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30 July 2016

A Cliff-Hanger! Bushwhack to Precipitous Cliffs NNW of Sawyer Ponds (NH)


A cliff-hanger!  Perhaps that is the best way to describe a recent trek to one of the precipitous cliffs along the ridge located NNW of Sawyer Ponds.   Considering a round-trip distance of only 2.8 miles (1.6 miles on-trail; 1.2 miles off-trail), this adventure would rightfully be categorized as rather small.  However, the views that it delivered were huge!

The band of cliffs that were targeted can be seen in the next photo which was taken about a year ago when walking along the shoreline of Sawyer Pond.  You'll note that Little Sawyer Pond is unseen in the photo since it is obscured by trees and it's situated at an elevation about 100 feet higher than Sawyer Pond.
Red arrow points to approximate spot from which I took photos and enjoyed the vista.
The bushwhack was an easy trek through mostly open woods.  And although I could have used a different approach, I opted to start at the bottom of the cliff and reach the top by climbing steeply upward along a forested area adjacent to my target.

My bushwhack route to the cliff-top is shown by my GPS track which is superimposed on the map seen below.
Map with GPS track superimposed to show the bushwhack route taken to the cliff-top

This is the main view from my cliff-top vantage point.  Little Sawyer and Sawyer Pond are in the foreground.   On the horizon, some of the more notable peaks include (L to R): Mt. Tremont; Owls Cliff; Chocorua; Paugus; Passaconaway.
This photo is a 'zoom-in' on Little Sawyer and Sawyer Pond.  Mt. Chocorua is prominent at top/left.
Also visible from my precarious perch was Green's Cliff (sharply pointed peaks of Tripyramids are just off to its left in the background).

TO SUM IT UP:  This report is short and the photos are few.  Nonetheless, this little adventure still seemed worthy of a blog posting.

And perhaps it should be noted that the Sawyer Ponds area is one of the 10 locations within the White Mountain National Forest that is officially designated as a Scenic Area.  As defined by the Secretary of Agriculture, Rules and Regulations (1960):  “Scenic Areas are places of outstanding or unique beauty that require special management to preserve their qualities. This type area will be maintained as nearly as possible in an undisturbed condition.”  (Click HERE for more detailed information about Scenic Areas.)



Rita Wechter said...

Hi John,

I'll say that the views are huge! I really love the close-up of the Sawyer Ponds. It makes me want to dive right in!
Nice little adventure!

Steve Smith said...

Nice one, John! Great perspective on that secluded nook of the backcountry!

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for your comments, Rita.

More and more I’ve come to relish smaller adventures such as this. They afford the time to enjoy a hike, as well as time to engage in other interests and activities during the very same day.


1HappyHiker said...

Your kind words are much appreciated, Steve.

As you know oh-so-well, it’s a very rewarding experience to explore the ‘nooks and crannies’ of our beautiful woodlands.


Ellen Snyder said...

Hi John,

We are so parched in southern NH and parts south, that the fresh, clear water in the Sawyer Ponds is mesmerizing -- haven't seen that much water in a pond, lake, or stream in months! And the forest looks lush. Nice to read about your off-trail adventures.


Karl said...

Hi John!

They're all worthy of blog posts, especially when you're documenting them. You do a great job with that camera and your accounts are a pleasure to read!

For a smaller hike/bushwhack, you were certainly rewarded with some great views. I love the zoomed in picture of the two Sawyer ponds. The tree color is great...even if it's just green (I've heard photographers don't like the green of summer :) ). With the hot days we've had, the photo makes me want to jump in the pond!

Another great post, John!


1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for reading my blog, Ellen, and for taking time to post your comments.

The difference in weather between southern and northern New Hampshire is truly amazing. And considering your occupation as a Wildlife Biologist, you can likely see the consequences of climate change even more acutely than the general population.

Fingers are crossed that you part of the State will soon get some relief from the extremely dry conditions.


1HappyHiker said...

Thank you so much Karl for your generous words about my blog postings.

I don’t know how many folks still read blogs nowadays, considering that social media (such as Facebook) seems to have taken over. Regardless, my purpose for blogging has never been about having a large number of followers . But rather, my blogging is done merely to chronicle my adventures in a way that is more permanent and searchable than social media. Of course, it’s always a very gratifying side benefit to hear from folks like you who read my blog and express an appreciation for the reports that I post.

Thanks again, Karl.