Dorset, 94 of Winter New England 100 Highest
Another "Spring" day in the beautiful southern Greens. Returned to Dorset for a Winter turn this time. Sections of trail along the logging road beyond Tower Road were without snow, but by 1600' it was more consistently several inches deep except around some of the water bars.
Followed a snowshoe track up to a point a couple hundred yards from the junction with the old ridge logging road, where a tree had fallen. The snowshoe track just stopped there and they seem to have turned around, as there was no other noticeable track beyond that point. I knew where I was going, though.
Well, I knew where I was going, but I ended up preoccupied enough to miss the "traditional" turn off the ridge logging road. No matter, though, as I realized at the one after, and took it since I figured it would likely head straight for the summit or intersect with the herd path between the north (summit proper) and south (old tower) peaks. Thankfully it did end up intersecting, and I found that whole section of the herd path to the summit had been broken out by a snowmobile at one point (close quarters for such a thing!).
At the summit, the sign is gone but the canister was there (this one opens from the top). I couldn't find any register entries since late October (Beaupre/Haynes on 10/27 and Harley on 10/29). Hopefully the sign lay beneath the 2-ish feet of snow on the summit somewhere... Took the traditional herd path over to the North summit to visit the old tower again, then "whacked" down to join the traditional herd path and eventually the ridge logging road again. Had fun along the way in a few places, "snowshoe skiing/glissading" down stretches with enough snow to allow it.
Above that downed tree, was breaking trail and sunk up to 12-15" down in places mostly because the snow was so soft from two days with temps in the upper 40s; not terrible, though. Overall there doesn't seem to be more than maybe 2-3 feet of snow on this mountain up high - less than a foot down low. Took a total time of just under four hours -- 2h15m up, 1h30m down. 94 of Winter NE 100
Stratton Mountain, 93 of Winter New England 100 Highest
North and South Weeks, 91+92: of Winter New England 100 Highest
Jay Peak & Big Jay, for 89/90 of Winter NE 100 Highest
Mt. Nancy, for 87 of Winter NE 100 Highest
Tough, tough day, especially on that steep climb on Nancy proper. Seven of us -- myself Pam, Jess, Beth, Mike, George, and Tim (this was his Winter NE 99/100) took turns breaking trail, from a few inches down low over a single set of recent tracks snowed over, to 2+ feet heading up the Nancy mass. Slow, slow going on that last slog, mostly on the herd path but did lose it a couple times.
Scar Ridge, West Peaks - 86 of Winter NE 100
Sandwich Mountain (3980'), for 85 of Winter NE 100
Broke trail the whole way, difficult but not nearly as hard as Breadloaf and Wilson. Thinner crust (maybe 1/2") this time, breaking through to anywhere from 4-6" powder/granular underneath. Forgot how steep the ascent to Noon Peak is! On the way down, encountered a couple at the first lookout (last one on the descent), likely they weren't going all the way to Sandwich; she was taking photographs with a nice camera. Awesome hike to start off 2019, glad I got myself out there. 85 of Winter NE 100
Breadloaf (3835') and Wilson (3745'), for 83/84 of Winter NE 100
Real mess in places, trees and branches strewn about first mile of Emily Proctor, moose "post-holing" destroyed upper .3 or so of same trail. Some blowdowns along LT. Broke out the whole way, slow going due to breakable crust of 1" above about 2800', down into 1-2' of snow, and running water underneath that nearly the entire stretch.
Breadloaf Wilderness - winter trailhead scouting (from west)
South Brother & Coe - Liz' Winter NE100 Finish
An epic return trip to Baxter State Park, the third in Winter and fifth overall. With this trip in the books, I've completed the six high peaks there for a second time, this time in Winter.
Serious snow depth of 2-3 feet from a recent storm required strength and resolve to forge ahead. Five of us started the day, but only three ended up summiting. Everyone in the group had a fantastic time, though, and I'm sure we'll all hike together again!
Congratulations to Liz for completing her second round of New England 100 Highest, this time in Winter. What an accomplishment, and it wasn't without its obstacles along the way. She persevered and has so much to be proud about.
This brings my quest to complete my Winter second round of the 100 highest, to 76. Great to be done with the Baxter six on that list, but I know I'll return to Baxter many, many more times. It's a truly special place.