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View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:24 pm



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 Last minute advice for any who can/would like to help! 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:12 pm
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Location: Somersworth NH
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 Last minute advice for any who can/would like to help!
I'm looking to get out tomorrow (Monday). I know it's been rainy, and there's possible rain in the am. I'm guessing that makes Whiteface a bad idea, yes?

If so, I think the only 4k that I have left that *might* be a good idea is Isolation. With all the recent rain, I'm a little afraid of the water crossings via Rocky Branch though. I'm not really equipped to tackle the Engine Hill bushwhack (unless it's basically as well worn as a regular trail, which I'm led to believe it is not.) I'm NOT afraid of the added climbing that would be necessary via Glen Boulder -- but I read/hear of something of a potentially exposed scramble. Of course they're pretty tough to judge without being there! Would that be a bad idea after the rain? Or is it a touch overblown and really not bad? I did the N Tri slide, but of course took pains to do it when it would be as dry as possible.

Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated! I'm definitely fit for either the mileage up Rocky Branch OR the climbing of Glen Boulder, I know Rocky Branch is considered much "easier" but that's fine either way. I want the one where I'm not drowned in a river or sliding off a rock wall.

(OR -- what's the difference in between the water crossings on Rocky Branch vs Owl's Head? Should that be in play?)

Thank you for your help!


Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:10 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Hey GB - I'll answer some of your questions the best I can.

The ledge going up to Whiteface on Blueberry Ledge Trail will probably be wet/slippery. There are some trees around so it doesn't necessary receive direct sunlight to dry it out. Is it easier if it's dry? Yes. Is it a no fall zone if you slip? No. If you were worried about the ledge but were ok with the 5k+ elev gain of Glen Boulder, you could always head up Dicey's Mill Trail and do an out and back!

As far as Isolation goes, RBT (from the impressions that I've gotten - I've never done it myself) is notoriously wet and miserable, even in not-so-wet weather. I imagine it would be a bit of a river after a couple of days of rain. There is one spot on Glen Boulder Trail that I can think of that dry rocks would be easier than wet rocks but I think it would be doable wet as well. The only warning about GBT is that you are exposed for a very large portion of it. I didn't look at the weather for tomorrow, but if it's dicey I would keep this in mind. It doesn't take too long to reach treeline (relative to other trails in the Presis), so keep that in mind if there is morning rain/storms in the forecast.

Whatever you decide, good luck! Wish I were heading north instead of heading to work!

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Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:59 pm
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I've never done isolation from GB or the whack so I'm not much help there but I've been up here in the mountains all day and the water levels are definitely elevated. That could make Owls Head or Rocky Branch with the crossings tough. Probably muddy too.

The only real help I can offer is the clouds started clearing over the sandwich range about 630 and I can see some stars in conway right now so maybe Whiteface wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.


Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:59 pm
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There is only 1 place on the glen boulder trail that I would question as bad when wet. It comes about .2 before the boulder. Doable on the way up since there is a nice crack to scale it. The way down might cause trouble if still wet. I thought it was tricky coming down dry. A bit of but sliding and it shouldn't be too bad. If its rainy though the views in the alpine zone may be lost on you. Or it could be fun depending on how you view things.

<table><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fT2x24mwRwdb8fomDcdUwtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-30eQjvZGoS0/UE4mxNVSocI/AAAAAAAAAu0/bNRMbMvCU6E/s144/DSC_0021.JPG" height="144" width="96"></a></td></tr><tr><td>From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/118050443509316726953/9912MtIsolation?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">9-9-12 Mt. Isolation</a></td></tr></table>

to give an idea of the trouble area.
right after it and to the left and up is a good slab section.

if there is rain though, a few small falls could look pretty sweet!

(sorry for the garbage at the bottom of the photo, i stink at linking pics. The HTML class i took a long while back didn't stick obviously)


Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:21 pm
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I vote for Whiteface due to the multiple crossings you'll have to do on the Rocky Branch Trail. Plus, the RBT is uh.....rocky.....and there's just a higher chance of slipping on the hundreds of rock steps vs the Whiteface area trails.


Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:13 pm
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A bit late to the party, but Whiteface shouldn't be awful. RBT will be a swamp, the crossings are likely fine, but the trail is kinda crappy in dry seasons...I don't recall the scale of the RBT crossings exactly, but I don't recall them being anything like the Owl's Head crossings.

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Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:24 am
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You can certainly skip certain crossings if you want - the only one you must do is the 5th and that is the easiest. 3 and 4 are not worth doing even in good weather as there is a bypass herd path... The Rocky Branch Trail is going to be wet. That is a given. Some would prefer that it be re-routed via the Engine Hill (winter) route, which is also wet in places, but could probably be dried out with proper drainage ditches.

Tim

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Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:29 am
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As always, thanks for all of your help everybody.

Weather continued to look shaky for the morning and I found out that my wife was off today (I'm behind the curve on things like this!), so I ended up scrapping the "big hike" hope all together, slept in a good bit, and then went up with her to Doublehead (Jackson, not Squam range) in the better weather afternoon. It's a fairly short hike, but somewhat steep and somehow the "easy" hikes are never as easy as your mind makes them. But it was very nice, a handful of different views in different directions from different ledges along both S and N peaks. FWIW, I think it's the slightly higher N peak that makes the 52WAV list, but we felt like the S peak really had the better goods. Either way, nice hike, would certainly recommend it for a shorter or "half-day" variety. Colors are very nice right now, which helped, because the views to the Presis/higher peaks were completely socked in and looked like I would have been absolutely miserable at best on any Isolation attempt, and I guess I'm very happy to "save" Whiteface for next year -- it just would have been nice to hit Isolation while I'm still in excellent hiking shape, who knows what next year will bring (it looks like my wife and I are finally coming close to having a foster child, so really all of my recreation/hobby life may be up in the air for the indefinite future, maybe [hopefully!] years to come).

Afterwards my wife wanted to stop in at the Gap outlet, but only took about 20 minutes. Not bad! And then we drove out to Sabbaday Falls in the middle of the Kanc, which is a VERY short "hike" (really isn't even a "hike") but I thought could be worth the trip with the recent rain. Very nice indeed! Quite a nice spot, the falls and surrounding rocks/cliffs/etc. make it quite interesting. One of you (hoss? maybe gib?) posted a pic not long ago from a Trip TR that piqued my interest, so thank you for that. Of course, VERY bright colors on the drive in and out as well.

All in all, a very satisfying day, other than that I forgot to grab the camera. Doh! Whatever, it happens. Again, thank you all for your help, it's really incredible the way you collectively always come through with fantastic intel in shockingly short order.


Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:27 pm
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Glad everything worked out for you. I was wondering what you decided on when I checked the MWOB site this morning and saw 32 degrees and snow!

But you forgot your camera in peak foliage season!! :shock: Colors are awesome this year up there, as you obviously know, and I'm not sure I could do a hike right now without one because id be kicking myself the whole way, unless of course it was to the highest cliff to toss myself off for forgetting it! :lol:


Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:56 pm
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Yeah, we're actually suspicious that a few flakes fell on us at 3,000 ft along with some very light rain. Higher places -- what you could see -- looked windy, wet, miserable.

So it was the right call. I would be really REALLY hard pressed to turn myself around, so planning trips conservatively from the outset is the way for me to go.

(Also, if I'd forgotten YOUR camera, I would have been more upset, too.)


Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:09 pm
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