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10/23/09 Ripley Falls & Frankenstein Cliff

 
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BobC
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject: 10/23/09 Ripley Falls & Frankenstein Cliff Reply with quote

I hadn't planned on writing a trip report about this, but I needed some kind of post just to link to my pictures....

On Saturday, 10/23, Brian (New Hampshire) and I had planned to hike somewhere, but the forecast got worse and worse - by Friday night it was calling for 100% chance of rain. Undaunted, we decided to just just decide where we'd go in the morning. Our decision (after 45 minutes spent looking at the map) was to hike to Ripley Falls and then head over to Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff. It was raining lightly when we started out at the trailhead for the Ethan Pond trail. The trail to Ripley Falls soon branched off to the left while the Ethan Pond trail went off to the right, towards Mt. Willey. The hike to Ripley Falls was short, only about 20 minutes. I had heard from some other hikers a couple of years back that Ripley Falls wasn't that interesting when compared to Arethusa, but they were wrong. Both Brian and I were pretty impressed...yes, it's not as high as Arethusa Falls (which I believe is the highest waterfall in NH), but it was pretty impressive nonetheless. So after admiring the falls for about 10 minutes, we realized we had to cross over the bottom of the falls to continue on the trail. This was a bit tricky and took us a few minutes to figure out how to get across. We then climbed up a steep trail that was barely a trail, it was more roots than dirt.

We made our way over towards the Arethusa Falls area as the rain started to get heavier. Somewhere along the way there were a few blowdowns and the trail got really hard to follow. Brian and I spread out a bit, scratching our heads as we were momentarily stumped...it took 10-15 minutes of walking back and forth before I finally spotted a blaze, and we continued on. At the junction where the trail went one way to Frankenstein Cliff and the other way to Arethusa Falls, we had to make a decision on which way to go. We decide to do Frankenstein Cliff first, then when we got down to the trailhead we would make the 3-mile round trip to Arethusa Falls, and then do the roadwalk back to the car. Somewhere along the way to Frankenstein Cliff, the very muddy and slippery trail claimed Brian, as he slipped on a short steep downward section, and landed on his butt in the muck. He managed to tweak his ankle in the process, and since he was just wearing his regular hiking pants, he was now pretty soaked and somewhat sore. So, somewhere along the way I suggested that we just skip Arethusa and head to the car once we got down to the road. We made a brief stop at Frankenstein Cliff, which didn't have much in the way of views on this foggy, rainy day. We then continue down the very steep trail, which got tough once we got below the cliff - lots of loose gravel, wet rocks and wet leaves. At a bend in the trail I had what I thought was the bright idea to just head straight for route 302, because if we stayed on the trail to the parking lot, the roadwalk would be even longer. Well, I forgot about the river. When we got down to road level we could see a bridge over route 302 about a quarter-mile to our right. The river didn't have a lot of good places to cross though. So after considering what to do for a good 10 minutes, and even making a half-hearted attempt to hike upstream a bit to find a better place to cross, we just decided to turn around and bushwhack along the stream towards the bridge we could see. From there the roadwalk was a good 2-3 miles from the car, so we trudged along in worsening rain until we finally were able to finish our soggy, muddy day.

Even though it rained from start to finish, I still had a good time. Always good hiking with Brian, and I won't even make any jokes about him bringing the bad weather. This is only the second time I've hiked in the rain with him. So I don't believe anything that's been said in the past about his bad luck with the weather! Wink

Just a couple of pics of the falls here.
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JustJoe
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are you doing, stock piling these TR's? Laughing Well if it's raining you may as well do a waterfall hike. Smile Haven't been to Ripley yet, looks pretty cool.
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New Hampshire
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I wiped out it was almost reminiscent of the nasty XC ski "fall heard round the world". My ass got covered in muck and I managed to jam both ankles, though thankfully the right one felt better almost immediately. The other one.....not so much (in fact, it was still tender up till about tuesday) which had the unfortunate side effect of cutting the hike short and making the steep descent all the more taxing (thank god for trekking poles!!!!!)

But the funniest moment of the day came at McDonalds in Lincoln. You see, Bob wanted to stop and change. I stupidly forgot a change of clothes at home. Rolling Eyes But at the very least I decided I could dry off some using the hand driers in the bathroom. Well, we both went to get some food afterwards, so while I was waiting for Bob I grabbed some napkins and started removing muck from my butt. As I am wiping said mud, which as you can imagine looked awfully.....fecal like......a woman steps around the corner, glances over at me, gets a startled look on her face and creeps back around the corner. Laughing

Wish it could have been a better day, but Bob and I always seem to make the best of it. Heck, even the roadwalk was not so bad (except for the agonzing elevation gain back up to the Ethan Pond Trailhead lot. Rolling Eyes )

Brian
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Salty
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Hampshire wrote:
As I am wiping said mud, which as you can imagine looked awfully.....fecal like......a woman steps around the corner, glances over at me, gets a startled look on her face and creeps back around the corner. Laughing


I'm hoping it's the same lady I startled coming out of the thick spruce on Moosilauke. Twisted Evil
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scparkes
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salty wrote:
New Hampshire wrote:
As I am wiping said mud, which as you can imagine looked awfully.....fecal like......a woman steps around the corner, glances over at me, gets a startled look on her face and creeps back around the corner. Laughing


I'm hoping it's the same lady I startled coming out of the thick spruce on Moosilauke. Twisted Evil


haha, yeah, you guys probably have a stalker on your hands.

Brian, I dont feel so foolish now after my not one, but two within a 10 foot radius, wipeout. My dr even commented on the number of bruises all over my body Tuesday. He found bruises I did not even know I had and was starting to get a worried look on his face as some of them looked suspisciously like fingerprints Rolling Eyes I just explained, "I fell down coming down a mountain". He is a hiker as well so he understood.

Thanks for the TR Bob
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Kathy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Hampshire wrote:
But the funniest moment of the day came at McDonalds in Lincoln. I grabbed some napkins and started removing muck from my butt. As I am wiping said mud, which as you can imagine looked awfully.....fecal like......a woman steps around the corner, glances over at me, gets a startled look on her face and creeps back around the corner. Brian


AHAHAHAHAHA. G-R-E-A-T visual! I can just see the horror on her face, and most likely the (momentary?) bewilderment on yours. Smile
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hiking lady
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Oh yah and Brian going, "but wait! It's not what you think! Honest!" Laughing Good one. Probably was the same woman who Salty frieked out on the trail! Laughing
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