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Thread: West Osceola

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Gorham NH

    West Osceola

    I got a invite to do a Friday hike up West Osceola. I had never gotten around to visiting this summit so it was nice excuse to go for a visit. We went in the East Pond trail from the Kanc. Parking would be the first challenge. The East Pond lot appears not be have been plowed at all this winter and the Greely Ponds trail lot is plowed in most likely shutdown related. One of the WMNF campgrounds down the road that is normally open in winter has traffic but it was plowed in at the road. A major snowfall will probably close off access to all these lots until the shutdown is over.

    The breakdown lane isnt wide at the East Pond lot due to guardrails so we ended up parking about a half mile west at a wide spot in the road which looks to be a plow turnaround that was just plowed that morning. East Pond trail had some older evidence of someone breaking trail possibly barebooting but it was snowed over and eventually the track disappeared before the major water crossing. The snow was deeper and with less crust than expected. We made it up to the height of land in reasonable time. The topo to the summit is pretty simple, just follow the top of the ridge up and eventually after a false summit or two, end up at the summit. The woods were mostly open down low but rapidly becomes steep for much of the hike with a few thick bands of softwoods. No real blowdown, just young densely packed trees. Going was slow but steady, the combination of steep slope and loose snow on top of it made it tough to get good traction up the steep sections. I expect with fresh snow this would be a major effort Once we topped out of the steep stuff it was good going. It took us 2 hours to go roughly 4000 feet along the ground with 1000 foot elevation gain. There are a couple of obscured views North up on the summit ridge including one near the summit. The traditional PVC summit canister is gone but the mounting bracket still exists with a small bottle with a register. The winds and summit temps were decided nippy so we didnt stay around for long.

    Overall time for the hike was about 8 hours, longer than I expected. Nevertheless a nice January hike away from the crowds. I might do it again in warm weather as it looks like the woods would make for good bushwhacking despite the steepness.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Waltham, MA Jazzbo & Marty meet Bigfoot on Kennebago Divide
    Interesting report! Sounds like you didn't visit Peggy's ledge which features views to north and good view of majestic Osceola north slide and split cliff. W Osceola is on my to-do list for good weather day so can hang around and enjoy. Check out Nordic Gal TR on NE Trail Conditions. She rates it 10 on view-o-meter scale.
    On #67 of NE67
    On #99 of NEHH
    On #45 of WNH48

    "Commuter—one who spends his life
    In riding to and from his wife;
    A man who shaves and takes a train,
    And then rides back to shave again." EB White (1899-1986)

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