Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lowes Bald Spot

After our Nor'easter two days ago I thought conditions would be excellent for snowshoeing in Pinkham Notch. The plan for today was a trip across the Old Jackson Road to Lowes Bald Spot. I was getting a late start and this was the perfect trail to give my new snowshoes another test.
(Note: I have seen three different spellings for this scenic view - Lowes, Lowe's and Low's, the first from the trail signs and the latter from the AMC Guide)

There was plenty of parking available and I put my snowshoes on right in the parking lot and never took them off again until I returned. The trail was well packed by previous snowshoers and was in fantastic condition. There were no exposed rocks, no ice, no water and no blowdowns - just nice, smooth trail all the way.

Around every bend in the trail there was a scenic snow-filled forest. The temps have remained cold with no wind since the storm and the trees were heavy with snow. Those that went before me knocked the snow off of tree branches near the trail so there was no snow down the back of my neck.

I followed the Old Jackson Road straight, instead of turning left, out to the Mount Washington Auto Road. I went up the road to the Madison Gulf Trail. As I rounded a corner in the road a SnowCoach was heading down. The SnowCoach looks like it would be a great ride to the summit of Mount Washington.

The trail to Lowes Bald Spot was broken and very easy to follow. I reached the top of this scenic view and wondered why the trail stopped abruptly. A few steps off the beaten path and I found out. Even with the snowshoes I immediately sank down to my thighs. It was difficult to get turned around and back up onto the hard-pack.

The snow started falling and I decided to head back down. I crossed over the auto road and was back onto the Old Jackson Road. At the Nelson Crag trail junction I noticed that no one has been on this trail and I had no plans to be the first one. The next trail junction was the Raymond Path. This was another trail that would need to be broken. I continued on down.

The trip back was just as enjoyable. I met several snowshoers along the way. It was snowing harder as I arrived at the parking lot. The MSR Ascent snowshoes performed well again!

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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