Sunday, June 29, 2014

Welch Mountain - Dickey Mountain: 6/29/2014

Mileage: 4.25
Elevation gain: 1920 feet
Trails used: Welch-Dickey Loop.
Highlight(s): ledge views, nice popular loop hike.

It was Desi's decision on where we would hike Sunday, and she would choose Dickey Mountain and Welch Mountain (or Dickey-Welch as it is known in local terms). This would be our second hike up this peak, the first being back in 2009. This hike starts off as a pleasant hike interspersed with a few steep stretches that go up some exposed granite slabs. 

Dickey Mountain and Welch Mountain are located in Waterville Valley and Thornton, New Hampshire and also in the White Mountain National Forest. There are really nice views from the ledges leading up to and on/around the Dickey Mountain and Welch Mountain summit areas.

Please be advised that this hike requires you to either have a White Mountain National Forest parking sticker or purchasing the day use permit from the self-service kiosks at the parking area. Parking enforcement was being done this day as the parking lot was full by noon time, and he was issuing numerous tickets.

We would do the loop by doing Welch Mountain first and then Dickey Mountain second.

This was the only "major" water crossing that we would have to do on this hike, which was easy to do by hopping across the rocks carefully.

The sun was out and shining bright early in the morning. This was going to be a nice, warm sunny hike with some nice views.

The trail is well marked in yellow blazes throughout the whole hike, both on tree's and rock's. There are even some area's where they were doing some maintenance.

A little less than a mile and a half into the hike, you come out on some open ledges and your first views of Welch Mountain. Please stay on the trail to protect the fragile alpine vegetation. It's roughly half a mile from here to the summit of Welch Mountain.

Views over to Sandwich Dome, with Acteon Ridge in the foreground from the lower ledges heading up to Welch Mountain.

Looking over to the Tripyramids with it's three summits, and Scaur Peak at the southern end from the lower ledges heading up to Welch Mountain.

There are ledges galore for the upper portions heading up to Welch Mountain's summit and over to Dickey Mountain. 

Desi climbing up a steep stretch of smooth slab with the Weetamoo Mountains's in the background. The lower ledge area that we were on minutes ago is right below us. The Campton Mountain Ski Area is visible to the right.

Greg working his way up the ledges and looking back to admire the views as we head towards the summit of Welch Mountain.

Looking over towards the ledges on Cone Mountain, a trail-less peak close by to the Dickey-Welch loop hike.

A good amount of yellow blazing on the rock tells you which way to go.

We had to squeeze through these two slabs to continue climbing up towards the summit of Welch Mountain.

Greg working his way up the rock slabs and ledges as we head to the summit of Welch Mountain. Some sections were fairly steep but not too bad to hike up.

Looking towards Cone Mountain and Mount Moosilaukee from the summit of Welch Mountain (elevation 2605 feet).

Looking back towards the summit of Dickey Mountain from Welch Mountains summit.

A huge rock cairn (that seems to grow every time I see it) that is in the col between the summit of Dickey Mountain and Welch Mountain.

You head back into the woods and wind your way up to the summit of Dickey Mountain.

Looking back towards Welch Mountain and it's ledgy summit.  This was taken from just below the summit of Dickey Mountain (elevation 2734 feet).

Looking north towards Franconia Ridge and Cannon Mountain from the ledges just below the summit area of Dickey Mountain.

Looking down towards the ridge as we were hiking down from the summit of Dickey Mountain.

Hiking down the steep slabs on the ridge coming down off Dickey Mountain. Icy conditions makes this hike a bit more challenging.

The views looking back towards Welch Mountain as we hike down from the summit of Dickey Mountain and on our way back to the car.

Desi working her way down the open slabs coming down off of Dickey Mountain.

Another decent view looking back to the summit's of Dickey Mountain and Welch Mountain.

Once you get back into the woods, you hike down this nice set of stone steps.

Towards the end of the hike, you come across this old cellar hole.

This hike is a beauty of a hike.  If you want something with a lot of bang for your buck, do this one.  It has everything; nice woods, views, and lots of ledges.  Another thing it does not lack is human interaction.  On a nice day, expect this to be a busy day on the peaks.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ragged Mountain - Ragged Mountain-East Peak: 6/15/2014

Mileage: 7.65
Elevation gain: 2400'
Trails used: Ragged Mountain Trail, Ridge Trail.

I decided to head out for some another nice hike on Sunday, and after a few prospect peak hikes that turned into busts due to property issues, the easiest choice was to stay close to home and hike Ragged Mountain.

Ragged Mountain is located in Danbury and Andover, New Hampshire and is home to the Ragged Mountain Ski Area (which is on it's western most summit).  The high point of the ridge, The Pinnacle, is located on it's eastern most summit,  and is wooded with no views save from a ledge area a ways down from the summit.

Ragged Mountain is traversed by the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG).  I found this trail to be sub-par; drainage issues in various spots and lack of blazing in other's which could lead one astray.  You really have to pay attention to the white blazes that are there to make your way to the summit.  

I decided I wanted to take the Ragged Mountain Trail up.  The trail head starts just below the tennis courts at Proctor Academy.

I wasn't paying attention and ended up on a cross country (I think) ski trail that I still used to get to the Ragged Mountain Trail.

Another part of the ski trail that I walked along and the bridge going over a small brook.

Finally back on the Ragged Mountain Trail.  It get's steep in a few spots but nothing ever too bad that it's tough to do.

The trail is grown-in in spots and you cross several old logging roads so pay attention!

Once on the West Ridge Trail, you hike along side a recent logged area in between the West and East peaks of Ragged Mountain.

Part of the West Ridge Trail that goes over a false bump before it drop's down into the col between the two peaks on the ridge.

Looking at the communications array from the actual high point/summit of Ragged Mountain's west peak (elevation 2225').

Ragged Mountain Ski Area's main lift to the summit area.  

Views looking towards Mount Cardigan from the ski area on top of Ragged Mountain's western peak.

Views looking east towards the Belknap Mountains.

There is two very steep sections in the col between the two summits.  They went straight down/up and would be difficult to ascend in icy conditions.

The views looking back to Ragged Mountain's ski area.

Mount Kearsarge view from a ledge area on the way back to the Ragged Mountain Trail.

Looking towards Croydon and Grantham Mountains and it's awesome ledgy ridge. 

Another view of Mount Kearsarge from a different side of the mountain.

The high point/summit for Ragged Mountain's east summit (elevation 2286').

Once I hit both summits it was time to head back down the Ragged Mountain Trail.

This time I followed the trail all the way down and didn't have to use any cross country ski trails or bushwhack down.

A nice hike on a mountain that I have never hiked even though it's really close to where we live.  There was a nice wind blowing that kept the bugs at bay and it was pleasant and a touch humid but a nice day to be out.  I would recommend this hike but one would need to pay attention to where the trails diverge as you could get lost easily if you're not paying attention.