Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Snowshoeing to Lowes Bald Spot

With gloomy weather being forecast I thought this would be a hikeless weekend. There were cloudy skies but no rain and the doppler radar was clear. I decided to get outside and take a short hike maybe even some snowshoeing. There's plenty of snow in Pinkham Notch so the plan was a hike or snowshoe to Lowes Bald Spot via Old Jackson Road.

 A foggy drive to Pinkham Notch

 High and low clouds in the Notch

 Layered up and ready to go

 Old Jackson Road Trailhead

There was a cool breeze but not the frigid cold of the past couple of hikes. I strapped the snowshoes on my pack and headed out from the parking area on an unbroken path through the woods to the Old Jackson Trail. No one else had been on this trail today, there was no fresh tracks but the trail was well broken. The snow was soft so I didn't wait long before putting on the snowshoes. It could have been bare-booted but I enjoyed the traction that the snowshoes provided. Along the way I noticed a warm breeze blowing and I was working up a pretty good sweat so I removed a couple of layers, the gloves and warm hat.

 Raymond Path

 Nelson Crag Trail

The trail makes a sharp left turn just before the Mount Washington Auto Road and this section proved to be tricky with the snowshoes but I kept them on. There were even a few almost bare spots along the way just before coming out on the Auto Road. The road still had some snow but it was getting chewed up by the SnowCoach. I crossed and made my way up to Lowes Bald Spot.

 Looking up the Mount Washington Auto Road

 Looking down the Mount Washington Auto Road

 Valley fog

The last ledges were a challenge with snowshoes but I kept them on and pulled myself up. I found myself in thigh deep snow trying to avoid the bare granite. It took some struggling but I managed to crawl out, always fun with snowshoes on! Clouds still looked threatening so I had a snack, snapped some photos and started my descent. The snowshoes stayed on.


 Wildcat summit

On top of Lowes Bald Spot

On the way down I saw the first hikers of the day on the trail, a couple that were bare-booting. Speaking of bare, the male hiker was naked from the waist up. I said Hi and jokingly said that he was dressed for the occasion. He said it was warm although I really didn't think it was getting that warm.

Forest fog

 Tricky descent with snowshoes

 On the Mount Washington Auto Road

 Heading back down

 Huntington Ravine

For such a short hike it proved to be a good workout for both me and the snowshoes given the soft, sticky snow conditions with occasional spots of slush. I was glad that I took a chance on the weather and got outside today. As I started my vehicle to head back home the first raindrops began to fall. Now that's what I call good timing!

A last look back

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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