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01 March 2014

My Grand Tour of Mt. Pemigewasset and Surrounding Area


Recently I shared some thoughts online with a blogger friend of mine named Ryan who authors "Guthook Hikes" (click HERE).  For anyone unfamiliar with his blog, stop by for a visit sometime.  It's a terrific read!

The thoughts I shared with Ryan had to do with boredom and complacency.  I stated that these had never been issues for me, but did admit to experiencing a decreased ‘fervor’ for revisiting places that I’ve already visited, and for doing things I’ve already done.  However, as an offset to this, there has been an increased passion to explore new places, and to make other changes such as visiting a familiar place via an unfamiliar route.  Considering the research involved for finding new places and for alternative ways of doing things, boredom and complacency don’t stand a chance of ever taking over!

Related to the above topic of exploration and change, perhaps frequent readers of my blog will recall that my previous posting (click HERE) contained a footnote which presented some thoughts about either discontinuing my blog, or making changes to it.  I've decided to maintain my blog, but will be experimenting now and then with different styles of writing and presentation.

So, please bear with me while I experiment.  But also keep in mind that I relish change, which might mean there will be no end to my shifting styles!  Or then again, who knows!  I might stumble upon a style that I like and then stick with it for a while until the urge for change once again prevails!


My 'Grand Tour' included visits to the following locations: 1) ledge located below and east of summit of Mt. Pemigewasset (see Addendum at bottom of this report); 2) summit of Mt. Pemigewasset; 3) Mud Pond which is situated a short distance north of Mt. Pemigewasset.

Perhaps it should be noted that I've visited all three of those destinations on numerous occasions.  However, this is an example of what was mentioned above, i.e. visiting familiar places via unfamiliar routes.  Various components of this trek were new to me, foremost of which was the ascent of Mt. Pemigewasset from the ledge located below and east of the summit.
Map showing places I visited along with a general idea of the route of travel
The snowpack wasn't rock-hard like we often get in early Springtime.  However, it was firm enough for some enjoyable off trail travel.

Franconia Range as viewed from an off-trail ledge located below and east of Mt. Pemigewasset's summit

When trekking to Mt. Pemigewasset's summit from the ledge below it, I was surprised to find a rough corridor and sawed off branches.  (Steve Smith suggested that this might be the remnants of an abandoned trail that once ran between the Indian Head Resort and the summit.)
On the way up to the summit, there was a nicely framed view of massive Mt. Moosilauke on the distant horizon
Peaks in the Franconia Range, as viewed from the summit of Mt. Pemigewasset.  (As shown earlier, there is a less obstructed view of this mountain range from the off-trail ledge located below and east of the summit.)
Among many other mountains, the eastward view from the summit of Mt. Pemigewasset features Loon Mountain, Scar Ridge and the Osceolas.  Click HERE for a complete view guide at Steve Smith's website.
A portion of the Franconia Range as viewed from Mud Pond
Cannon Mountain as viewed from Mud Pond
While descending the Mt. Pemigewasset Trail during those seasons of the year when leaves are off the trees, there are pleasant views of the Franconia Range (particularly Mt. Flume).

Addendum (added 02-Mar-2014):
Since others might have the same question, I'm sharing a response that I provided to a reader who sent me an e-mail asking if Google Earth imagery shows the ledge that I visited on Mt. Pemigewasset's east side.  The answer is yes it does, but just barely (see image below).  I cannot say that finding this ledge is quite as difficult as finding the proverbial 'needle in a haystack'.  However, I can definitely say that this ledge is a mere fraction of the size of the massive area of exposed rock at the summit of Mt. Pemigewasset.


Steve Smith said...

A fine report with crisp photos, John! I'm very happy you have decided to continue your blog! There are still lots of neat journeys and places out there that your readers will enjoy seeing through your eyes.


1HappyHiker said...

Thank you, Steve, not only for your generous words but also for your continued support of my blog.


Rita Wechter said...

Wow, can't believe that ledge showed up on Google Earth!
Just like Steve, I'm happy that you have decided to continue your blog. I know you won't disappoint your readers; you always seem to find unique journeys and new "trails", even when visiting places you've already been.
I look forward to more reports like this one!

JimmyO said...

Absolutely! Keep on blogging! And Thank You. FYI The grey background of the captions did make it a tad harder to read on a handheld.

1HappyHiker said...

Rita, thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words regarding my blog!

Yes, regarding Google Earth, some of the recent imagery updates utilize higher resolution data which is much better at showing details. However, there are certain areas for which this high-resolution data is currently unavailable. Also, the imagery for some areas can sometimes contain cloud coverage which is really disappointing if it happens to be in an area of personal interest. However, the software does have a feature which enables you to view historical imagery, which is often helpful to overcome an issue with cloud cover.


1HappyHiker said...

JimmyO . . . it is so terrific to have a reader provide feedback such as yours. Thank you!

I’ve changed the background color of the captions. At your convenience, may I ask that you take another look to see if it is now easier to read on your handheld? I tested it out on my handheld, and the revised background color seems to have improved the readability. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the same will be true for all devices.

If you’d prefer not to post another comment to my blog, then please feel free to contact me by e-mail at: randonneur8 AT yahoo DOT com. Or, you can post a message on my Facebook page: facebook DOT com/1HappyHikerNH

Thanks again,

JustJoe said...

keep on blogging John. We all seem to hit these walls of sorts from time to time. I myself have of different nature. I just hope to able to forge on as you hav

Great report with gorgeous photos. I've seen that ledge mentioned from you and Steve before. The fuuny thing is I was just looking at Mud Pond a month or so ago on G.E. wondering if it was worth checking out. Think you've answered that. While I'm at it, what do you know about those ledges just north of Pemi. and east of Mud Pond? Tough to tell on GE if they are too steep to brother.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and this great report.


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Joe,

You described it very well, i.e. “hitting a wall”. Sorry to hear that you have experienced something similar. Regardless, as you indicate, we all need to rally to the cause and “forge on”. :-)

Okay, regarding those ledges on the west side of Mud Pond, I’ve been to two of them, but am thinking that they might have been the “wrong two”! Many blowdowns were encountered along my route, and then when I got there, it seemed to me that the view wasn’t worth the effort. However, I do seem to recall that Steve Smith went to ledges on that same side of the pond and he had a much better experience than I did. So, as you know, bushwhacking to unknown territory can have varied results. I might have simply chosen a poor route, and then further complicated the situation by going to the “wrong” ledges. Who knows? A better ledge might have been only a short distance away! :-)