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12 April 2011

Bickford and Scarface – Now There's a Pair!

Nearly due east of the Skookumchuck trailhead are three little mountains: Bickford (2,368 ft), Scarface (2,802 ft) and Big Bickford (3,261 ft). Since bushwhacking is the only means of access, these mountains only have a few occasional visitors.

On 12-April, I visited Bickford and Scarface mountains.  Every so often, it's a nice change of pace to pay a visit these two little guys. Getting to them is a pleasant trek through open hardwoods, and both mountains have a little ledge that provides an interesting view southward toward Cannon Mountain.

For anyone unfamiliar these mountains, the map shown below will help to help pinpoint their location.
My bushwack on this particular day took me through some mixed snow conditions. As shown in the side-by-side photos below, sometimes the ground was completely snow-free, whereas at other times, there were large patches of snow.
Along the way, I came upon a couple of interesting things . . . like a dead porcupine! Maybe this prickly critter was a meal for a Fisher (click HERE for information about "Fisher Cats")?
A short distance away from the dead porcupine, I spotted a small patch of fern that was alive and perky. It was refreshing to see some green vegetation beginning to emerge!
With having to navigate my way through occasional patches of snow, it took about 45 minutes to reach the tiny ledge on Bickford Mountain. Shown below is the view from there.
Next on my hit list was Scarface. It took about another 45 minutes to bushwhack over to this mountain. The view toward Cannon Mountain from Scarface is very similar to the view from Bickford. Although it's a more open view from Scarface, I personally think that the view from Bickford is just as good. The little ledge on Scarface does provide a limited view toward Lafayette which Bickford doesn't have (or if it does, then I have yet to find it).

Shown below are two views from Scarface Mountain.
So, as indicated in the title of this little report, Bickford and Scarface are quite a pair! They provide a pleasant few hours of hiking and a few views to boot!

For a longer hike, a loop can be done by continuing on over to Big Bickford, and then shoot southward to pick up the Skookumchuck Trail and follow it back to the trailhead on US Rt. 3.

ADDENDUM (Added on 14-April-2011)

Since Bickford Mountain isn't shown on all maps, it caused me to wonder if perhaps I had picked up some erroneous information somewhere along the way. So, to relieve my self-doubt, I did some additional research and came up with material which I think verifies that "Bickford Mtn" is an officially-recognized Place Name, and it is separate and distinct from "Big Bickford Mtn".

However, whoever incorporated "Mtn" into the name "Bickford Mtn" has caused some confusion!! 

According to GNIS (Geographic Names Information System), the place that is named "Bickford Mtn" is NOT classified as a summit, but rather it is classified as a ridge (with a high point of 2,368 ft).  Whereas, Scarface Mtn and Big Bickford Mtn are BOTH classified as a summit.  Have your eyes glazed over yet?! :) 

For anyone interested in what I found, I've posted the two images shown below. They both came from the website Topoquest (click HERE to access that site).



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6 comments:

  1. Nice trip report! Even though I am looking forward to the summer, it is still a little sad to see the snow melting away. Without your report, I never would have heard of these peaks and they look pretty cool!

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  2. Grant . . . great to read that you enjoyed the report!

    And, I know EXACTLY what you mean about it being “a little sad to see the snow melting away”. Each year about this time, we travel down to NC and DE to visit relatives. As we begin our journey southbound on I-91 in VT, it’s sort of like witnessing winter die a slow death as we pass by chunks of fallen ice lying like road-kill on the shoulder of the road!

    John

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  3. Though it is sad to see winter go, it is so nice to see those ferns! I haven't seen green in so long, I'd forgotten what it looked like.

    Great report - I learned something, too... I always thought that what you listed as Bickford was just an unnamed lower bump on Scarface, and that Big Bickford was just Bickford. So, I guess I'll have to say that I enjoy the view from Bickford most, with its view lining up the road with the ski slopes, as well as the wonderful hardwood ridge leading upslope, and some nice west-facing ledges.

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  4. Chris, thanks for posting your comments!

    Not only did YOU learn something, but I learned something as well. I did some further research as a result of your comment about thinking Bickford was “just an unnamed bump on Scarface”. I just posted an ADDENDUM which provides some interesting information about the geographic feature named “Bickford Mtn”.

    John

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  5. Hi John, great blog spot....really like it and I just bookmarked it so I'll be checking in on your travels.

    How much bare ground do you think I would find this weekend on the southern slopes and maybe the sadlles between these peaks?

    Thanks much!

    Patrick (aka forestgnome)

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  6. Hi Patrick! I’m delighted that you like my Blog! It’s something I enjoy doing, and would probably do it regardless of how many (or how few!) folks actually “tuned in” to read it.

    Regarding how much bare ground you might find this weekend on southern slopes and saddles between the peaks, I guess it depends on a number of factors like density of the canopy overhead, etc. I was a bit surprised today (26-April) to still find large patches of snow several inches deep on a local trail near my house that runs along flat terrain through open hardwoods. But that’s okay . . . lingering snow is more tolerable to me than the upcoming battle with biting insects! :)

    John

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