obscured by trees and it's situated at an elevation about 100 feet higher than Sawyer Pond.
Red arrow points to approximate spot from which I took photos and enjoyed the vista.
The bushwhack was an easy trek through mostly open woods.  And although I could have used a different approach, I opted to start at the bottom of the cliff and reach the top by climbing steeply upward along a forested area adjacent to my target.

My bushwhack route to the cliff-top is shown by my GPS track which is superimposed on the map seen below.
Map with GPS track superimposed to show the bushwhack route taken to the cliff-top

This is the main view from my cliff-top vantage point.  Little Sawyer and Sawyer Pond are in the foreground.   On the horizon, some of the more notable peaks include (L to R): Mt. Tremont; Owls Cliff; Chocorua; Paugus; Passaconaway.
This photo is a 'zoom-in' on Little Sawyer and Sawyer Pond.  Mt. Chocorua is prominent at top/left.
Also visible from my precarious perch was Green's Cliff (sharply pointed peaks of Tripyramids are just off to its left in the background).

TO SUM IT UP:  This report is short and the photos are few.  Nonetheless, this little adventure still seemed worthy of a blog posting.

And perhaps it should be noted that the Sawyer Ponds area is one of the 10 locations within the White Mountain National Forest that is officially designated as a Scenic Area.  As defined by the Secretary of Agriculture, Rules and Regulations (1960):  “Scenic Areas are places of outstanding or unique beauty that require special management to preserve their qualities. This type area will be maintained as nearly as possible in an undisturbed condition.”  (Click HERE for more detailed information about Scenic Areas.)