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17 June 2014

Bushwhack to a Nameless Peak Located South of Mt. Hope

There's a branch off the Montalban Ridge called the Bemis Ridge which includes the named peaks of Mt. Crawford, Mt. Hope, and Hart Ledge. This ridge also includes an unnamed peak (approximately 2,180 ft elevation) that is situated between Mt. Hope and Hart Ledge.  Since this peak has no name, some lighthearted suggestions for a moniker have included: No-Hope; Hope-less; Little Hope, etc.  However, for the purposes of this report  I've decided to use the name "South Hope" in deference to its geographic location in relation to Mt. Hope.

My recent trek to South Hope in June 2014 was my second visit.  I had been there once before in April 2010.  The rationale for making a return visit was twofold.  I wanted to visit a ledgy area on the south slope of Mt. Hope that seemed like it might provide a unique profile view of South Hope.  Also, I wanted to experience a new route by going over the top of Mt. Hope, and then onward to South Hope.

Both of my bushwhacks to South Hope were launched from the Davis Path.  Shown below is a map which roughly depicts the routes that were used for my trek in 2010 and in 2014.
Map showing approximate route of travel for trek in 2010, and in 2014
(Click to enlarge)
I cannot say that one route is more preferable than the other.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages.  In terms of distance, the two routes are nearly identical with a round-trip mileage of about 5 miles.  Of course, the shortest route would be to park along Rt. 302 at a point nearly opposite South Hope, and then make an ascent after fording the Saco River.  However, except at times of very low water, this could be a risky venture!

It can truly be stated that both treks to this nameless peak along the Bemis Ridge were very enjoyable adventures and provided some fond memories.  However, it has run its course with me.  And so, dare I say that there is "little hope", or even "no hope" that I'll be making a return visit to South Hope in the foreseeable future. :-)

Shown below are few snapshots associated with my South Hope trek.
Shown here is the profile of 'South Hope' as viewed from a ledge on the south end of Mt. Hope.  (On the horizon (left side of photo) are Bartlett Haystack and Bear Mountain)
View from 'South Hope' looking northward.  Mt. Hope dominates on far right, and to its left are Mts. Willey, Bemis, and Nancy.
View from 'South Hope' looking northeasterly.  Mt. Hope dominates on far left, and to its right is Mt. Resolution, followed by Mt. Parker on far right.
View from 'South Hope' looking easterly.  Mt. Parker dominates on far left.  At the top center are the south cliffs of Iron Mountain.  (The tops of Mts. Sable and Chandler are seen on the distant horizon between Parker and Iron Mountain.)
View from 'South Hope' looking westerly along the Sawyer River Valley.  Mt. Tremont is on far left.  Although I'm uncertain, I think maybe Mt. Kancamagus and the Osceolas are on the distant horizon in center of photo?

This photo was taken on my earlier trek to South Hope in April 2010.  As compared to a similar photo taken on my 2014 hike, it seems to be a better view of the Sawyer River Valley. 
As mentioned in my narrative, my 2014 route of travel took me over the top of Mt. Hope.  Trees are now filling in the more open views that were once there, as evidenced by this composite photo showing the westward view (top frame), and the northward view (bottom frame).

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ADDENDUM (Added 18-June-2014):

A reader sent me a private e-mail asking if there were ledges on 'South Hope' that were imperceptible from the profile photo shown at the beginning of this report.  There are indeed!  Perhaps the best way to show these ledges is via the Google Earth image presented below (click to enlarge).


Dingo said...

Interesting report, thank you! I've been interested in Hope after recently reading a recent trip report that mentions a bootleg trail over to it from Davis Path.

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for your comments, Dingo.

Yes, there is a rather aged bootleg trail leading to Mt. Hope, but there are segments that are challenging to follow as the forest begins to absorb and reclaim this corridor. Since a lot of the route to Mt. Hope is easy bushwhacking through woods that are fairly open, the bootleg trail isn't really necessary, IMHO. :-)

Glad you enjoyed the report. Happy trails!


JustJoe said...

Great report John. I've been wanting to traverse Bemis Ridge for a few years from Hope to Hart ledge. Your "S. Hope" looks like it would make the trek worthwhile. Great looking views and photos.

1HappyHiker said...

Joe, with your bushwhacking skills, you should have no problem doing the traverse that you described.

Regarding Hart Ledge, am sure you know its ledges are now on private land. However, it wasn’t posted, at least when I went there several years ago. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of bare rock to explore on Hart Ledge, but personally got more enjoyment from views on ‘South Hope’.

Thanks for reading my report, and for your kind words!


Jim said...

You and Steve ought to start redpeaking since you're well on your way to traipsing on or around every peak, nubble, hill and outcropping in the Whites. Report and pics both great.

1HappyHiker said...

Jim . . . your comment is priceless, and it surely made my day! You have just coined a new term, "red-peaking". I love it!

Thanks for reading my blog, and a special thanks for such a special comment!


Steve Smith said...

Beautiful photos and interesting report on one of those "forgotten" corners. "Red-peaking" - ha! That's a good one. Love the profile view of South Hope.


1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for posting your comments, Steve! Greatly appreciated!

Yup! South Hope is sort of a 'recluse' living in one of those forgotten corners of the Whites. Wonder if it would be upset to learn that its profile was photographed and then posted on the Internet for all to see? :-)


Rita Wechter said...

As always John, I enjoyed your photos of this trek into the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire.
However, I especially enjoyed the last sentence of your report, commenting on the "hopelessness" of your visiting this area in the future!

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks Rita! Glad you enjoyed the photos, as well as my play on words concerning my expectations for future treks to 'South Hope'. :-)


Kathleen Mulkern said...

Thank you for this. The cliff at "south Hope" as I will now refer to it has always intrigued me as it is the view out my bedroom window (I have a photo from the bottom if you'd like it). A steep climb from here but I will try to find your way up as the view is quite lovely.

1HappyHiker said...

Kathleen . . . Wow, that must be quite a view! Yes, I would love it if you would send me a photo taken from your property. You could send it to this email address: randonneur8 AT yahoo DOT com.

Thank you so much for your reply. I'm very appreciative!