Friday, November 23, 2012

The Ledges at Lake Massabesic - Rock Climbing

Forget Black Friday shopping, and go rock climbing! Well, heck yeah! 

Like last weekend, Kellie listed this meetup on her NHRock Climbing Meetup group. And like last weekends' climbing cliff, this cliff and its routes aren't listed in any guidebook.  But the climbing, especially on a warm November day, is fantastic! We all met at the Auburn, NH Dunkin' Donuts on Rt 28 just short of the rotary. From there, it was a short 1.2 miles along Lake Massabesic to the roadside parking lot. A relatively short hike in from the parking lot, we followed the trail between the lake's edge and Fire Road 55. This cliff is referred to as "The Ledges" which can be seen from Battery Point of the Massabesic Audubon Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. At the base of the cliff is a large boulder painted as a white mouse. We set up ropes on 5 routes and all 11 of us were able to climb until sunset!

Setting up anchors

 
 
 
 
 My spot at clifftop for photographing
View from clifftop
 
 Got Rock?



 






 Hawaii Girl (1)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mount Kearsarge - Solo Hiking

Mount Kearsarge (2,937ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,100ft
Trails: Barlow Trail
Distance: 3.6 miles roundtrip
Duration: 2 hrs/50 mins (includes stops for breaks along the trail and at summit)
NH 52 With A View
Difficulty: Easy

I wanted to do another solo hike but this time an easy one especially since I had never hiked on a weekday. I packed the usually emergency shelter, extra layers, survival kit , first aid kit, water, food, camera and batteries. I left my itinerary with my family also including where I would be parked with directions to the trailhead. I've taken to doing this so that my family can get my pickup truck in the event that I'm unable to drive home.

At trailhead of the Winslow State Park. I was the only one in the parking lot, but was okay with that, it was Monday after all. But right before I set off, a car pulled up and a woman and her dog headed up to the Winslow Trail. I originally planned to take the Winslow Trail up and then the Barlow Trail on my descent, but changed my mind. I wanted a short hike, and an easy one as well. So I took the Barlow Trail. I had been exercising on the Elliptical at my gym and could go an hour at a time with no breaks. So I set to hike Barlow with just a couple of short breaks. I was able to keep an even pace and enjoyed the solitude and quietness of the forest.

Although the footing on the Barlow is much easier than the Winslow, I was glad I wore my Microspikes as the ground was covered in fall leaves making many spots in the trail slippery. There were also many spots of the trail that were frozen.

With less than 150 feet of elevation left to the summit, I met up with the woman and her dog who were making their way down from the summit. She told me that the views were fantastic and that I had the summit all to myself. She was right. The trail near the summit is composed mostly of flat rock and it opened to the side of the summit with the cellphone tower and utility sheds. I was all alone and I had the summit all to myself for the 45 minutes I was there!  

The tower was closed but I was able to take photos from the platform right beneath the tower room. Instead of using the picnic tables, I found a spot in the middle of the summit and quickly ate my sandwich. The solitude was wonderful! There was a slight breeze and I sat admiring the north and northwest views. I spent my last few minutes at the summit meditating in the solitude.

Along the Barlow Trail (3)


 At the summit (4)




Saturday, November 17, 2012

Deer Leap - Rock Climbing

Kellie set this up on her NH Rock Climbing Meetup group, and it was a perfect climb for a warm November day!

Deer Leap is a town forest in Windham, NH. The name is derived from the natural rock outcropping (cliffs) that rise 60 feet above the Moeckel's Pond. We met in the parking lot off of Woodbury Road and hiked in on the Deer Leap trail. The Deer Leap trail is one large loop and it's great for hiking and snowshoeing. At the Deer Leap-Porcupine Ledge trail junction we took the Deer Leap trail and it took us directly to the top of the Deer Leap cliffs. The Porcupine Ledge trail leads off the main trail and loops over uplands, past a large boulder, and then down through rock ledges, where it got its name. It also leads to the Deer Leap cliffs but not before passing Porcupine and Mike's cliffs.

We were the only group rock climbing at Deer Leap! Kellie set up two ropes and our group spent the rest of the afternoon climbing, enjoying the warm November sun!

**Thanks to Noreen and Liam for taking some of the photos!

At the Deer Leap Trailhead
 At the top of the Deer Leap Cliff (4)

Noreen and Boomer!

 Kellie checking out the guidebook

 At the bottom of the Deer Leap main cliff
(Noreen & El)

 Kellie setting up anchor
 In addition to trash, there's alot of broken glass!
Noreen on belay
 
Liam
 Susan
 Eleanor
 
Kellie
Michelle
Noreen & Boomer
Handsome boy Boomer! (2)

Hawaii Girl (4)