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07 September 2013

A Visit to the Middle Peak of the Bartlett Haystack Mini-Mountain Range

There are three little peaks in what I call the "Bartlett Haystack Mini-Mountain Range" (See map below).
Map showing "Bartlett Haystack Mini-Mountain Range (click to enlarge)
Here is a chronology of my visits to this mini-mountain range:

November 2012:  Visited the main peak which is named Bartlett Haystack.  (Click HERE to read that report).

August 2013:  Visited the unnamed peak at the northern end of the range.  (Click HERE to read that report).

September 2013: To complete the set, I decided to visit the unnamed middle peak of this range.  Yes, it would have been more efficient if I had visited all three peaks by doing some sort of loop involving a bike or car spot.  However, that's not the way things unfolded!

For the trek to "middle peak", I parked off to the side of one of the roadways in the Bartlett Experimental Forest and launched a bushwhack up the east side of the mountain range.  Assurances have been received from a senior staff member of the Experimental Forest that it is permissible to bushwhack in this area.  The only stipulation is that you do not disturb any flagging, instruments, or tools that you might come across along your route.

One unexpected aspect of my trek to the ledges on "middle peak" was the number of cascades that I encountered along an unnamed brook.  The water flow was a bit meager, but at times of high water (snow melt, etc), these might be impressive. 
Cascades seen along the way to the ledges on "middle peak"    
When I arrived at the top of "middle peak", there was a small cairn which provided evidence that this spot has been visited by folks other than me.  Although it's partially obstructed by my trekking poles, the cairn can be seen in the next photo.
Cairn at top of "middle peak" 
The main ledge atop "middle peak" was roomy and relatively flat which was comfortable for sitting and enjoying the views.  The next photo shows a portion of the ledge, as well as a view eastward toward the Attitash Range with the more distant peaks in the Moat Range "peeking" over the top.
Attitash Range with the more distant peaks in the Moat Range "peeking" over the top
Looking a little more northeasterly, the vista included the Attitash Range with Kearsarge North in the background.
Northeasterly vista includes Attitash Range with Kearsarge North in the background
The view southward included Mt. Passaconaway and other peaks at the eastern end of Sandwich Range.  I was uncomfortable with the tricky maneuvering that would have been needed to get a more unobstructed view.
Southward vista: Mt. Passaconaway and other peaks at eastern end of Sandwich Range
However, I was comfortable with doing less tricky maneuvering that was required to get a partially obstructed view looking northward toward the Presidential Range.  As can be seen in the next photo, conditions were much more overcast to the north.  Also visible in this photo (bottom center) are some of the ledges that I had visited about a week prior at the north end of this mini-mountain range. 
Partially obstructed view looking northward toward the Presidential Range
Unlike the ledges at the northern end of the Bartlett Haystack mini-range, the view looking up the Crawford Notch was very obstructed.  The next photo shows the best view of Crawford Notch that I could find from "middle peak".
Very obstructed view of Crawford Notch from "middle peak"
To sum it up, my curiosity about this area has been satisfied, and it will probably be a while before making any return visits.  But who knows!  Ledges at the northern end of this mini-mountain range are relatively easy to access.  And so, I might go up there on a whim on those occasions when there is only limited time available for a hike.


Steve Smith said...

Another good one, John - you are the Bartlett Haystack master!


1HappyHiker said...

Thanks Steve! Being the ‘Bartlett Haystack master’ is a lesser role than being ‘Master of the Universe’, but someone has to do it! :-)


Tom Sawyer said...

John, I have enjoyed the photos and descriptions of your adventures exploring scenic Bartlett Haystack. I first climbed the peak in 1975 and again in 1986 as a winter trip. My wife Diane & I returned to the peak (on a geocache quest) yesterday, 9/21/2013, - 38 years after my first ascent. Not a difficult bushwhack but certainly a very rewarding one. With autumn here and the bugs pretty much gone, I am motivated by your descriptions to explore some of the areas you have talked about. Thank you!
Tom Sawyer

1HappyHiker said...

@Tom Sawyer: I’m truly grateful for your comments. It is so uplifting to learn that my blog reports have motivated you to go out and explore some of the areas I’ve written about in my blogs.

Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and hiking experiences.