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 Welch Dickey at night 
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 Welch Dickey at night
Is it legal to hike W&D at night? This coming weekend is going to be prime for astrophotography with the new moon and meteor shower. I was thinking the lower ledges an ideal place to setup my tripod and hang out for the night. Is there snow up there now? Is it legal to be there at night?

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Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:41 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
I'm guessing yes and yes. More and more people seem to be hiking at night these days. You will probably see some snow but since the ledges see a lot of sun it shouldn't be that deep. I'd me more concerned about ice.

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Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:48 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
Camping up there? Probably not. But hanging out for an hour or two at night to watch the stars/meteors? Absolutely OK pretty much everywhere I can think of in the Whites.

And as IQuest mentions, it's more ice than snow right now, and probably more coming before the weekend looking at the forecasts.

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Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:40 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
Yes you can hike at night in the National Forest and on most public lands. I do it fairy often. You can actually camp just about anywhere you want also except the specifically listed places on the backcountry camping regulations which has surprisingly few places/trails listed and Welch/Dickey is not on the prohibited list. It's going to be relatively warm. Bring a warm sleeping bag and a hammock and catch the sunrise too! 8)

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5363715.pdf

There is however a lot of development around Welch and Dicky from the ski area, resort and homes that may give off considerable light pollution. Maybe not enough to spoil the images, but I'm positive there's darker areas out there.


Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:44 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
Granite Guy wrote:
You can actually camp just about anywhere you want also except the specifically listed places on the backcountry camping regulations which has surprisingly few places/trails listed and Welch/Dickey is not on the prohibited list. It's going to be relatively warm.


Unless there is "alpine zone" signage in which case camping is only allowed on 2' of snow. I'm not sure if there is such a zone on Welch-Dickey or not, but there is around many (typically higher of course) summits, which mostly excludes true camping in such areas. That said, a pad and sleeping bag on one of the wide-open, flat slabs can be done without hurting any vegetation and ought to be fine in the "spirit of the rule" sense.

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Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:56 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
I do often see those little signs for "alpine zone" and have wondered if it is considered true alpine zone by the letter of the law or if they are just telling you it's a fragile area so please stay on the trail if you don't mind. By the letter of the law it would seem if you can't touch the tops of the trees you're fine to legally camp there, since 8 feet is the only criteria they seem to list anywhere for distinguishing what is alpine and what is not. I can't think of anywhere along that trail all of, or even the majority of, the trees are less than 8 feet tall. Maybe I need to write to my buddy at the forest service who gave me their legal definition of camping a while ago and see what they say about this one. I mean, who knew simply sitting wide awake on any national forest property overnight and stargazing or whatever with no gear at all was legally considered camping?? Not I!! :D


Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:14 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
I'm keeping an eye on the forecast. If its going to be clear I may head up there late afternoon and hang out for 5-6 hrs to do some time lapse of the meteors. I'll bring my sleeping pad and 20 degree bag incase I wanna crash for a couple of hours. I'm hoping the lower ledges will be facing far enough away from the ski area to be sheltered from the lights.

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Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:46 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
Of course if you're lazy or want to be near your vehicle there are great spots on the Kanc. It was like a party there this past summer for the meteors and the lunar eclipse in Sept. And now that I think of it, maybe Potash or Hedghog would be nice places as well. You can watch them shoot over Chocorua!


Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:00 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
The Kank is a great idea! Then I can bring a couple more cameras and more food! I've never been to Potash or Hedgehog. Would that be a drive or hike?

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Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:25 am
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
Potash and hedgehog are for sure a hike. You could make it just be a drive and hang out at the Hancock parking lot or the other lot right near to the height of land on the kanc. Then you could bring your entire toolkit with you.


Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:48 am
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
The east ledges on Hedgehog would be fantastic at night (watch the drop though). They are also a great sunrise spot. The last time I was there, I met a guy who had set up his tent right on the ledges/trail. Obviously not legal, so I wouldn't advocate for that. ;)


Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:16 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
What direction do you have to face for the meteor shower anyway?


Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:06 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
Dingo wrote:
They are also a great sunrise spot. The last time I was there, I met a guy who had set up his tent right on the ledges/trail. Obviously not legal, so I wouldn't advocate for that. ;)


Actually, the UNH Trail is completely outside the Sandwich Wilderness. It skirts around it for some reason so it actually is legal. Just not ethical IMO.

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Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:58 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
Ah, gotcha. Thanks for that clarification.


Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:59 pm
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 Re: Welch Dickey at night
thegibba wrote:
What direction do you have to face for the meteor shower anyway?


You can face anywhere, but they originate from a certain point (whichever constellation they are named after) and radiate out from there like those old flying through space screen savers.


Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:21 pm
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