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Thread: "Somewhat West of North" and Other Detailed Trail Descriptions, 1936 Guidebook

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    Senior Member Fisher Cat's Avatar
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    "Somewhat West of North" and Other Detailed Trail Descriptions, 1936 Guidebook

    This section covers the Waterville Valley in 1936:
    The Waterville Valley
    P341-“ The Waterville Valley is that part of the township of Waterville included in the watershed of Mad River. A road runs from Campton, in the Pemigewasset Valley Branch of the B & M Railroad 13m beside Mad River to a small clearing in the center of the valley, in which, at an elevation of 1520ft, is situated the Waterville Inn, owned by an association of guests. Logging may take place at any time in any part of the valley, which makes it impossible to describe trails with assurance..A local book with map ‘The Waterville Valley by A.L. Goodrich, now out of print, may be consulted at the Inn.” While not a genealogist, I do wonder if there is a direct relation of A.L. to Nathaniel Goodrich who wrote a history of Waterville Valley.
    P341-Osceola Trail-“starts from the Inn, goes N past Osceola Cottage, crosses Mad River on a foot-bridge and soon comes to a WMNF road at a fork. Within the angle formed by the roads at this fork the trail leaves somewhat W of N, following largely an old trail location, to the dam at Dusky Pool, where it crosses to the W side of the West Branch..At .25m below the summit is another spring, near which is the cabin of the State fire warden.” I could find no reference to that spring in today’s books.
    P342-East Peak Trail-“about .25m from the top of Osceola, an obscure trail diverges to the N, leading in a short distance to the Split Cliff, an unusual formation with a spectacular view. At .5m, at the lowest point on the ridge, Osceola Brook Trail diverges S.”
    P343-Mt Tecumseh Ski Trail-“first mile requires 10in of snow and is suitable for novices; the upper part requires 12 to 18in and is for intermediate and expert skiers. The normal width is 8 to 10ft, but the curves on the upper slopes widen out to 15 to 60ft. Total drop is 2400ft; distance about 2.75m.”
    P344-Welch Mtn & Dickey Notch-“From the main summit of Mt Tecumseh the crest ridge can be followed S, without trail, to Welch Mtn; the fine rocky pile overlooking Campton Meadows. From the main summit of Mt Tecumseh follow the ski trail to the ridge S of the cliffs. Heading S, keep somewhat W of the crest, avoiding two humps. When above the Tecumseh-Green col, swing SW and drop down to it, finding open ledges and a partly cleared surveyors line. Follow this over Green Mtn (wooded) thence to an open summit with a fine view (probably Stone Mtn) then over open ledges to Dickey Mtn and Welch Mtn.”
    P344-Dickey Notch Trail-“This trail leaves the Mad River Road at the Orris farm, about .5m SW of Six Mile Bridge.” I noticed there is a mention of an Orris Road on page 276 of the 26th Edition AMC Guide.
    P345-Sandwich Mtn-3993ft-“Formerly called Sandwich Dome, or Black Mtn.” I found a reference in the modern book to the name Sandwich Dome, but no mention of it being called Black Mtn.
    P345-Acteon Ridge-“This ridge is occasionally traversed (no path) and affords many outlooks and a variety of going. At present this site is closed to tramping.”
    P346-Mt Tripyramid-“on the NW face of the North Peak, the SW face of the South Peak, and the E side of the Middle Peak are the huge slides which are the mountains chief attraction. The South Slide fell in 1869 and 1885, the North in 1885. The rock thus exposed greatly interested geologists.
    P349-Mt Kancamagus-“forms the E wall of Mad River Notch. Two cliffs facing the SW may be reached by blazed trails from the Greely Ponds Trail, but the summits are wooded and pathless.” Anyone know if these referenced “blazed trails” are bushwhacked today?
    P349&350-Livermore Path-“it was opened in 1879 with funds subscribed at the 1878 meeting of the American Institute of Instruction and has been called the “Institute Path.”
    P351-SKIING-Other trails mentioned-
    Drakes Brook Ski Trail-“E from the highway 1m S of the Waterville Inn is an easy trail and open slope of 2m on the N side of Sandwich Dome.”
    Atwood Pond Ski Trail-“provides a 2m novice run from Atwood Pond on the Sandwich Notch road to Mad River road by turning L on Smarts Brook Trail .9m from Sandwich Notch Road.”
    High Brook Ski Trail-“is a novice trail .7m long following High Brook. It starts at Mad River road .4m SW from Waterville Ranger Station.”
    This was a relatively short section but I found in interesting nonetheless. If you’ve been following this all this time, rejoice, there’s only 2 sections left: the Sandwich Range and Moosilauke & Kinsman. Soon I’m buggin’ out of here for the first of many trips back to my beloved home state of NH. Time for hikin and trailwork. As one sits here typing late at night (I’ll post tomorrow ) they ask themselves the question all late night post-ers do: Is there really anyone out there reading this?
    I know there are, but hey its late. To anyone else kicking off their season, have fun and be safe!
    " by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in.."- From the letter of my great uncle Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry) to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.

    LIVE FREE OR DIE - DEATH IS NOT THE GREATEST OF EVILS
    Gen. John Stark July 1809

  2. #2
    Senior Member Quietman's Avatar
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    Keep posting. I enjoy them, kind of like a historical Reader's(hiker's) Digest!

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    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quietman
    Keep posting. I enjoy them, kind of like a historical Reader's(hiker's) Digest!
    Agreed. Few of us have access to a 1936 AMC Guide and I can't imagine anybody with a serious interest in White Mt. hiking who wouldn't be fascinated by some of these details.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fisher Cat's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I appreciate your words. I must say I've been reading over the Sandwich Range section and am quite impressed with its volume. It seems to be one of the larger sections. I'm sure there's a reason for that, perhaps it was its popularity at the time, or its extensive trail network.
    " by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in.."- From the letter of my great uncle Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry) to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.

    LIVE FREE OR DIE - DEATH IS NOT THE GREATEST OF EVILS
    Gen. John Stark July 1809

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