Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mount Tecumseh

On the drive to the trailhead this morning we were in and out of the fog. The hike for today would be another 4,000 footer, Mount Tecumseh (4,003') via the Mount Tecumseh Trail from the Waterville Valley Ski area. This is the shortest mountain on the AMC 4,000 footer list.


Tree-filtered sun
Leaves are gone

Brook crossing

Temps were in the 30's early this morning but by the time we reached the trailhead it was warm and short-sleeve weather. We arrived at the parking lot to find many cars and a group of over twenty hikers preparing to start their hike to Mount Tecumseh. It was definitely not going to be a lonely hike today. We quickly put on our packs and started our hike.

Roots and rocks

Quick break

Rocky trail

Small cave

As we passed the large group of hikers they were dividing up into smaller groups of fast, medium fast and not so fast. We set what I thought was a good pace but the fast group was right behind us and gaining. At one point they were within 100 feet of us. It was a great motivator to see if we could stay ahead of them. The trail started a gradual and steady gain in elevation and we never saw the group again until we reached the summit.

Summit sign

Summit view

Summit cairn

View from the top

We met several people along the way making their descent having reached the summit already. Reaching the Sosman Trail junction we decided to bypass this and continue on to the summit of Tecumseh. The next trail junction we came to had a sign with one word, "Summit", with a arrows pointing in both directions. This was a loop trail and we veered off to the left.

A crooked tree

Another summit view


Looking over at Waterville Valley Ski area

Reaching the summit I was surprised to find we had the place to ourselves. I knew that wouldn't last for long and we took several photos before the large group of hikers that were behind us began to arrive. Views are limited on this summit. It took about ten minutes before the first hikers showed up. We decided to commence our descent and continued on the loop trail.

One big loop to the summit

Sosman Trail junction

Waterville Vally ski slope

Back at the Sosman Trail junction there was a couple that were stopped for a rest. The lady hiker was finishing #48 on the list of 4,000 footers, congratulations! She was part of the group of hikers we had seen earlier, I guess that explains the reason for all the hikers. We continued on down.

Dry skiing

The Boneyard ski trail

At one point on the trail we saw the base of a chairlift. There was a path that went over to it and we decided to check out the ski slope. We were more than halfway down so we hiked down a black diamond ski trail named The Boneyard. It was very steep but the grass had been cut and it leveled out at the bottom. I generally don't like to hike down a ski slope but it was good for a change of scenery and it wasn't too bad after making it past the steep section.

Slow schuss

Top of Tecumseh

After reaching the bottom we went over to the trailhead where we started. There was a warning sign under a small rock. The Forest Service was advising against back country travel due to Hurricane Sandy. This is a warning I will heed. One year ago during Tropical Storm Irene the National Forest was actually closed.

Smokey the Bear

We started our hike today at 9:30 and returned to the parking lot at 12:30, 5 miles round trip in 3 hours. The weather was fantastic for late October and we had a great hike! This was our eleventh 4,000 foot hike!

Ominous warning

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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