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Thread: Easter above W'saukee

  1. #1
    Member Kath's Avatar
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    Easter above W'saukee

    I do not contribute much to the TR forum, although I spend many hours reading the accounts of others, thank you! I particularly love it when I read about or am able to see pictures of some of the lesser known, lesser traveled, or smaller mountains. I have been concentrating on these "little gems" lately and, rather than run the risk of having them overlooked, I feel the need to mention them.
    Having made Easter plans to visit with family in Alton, NH, Old Lurp and I decided to do some multi-tasking and take advantage of our being in the Lakes Region for the day. We were looking for a short and sweet climb that would get us some decent views, and still be able to get us to the family gathering looking none the worse for wear. We planned to hike Belknap Mountain, following Papa Bear's footsteps from his TR on his Fifty Finest List. We knew that the Carriage Road would be closed this time of year, so we were prepared to walk in the 1.3 miles to the trailhead. Just as we were starting down the Carriage Road we met a fellow hiker who had already made it up and back from Gunstock with his dogs. We stopped to "chat and pat". He suggested we hike a loop taking in Piper, Belknap and Gunstock Mountains. The trail to Piper Mountain leaves the Carriage Road on the right immediately after crossing a brook about 50 yards from the parking area. And the trail that leads you back to the Carriage Road brings you to within about 25 yards of your parked car. This option sounded way more appealing than the road walk. The maps that we had with us did not show the trails that we were taking, but he assured us that they were well marked and well used. He was right. The Piper Trail is very well packed down and gently ascends through mostly new-growth hardwoods. There was one brook crossing on an ice bridge over moving water. Some fine views to the northwest are to be seen if you happen to turn around and look behind you. The summit of Piper is lovely, the nicest of the three. The snow on the summit had a hard glazed crust of ice on top of it that was so slippery, it was necessary to put on some traction. We carried snowshoes and crampons with us, opting to use the latter from here over to Belknap. From Piper, it isn't hard to see where you need to go to get over to Belknap; follow the yellow blazes. It's a short way down to the col between the two. As I was busy snapping pictures of the posted sign about the trail being relocated for safety reasons, Old Lurp took off up the hill without me, following the old former trail. By the time I caught up with him, it was too late to convince him that he had taken the "unofficial" route. He was already in his groove and there would be no turning back. His route brought right to the top. The summit of Belknap is cluttered with equipment, but the views from the fire tower are outstanding. We saw a guy riding a bicycle on the frozen Winnipesaukee! From the tower, Gunstock looks like a stone's throw away. We stashed away the crampons and booted over to Gunstock, which was crowded with skiers on this gorgeous Easter Sunday. After chatting with a few of them, we made our way back down, following the white blazed trail over some ledges with more views, and back to the parking lot.
    I'm so glad that we ran into Mr. Fellow Hiker Guy With Dogs. This little loop fit the bill perfectly for our day.....#1: it is only an hour's drive away from home, #2: you get three summits in only 4.5 miles, #3: views galore.
    Papa Bear, if you haven't made it back to do all three by now, you really should consider it.
    Thanks, Kath

    PS: I tried to make a slideshow of my pix, but I have a feeling this will not work. How do you folks get pictures to appear in the body of your post within the text? I feel so technically challenged!

    http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p...edium=text_url

  2. #2
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    This trip was recommended on this board earlier by carole, 2nd greatest expert on Belknaps after the Phantom Trailbuilder himself

    Go to Gilford Public Library for map

    For test see
    http://hikenh.netfirms.com/TDGunstW.htm
    http://hikenh.netfirms.com/TDPiperB.htm

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kath
    PS: I tried to make a slideshow of my pix, but I have a feeling this will not work. How do you folks get pictures to appear in the body of your post within the text? I feel so technically challenged!
    There are pros and cons to this. If you put a lot of pics directly in the post, people with slow connections will have trouble loading the thread. But for the high speed user, it's easier to see everything in one place, IMHO.

    In any case, this link:

    http://vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?p=220140

    has more instructions...
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO

  4. #4
    Member jeanvabu's Avatar
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    Question Hopeful Snow Melting?

    Just wondering if any one knows about snow coverage (or hopeful lack of snow coverage) in the Belknaps? I'd love to do a day hike this weekend but I have hiking buddies that would balk at the idea of snow.
    "Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So. . . get on your way."
    Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanvabu
    Just wondering if any one knows about snow coverage (or hopeful lack of snow coverage) in the Belknaps? I'd love to do a day hike this weekend but I have hiking buddies that would balk at the idea of snow.
    Some southern facing slopes are showing bare surfaces but otherwise the snow is still there and is several feet deep as evidenced by the bottomless postholes.
    Last edited by carole; 04-08-2008 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Edited to say - RoyS, I'm honored

  6. #6
    Member jeanvabu's Avatar
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    Looks like I'll be hitting the Midstate Trail again then. Thanks for the info!
    "Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So. . . get on your way."
    Dr. Seuss

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