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 Mount Tremont - 3/30/17 
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 Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
Peter and I were eyeing something from the 52WAV. Conditions/Trip reports are pretty sparse online these days so there wasn't much info on what had been broken out and what hadn't. Our original plan was for Black and Blueberry but the idea of some unplowed road walking, even for a little bit, didn't interest us so we decided to save them for "real" spring. After comparing who had hiked what already we settled on Mt. Tremont. We arrived to find the parking unplowed and the sign almost covered in snow, but managed to park off the road near a little bridge a few hundred feet from the trail and by 9:45 we were on our way.

Just enough room to park off the road
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First order of the day was getting over the snowbank
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The lower section of trail had a slight depression and faintly recognizable tracks from the last visitor but it wasn't always obvious where the trail went. The trail is very lightly blazed in most places and often has some older faded blue paint mixed in with newer but very sparse yellow blazes. It is probably obvious where the trail is when there is no snow but in winter it wasn't always clear. But you usually hug the embankment of the brook as you go, and the forest was a gorgeous older growth hemlock mix that made for great scenery as you looked around for which way to go. Filled with huge, old, towering evergreens, much like the forest in the Nancy Brook Scenic Area (which is one of the best in NH if you like that stuff) but much easier to get to. The lower portion of this trail would actually be a beautiful mile or so hike all by itself. The woods and water were that nice!

The brook was thawing in spots but it's still pretty snowy up there
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Trail follows the embankment along the brook for a mile or so
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Beautiful forest full of big hemlocks to stroll through
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Some spots made you work for it but overall the first mile was pretty easy going
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View ahead to Tremont. Looks like you're almost there!
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Straight line I think it's less than a mile but it takes a series of 20 or so switchbacks to get you up 1500 feet in that mile
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Eventually you end up high above the brook valley, and we finally crossed what was then just a trickle of water, and that's when things got interesting. Whoever had gone that way anytime recently had stopped at the crossing, so there was no longer even a hint of a trail. What blazes there were (and there weren't many in this section) were knee high with the deep snowpack so finding them and the correct route took some splitting up and exploring at times. Slowly but surely we made our way up the trail that progressively gets steeper until it finally starts a series of 20 or so switchbacks to get up the last 500 or so feet of the mountain. An inch or two of crust over fluff made for some nasty sidehilling on the 45 degree slope of the mountainside, so every step was a punch down with the edge of the snowshoes to break the crust and make a flat step followed by a little slide sideways when you broke through to the fluffy stuff. Fun fun fun!! We crawled at a snails pace up the last mile or so, but eventually after 2.8 miles and 2600 feet of elevation gain which took us 4 hours 16 minutes and 8 seconds (possible record for slowest known time?) we popped out of the ever tighter tunnel of trees onto the open summit ledges with a great 180 degree view out at the flat valley the Kanc passes through backed by the Sandwich Range under blue skies and barely a cloud in sight. Unique Birdseye views of the Sawyer Ponds and a good look at Carrigain and the Hancocks, as well as some of the Twin and Franconia range summits peaking over and around them. The Captain stood out in the middle of the broad valley juts to keep it interesting and with a little effort you could get a glimpse of Mt. Washington over some treetops. It had been chilly and breezy in the woods right to the end but on the summit ledges it was actually hot in the sun, so we took off layers and enjoyed an extended break to refuel and take in the scenery on a beautiful afternoon.

Blazes were hard to come by after the crossing for a while, and what ones we saw were a mix of older blue and newer yellow paint, sometimes both
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Crunching our way up
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Aren't these supposed to be more than a couple feet off the ground??
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Always fun to have a face full of pine needles
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Getting steeper...
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...and steeper
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Light at the end of the tunnel
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Summit view ledge. Worth the effort!
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Taking a long look around
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Carrigain and Vose Spur
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Sawyer Ponds and the Captain
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Must have been a lot less trees when they used to call it the Half Dome of the Whites
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Chocorua
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George holding onto the last clouds around for dear life
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Kanc Pass and the Osceolas
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Eventually after snacks, photos and relaxing we pulled ourselves away from the summit ledge and headed down the way we came. It was so steep and sloping we decided the safest way we could get down would be to use spikes and intentionally posthole the first few hundred vertical feet of really steep stuff while swinging from every tree in sight like a monkey. I don't recall ever feeling like a slip in the woods on a trail with 4 feet of snow could end badly but you definitely could have gone for a ride crashing down the slope though the trees for the first few hundred feet here, because once you slipped it was just a smooth, crusty, really steep slope down through the trees with an occasional 20-30 foot drop over a ledge. Punching your leg in deep was important, so my apologies for postholing the trail but it had to be done! :D Once we were down below that the sun had warmed up the snow so it was typical springtime mashed potatoes, and it was an easy cruise of a couple miles back to the car. Saw fresh animal tracks and some weird painted rock. Caught a nice sunset in Conway to finish off the day. All in all a good workout and a good hike. I'd like to head back and hike this one from the Kanc and hit Owls Cliff also, maybe in foliage season. The view is definitely worthy of being on the 52 and worth a return trip eventually also, so next fall maybe a return trip it shall be.

Peek-a-boo views of Washington cleared out
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Exploding chickadee??
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Maybe half a mile up the trail. No idea why
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Sunset on the ride home
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Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:25 am
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
That's Greens Cliff, not The Captain... that is located between Carrigain and Hancock (backside of Carrigain from where you were). Looks like a beautiful day. I'm hoping to do Tremont and Owls Cliff as a traverse, possibly this summer (if this winter ever ends of course).

The exploding bird is interesting, did you see any tracks nearby?


Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:55 am
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
No tracks at all near the smear. Only ours from the morning. For some reason I thought Greens was right up on the Kanc. I never even looked at a map. Good thing nobody reads this site anymore anyhow! :lol: :(


Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:00 pm
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
Second slowest! Yours truly and associate did that Columbus Day weekend a couple years ago. Looks great in any season. Did you know Dingo is the trail maintainer? Keep the reports coming; we are "homesick," but don't want to miss any time with my aunt. Plenty of time later, hopefully.


Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:45 pm
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
I did know Dingo took this one over last year. He'd like to re-blaze it, which I think would be great, at least for winter hikers. I know you aren't the fastest hikers out there but over 4 hours up on dry ground?! :shock: That seems slow even by your standards! :D


Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:35 pm
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
Nice report. Thanks for sharing.

This is a reminder that Mt Tremont has been on my short list for a nice winter jaunt for some time. I wasn't aware the views were so rewarding from that one.

Dingo maintains that? I haven't seen him in quite some time.

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Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:39 am
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
Dingo IIRC moved to NH and took over the trail last year from the guy who has the 1happyhiker blog I believe. He also is the admin for the 52wav Facebook page, and he posts frequently there and on Facebook hiking pages in general. I think most of the forum users have gone that way. I did when the site crashed for a while and do both at the moment. Facebook is so much easier to post a quick report and pics on. This place is still better if I have time for a full write up with pics, and it gets picked up by trailsNH. I think in general Facebook has killed off the forums. It's easier, faster and has a much bigger audience even if it's not as personal as the forums. Most of the regulars from here post there now instead. If you're on Facebook it's worth friending some of them and joining the pages they and others post on.

As for Tremont, it looks like such a simple winter jaunt, but Dingo said it's very infrequently used in winter so there's a good chance you'll be the trail breaker for a while after a good storm, and the upper part is stupid steep but has a lot of short switchbacks, so you'll work for it, but the view was worth it and you could probably sit there all day and have it all to yourself.


Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:31 am
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
I still read most of the trip reports, although sometimes I just browse the pictures 8) I agree with your hypothesis on Facebook. I am still a holdout on FB, I don't have any interest in starting an account. So, I'll keep hanging around here and hopefully get back to posting some reports myself.


Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:59 pm
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
Good on you for doing Tremont in winter :shock: ! I hiked Mt. Tremont last fall, and I agree that last mile or so is an ass kicker. Couldn't imagine breaking trail up it. Out of the 26 of the 52 with a View I've done so far, Mt. Tremont was the toughest, but the summit view was so worth it!

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Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:23 pm
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
Yeah, this is my adopted trail and yeah that's Greens Cliff not The Captain. :) Good on ya for tackling this beast in winter, not many people do.

Ironically, while steep, I imagine the upper switchbacks are easier now than in summer. That section of the trail is very eroded in spots. It's a challenging trail to maintain for sure. It had fallen into neglect for many years before John Compton took it over about ten years ago. He did a tremendous amount of work to bring it back from the dead.

As mentioned earlier, I'd like to reblaze the entire route this year. Blazes are infrequent to non existent in some areas, and inconsistent with newer yellow and older blue ones in others.

That graffiti on the boulder is new. :( :evil:


Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:16 am
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
If those switchbacks are any more difficult in sunmer than it was to do with crusty, icy waist deep snow I'll go the other way next time! :D Thats horrible about the boulder. No reason for it whatsoever. If you need an army of people to carry up some grey and brown spray paint and at least make it look like a naturally colored painted rock juts say the word.


Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:11 am
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
Thanks, I may take you up on that! I was also thinking of just brushing it in.


Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:30 pm
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
If it weren't so close to the river I'm sure a can of brake kleen would do it. :twisted:


Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:56 am
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 Re: Mount Tremont - 3/30/17
krpayer wrote:
I am still a holdout on FB, I don't have any interest in starting an account.


I set up an account years ago primarily, actually only, to view pix. I believe it was KellyK who first staring sharing her hiking pix through albums on FB. Needed an account to see them. Six months ago I finally got more involved. There is some good FB sites. 52WAV is just one. But there's another that's fun which most all the posters here are on with others that's right up your alley.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/4542251 ... =bookmarks :wink: 8)

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Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:51 am
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