Monday, August 07, 2006

Mt. Whiteface August 6, 2006

Today was a first for us. We hiked back to back days to major peaks. By the end of the day we had hiked around 20 miles and climbed over 6000 ft. in 2 days. Whiteface (the southernmost 4000 footer) was a peak that we had not been eagerly anticipating. The AMC Guide says of the trail that because of the steep ledges that it is one of the more challenging climbs in the Whites. Bob and Geri, the hiking couple we met on Mt. Jefferson told us the Caps Trail up Jefferson was harder. They were right. The hard part of the Whiteface climb was not the warned against ledge scramble but the steep section which begins a mile below the intersection with Tom Wiggins Trail. The open ledges are indeed very steep as promised and as promised require hand scrambling. But we never encountered a section where we thought how we are going to get up this part. We were prepared and what we have learned is that untrodden trail is never as you imagined and almost always not as difficult as the mind imagined.

Instead of coming down the same way we decided to take the 2.5 mile Rollins Trail which goes across the ridge which connects to Mt. Passaconaway. The trail was rough and slow-going in places and we spent more time on Rollins than we had anticipated. The final 3.7 miles was down on the Dicey's Mills Trail which is probably the fastest trail for descent of any serious climb in the Whites. The grades are never steep and the footing is always good. To give you an idea of how good this trail is – Rollins drops 900 feet in 2.5 miles and Dicey's drops 2200 ft in 3.7 miles. Dicey's took us less time. On the drive back we stopped off the beaten path, on the back dirt roads of North Sandwich to visit the Sandwich Creamery for fresh home made ice-cream. Peak #46

Distance 10.1 miles; Climb 3100 ft; Elevation 4020 ft

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