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25 December 2013

A Short, Low-Elevation Hike in Northern Presidential Range on Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve 2013, I did a short, low-elevation loop hike in the northern Presidential Range using the following trails: The Link; Cliffway; Monaway; Amphibrach.  Trail conditions were mixed due to recent rain that fell atop a snowpack, and then was followed by a sustained period of below freezing temperatures.  For part of the hike, I wore Kahtoola KTS crampons, and snowshoes at other times.  The total distance for this loop was about 5.7 miles.

Named landmarks along the route included: Memorial Bridge, Cold Brook Fall, White Cliff, and Bog Ledge.  Presented below are some snapshots taken during this Christmas Eve trek.

Memorial Bridge (along The Link trail)
Cold Brook Fall
Hiking on unbroken snow along The Link (after junction with Amphibrach)
King Ravine viewed from Bog Ledge
Zoomed view of King Ravine from Bog Ledge
The next snapshot shows the pathway leading to/from Bog Ledge.  For whatever reason, this scene is appealing to me.
Pathway leading to/from Bog Ledge
The vista of the Crescent Range from White Cliff has become tree-obstructed over the years.  And considering the icy conditions along the ledge, I did not even attempt to get a better view by venturing onto the Along the Brink Trail (the name of this trail says it all).  And so, shown below is the view from White Cliff that I had on this particular day.
Tree-obstructed view of Crescent Range from White Cliff
The next photo is merely a composite of some of the many trail signs seen along my route.
Some of the many trail signs seen along my route
And finally, presented below is a map which shows the route taken for this trek.
Map showing the route taken for this trek
To sum it up, this was a delightful way to spend about 3.5 hours on Christmas Eve, especially since there was still some snow at this nearby location.  Due to the recent rain mentioned at the start of this report, the snowpack had all but disappeared in the Bethlehem area where I live.  A frolic in snowy woods certainly enhances the holiday spirit! :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi John,

This look a like a fun trek to do. The pictures were very nice, thank you for posting them. To get unbroken snow must of been a nice surprise.


1HappyHiker said...

Matt . . . thanks for your comments!

Yup, it was a treat to trek along an unbroken trail. Although it’s impossible to ascertain this from the photos, the snow depth was only a few inches, and it was laying on top of a thick layer of ice. For steeper sections of the trail, traction became a real issue. I needed to swap snowshoes for Kahtoola KTS crampons.


Steve Smith said...

Nice report John - a great little loop, especially in winter. Excellent shorts from Bog Ledge, one of those less-visited gems. In July the RMC Facebook page reported that Along the Brink was closed "due to dangerous trail conditions caused by soil erosion." That always was a little sketchy, especially with snow or ice present.


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your nice words about my report!

I’d seen that RMC blurb a few months ago about the Along the Brink trail being closed. And so, I was sort of surprised to see the signage for the trail still in place when I arrived at White Cliff. Oh well! It didn’t matter, there was NO WAY that I was going to set foot on that trail, particularly on the day of my visit when conditions were so very icy.


Summerset said...

Lovely loop for Christmas Eve! Memorial Bridge is really lovely with snow, I've only seen it in summer. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and will have a Happy New Year.

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Summerset,

Thanks for taking time to read and post a reply to my Blog.
Best wishes to you and yours for a big slice of happiness and good fortune in the New Year!