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 The Scaur 3/27/2016 
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 The Scaur 3/27/2016
We headed to Waterville Valley this Sunday with the idea we'd do something short and sweet. I was sick for a week and we were looking for something to play around with. We started out from the seacoast to overcast skies and were happy to pull into the Valley to the sun shining. Clouds rolled over the ridgelines, before wisping away into nothing.

After a stop at the Resort and the purchase of a http://www.wvaia.org/ WVAIA map, we like to try and support local groups, we headed over to the Depot Camp parking lot and headed in Livermore Rd.

Waterville Valley is a ski area. There are extensive xc ski trails, all of which weren't in use due to the lack of snow. Ice and slush covered many portions of these trails, but nothing that would be usable for skiing.

Irene damaged hiking trails when it came through in 1999, and as a result some of the previous paths have shifted. Our map, the one we'd just bought, and AllTrails still show the old routes. There are new maps posted at trail heads. The map that we bought, other then being out of date, is a good map.

After a short walk along Livermore Rd, we headed up Irene's Path, the former Kettles Path.

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Mount Tecumseh and the ski trails.

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Still icy, but on this side of the valley at least, it was minimal. You'll pass one of the Kettles along Irene's. "Kettle, also called Kettle Hole, in geology, depression in a glacial outwash drift made by the melting of a detached mass of glacial ice that became wholly or partly buried. The occurrence of these stranded ice masses is thought to be the result of gradual accumulation of outwash atop the irregular glacier terminus." You'll have to go to get your Kettle fix, I didn't take a picture.

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Headed up to the outlook at the Scaur.

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This was a great, short hike with wonderful views.

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We continued along Irene's path, which follows and then goes over the ridge line. At this point, the sun has not done any work on this side, and there was ice everywhere.

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We hit the final down portion of Irene's Path and just decided it wasn't worth the risk. The path and surrounding slopes were solid sheets of ice and neither of us wanted to deal with butt sliding or possibly getting injured. So to heck with that! We turned around and went back. We'll check out the Flume at the bottom of Irene's another day.

Some stuff.

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We didn't want it to be to easy though and decided to take the abandoned Scaur Trail instead of backtracking.

Headed down.

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Looking up the trail. It was still in decent shape!

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Water crossing still in good shape.

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The trail markers can still be seen.

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A short hop over the Mad River and we hooked up with Greeley Trail which took us back out to Livermore.

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Short and sweet.

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I think next time we'll try out the abandoned Flume Brook Trail to get to the Flume, instead of using Irene's again. There are quite a few trip reports from Steve Smith on his blog about this area that provide excellent information. I'm looking forward to exploring more of the Waterville Valley Area. It's got that special air to it, that I get from hiking around Paugus and Acadia. The Sandwich Range seems to hit my happy spot.


Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:22 am
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 Re: The Scaur 3/27/2016
Interesting report. I hiked the Scaur back in October 2014 and the path was still signed as the Kettles Path and nothing anywhere about Irene's Path (http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=6848) The WVAIA website says it was opened and renamed in 2014 so maybe signage was lagging behind then. It was a nice little hike and we added on the Big Pines spur to it, and now that I know there's more after the summit I'll have to go back. The Flume sounds interesting. As you mentioned Waterville Valley definitely has a nice feel to it much like Acadia and most of the Sandwich Range. If you like that feeling and haven't been to Evans Notch you must add that to your summer schedule. Many moderate sized hikes, especially on the eastern side of the road, that have that same feel to them. It's like a perfect mix of the Whites and Acadia. Could you tell why the old Scaur Path was abandoned? Washed out? Dangerous crossings? We didn't head down that way because the Greely Ponds trail was still closed too but I am curious why it was relocated.


Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:19 pm
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 Re: The Scaur 3/27/2016
We did the Scaur in the fall. It was wonderful just sitting there looking at all the colors. If you're in the neighborhood again, check out Goodrich Rock. It's a huge boulder with a ladder you climb to get on top. The fun begins when you try to descend. There is something awkward about getting your foot to that top rung; you really think you're going to miss and fall to your death (the Herr girls put it on their Terrifying 25 list). And with spring coming, the cascade path will be beautiful (it's probably pretty half frozen as well). Great area, nice parking, nice bathrooms, and not too far away.


Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:59 pm
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 Re: The Scaur 3/27/2016
Very cool pics and it looks like u made a great hike of it! It was a bluebird day for views. A neat area for sure.


Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:06 am
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 Re: The Scaur 3/27/2016
From Steve's website:
Quote:
What were formerly the Kettles Path and the top 0.2 mile of the Scaur Trail have been combined with a 1.1 mile section of newly built trail to create Irene's Path, named for 2011's devastating Tropical Storm Irene. The new section replaces the former Flume Brook Trail, which was badly washed out by the storm and permanently closed.

http://mountainwandering.blogspot.com/2016/02/irenes-path-waterville-flume-scaur.html
Got my date waaaay wrong. Sorry.

In his report where he states:
Quote:
This section was beautifully constructed by the professional Off the Beaten Path trail crew. It works its way down through some very rugged terrain with a couple of steep switchbacks.
was where we turned around. No snow on our hike, just ice, ice, ice.

Here's a much older post from 2012 where he talks about the Scaur Trail.
http://mountainwandering.blogspot.com/2012/07/afternoon-in-waterville-71012-i-had.html

He mentions
Quote:
The crossing of the Mad River on the Scaur Trail is usually problematical, but was pretty easy today.


From 2010 before Irene: http://mountainwandering.blogspot.com/2010/12/scaur-flume-brook-12710-continuing-on.html
Quote:
(A lost trails note: A.L. Goodrich's 1915 map of Waterville Valley showed a "Scaur to Flume" trail leading east along the ridge from The Scaur, with an outlook and a cave shown en route. I've whacked along this ridge a couple of times, and found a hard-to-get to ledge on the northern side with a view down Flume Brook valley to the Osceolas. Have not seen the cave.)




From 2013: http://mountainwandering.blogspot.com/2013/12/tracks-to-scaur-121913-i-was-anxious-to.html
Quote:
The steep eroded section of the Scaur Trail from this junction down to the Greeley Ponds Trail has been closed.

Also in that post he has a map of old hiking trails in Waterville Valley. Neat!:

Image

So it looks like the erosion on the Scaur Trail was the reason for closing it. Which I can agree with. While the trail itself was still usable, there were some spots that looked like they needed a little time to rehabilitate. And also possibly the trickiness of crossing the Mad River was another factor. If one were to guess based on the current state of trails, they've now moved most crossing of the Mad River to the location of a bridge. I'd have to look at the map closer, but most seem to funnel to the Livermore or new Greeley Trail Bridge.

All that research though just sparks that desire to explore it all more. It sounds like it has some sweet history, geology, and quietness that we look for on a hike.


Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:41 am
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 Re: The Scaur 3/27/2016
Beckie and Prema wrote:
We did the Scaur in the fall. It was wonderful just sitting there looking at all the colors. If you're in the neighborhood again, check out Goodrich Rock. It's a huge boulder with a ladder you climb to get on top. The fun begins when you try to descend. There is something awkward about getting your foot to that top rung; you really think you're going to miss and fall to your death (the Herr girls put it on their Terrifying 25 list). And with spring coming, the cascade path will be beautiful (it's probably pretty half frozen as well). Great area, nice parking, nice bathrooms, and not too far away.



That sounds about the right amount of heights I can handle! :D I have never heard of the Terrifying 25... Where does one find this. I think it would be a wonderful place to spend a long weekend. There's so much to see there.


Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:44 am
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 Re: The Scaur 3/27/2016
http://www.theterrifying25.com/?m=0


Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:19 pm
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