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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
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19 March 2013

A Trek in Southeast Corner of Presidential Range Dry River Wilderness


Recent rain followed by sustained temperatures below freezing created a hardened snowpack that was ideal for bushwhacking.  These conditions allow you to tramp through the forest to anyplace you want to go.  You can walk on top of the snow much the same way as walking on a paved surface!
Snowshoes barely left an imprint on the hardened snowpack
To take advantage of these marvelous conditions I did a loop hike of about 7 miles in the southeast corner of the Presidential Range Dry River Wilderness.  About half of this trek was a bushwhack, and the other portion utilized the Mt. Langdon Trail (plus a small snippet of the Mt. Stanton Trail).  At the end of this report is a map which provides a general idea of the route that I followed.

Shown below are some photos that were taken from various ledges along my route, as well as from a large logging cut located a bit NW of Mt. Langdon.
Presidential Range and Wildcat-Carter Range
Slight zoom of Wildcat-Carter Range
Mt. Parker and Presidential Range
Mt. Carrigain (in distance on left) and Mt. Parker
Iron Mountain
South view (Bear Mtn and Bartlett Haystack in foreground; Sandwich Range peaks in distance)
East view (Peaks in "The Crippies" on left; Attitash Ski Area on right)
North Moat (slightly right of center); Attitash Ski Area on left
Cliffs sometimes referred to as "Back Stairs" with Mt. Pierce on far right
Shown below is a composite photo showing zoomed images similar to what could be seen through binoculars.
Zoomed images similar to what could be seen through binoculars
The next composite shows the type of open woods that were present for the bushwhack portion of my trek.
Open woods that were present for bushwhack portion of trek
This last composite shows the trail signs that were seen along the portion of my hike that was done on-trail.
Trail signs seen along the on-trail portion of my hike
And to wrap it up, here are two miscellaneous snapshots.
Mt. Langdon Shelter
Picturesque little cascade
Lastly, as promised at the beginning of the report, shown below is a map which provides a general idea of the route for this adventure (click to enlarge).
Map showing a general idea of the route used for this adventure
To sum it up, the hardened snowpack conditions like those present on the day of this hike are a bushwhacker's dream come true!

8 comments:

  1. Nice exploration in a little-visited area, John. Tremendous views! Kind of sorry to see the new snow come since the whacking conditions have been so good.

    Steve

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    1. Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your generous comments!

      The views on this relatively short trek were quite varied. The images I posted at least provide a general idea of these vistas. However, it’s one of those many times when you almost have to be there to gain a full appreciation.

      And yes, I agree completely that the new snow will likely mess up the whacking conditions that have recently been superb! Oh well! Hopefully, there will be a window of opportunity in the Springtime for some good bare-ground whacking, BEFORE the bugs come out in full force! :-)

      John

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  2. Living in Florida all your mountain treks are totally new to me. I am enjoying your photos and your observations very much. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you Meta for taking time to post such kind comments!

      It’s always gratifying to receive feedback from readers of my Blog.

      Best regards,
      John

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  3. This is the second report I've read in the past 10 days about those ledges on Mt Langdon. I've been on the Mt Langdon Trail twice but never to Mt Langdon. Didn't know about the ledges on that one. Seems like that whole area south of Stairs Mtn is just loaded with open ledge. Great photos John. I guess you'd say you had a picture perfect day. :)

    Thanks for sharing,
    Joe

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    Replies
    1. Hi Joe,

      You are so right about the area south of Stairs Mtn being loaded with open ledges! I’ve launched bushwhacks to several of them from the Rocky Branch Trail, as well as the Mt. Parker Trail, and from the Mt. Stanton Trail. I’m certain you’ll visit some of these ledges sooner, rather than later! :-)

      Like you said, it was a “picture perfect day”. However, as I indicated in my remarks to Steve Smith, it was one of those cases where you had to be there to get the full effect. My photos really don’t do justice to the vistas that I saw during this trek.

      Thanks for your comments . . . very much appreciated!

      John

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  4. Nice! I love all the different mountain views available on this hike. Also, the snow looks great—perfect for tramping around on.

    My favorite shot though is that perfect little cascade. So peaceful; it looks like a great place for a lunch break!

    How big is the Dry River Wilderness area?

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    1. Hi Rita,

      Just as a sidelight, I often share my Blog reports with my Mom. Your favorite photo (the picturesque cascade) also happened to be her favorite!

      Anyway, you asked about the size of the Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness. According to the info posted on the NH White Mountain National Forest website, it is comprised of 29,000 acres (see link below).
      http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whitemountain/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5186453

      New Hampshire is blessed with several federally designated Wilderness Areas. I thoroughly enjoy exploring all of them.

      As always, I appreciate your feedback!

      John

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