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Thread: Mount Roberts, almost Faraway, Ossipees..12/16

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    Senior Member Silverfox's Avatar
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    Mount Roberts, almost Faraway, Ossipees..12/16

    Uncertain of projected winds up north we opted for a lower elevation hike today in the Ossipees.. There was a gray sky and a raw though not cold wind..when we arrived at the castle parking lot and looked North to clear blue skies the error in my judgement was evident...after a little whining we set off...

    The Mount Roberts trail in fine shape..mostly clear of snow..a few icy spots..the fine views and excellent oak forest are just a pleasure to climb through..The frequent outlooks give great vistas in several directions.. I am continually amazed with the fine views offered from these sub 3k peaks...really spectacular....towards the little summit knob the snow and ice pack became pretty slick and i donned microspikes..Helen layered up as we enjoyed the views north towards Washington..

    We decided at this point to continue along the ridge and take the Blue Blazed High Ridge Trail over towards Faraway and then the orange, Cold Spring trail back to the parking lot.. It was evident as we descended off Roberts that we were entering a different climate zone..the snow pack was solid and icy in spots..the main difference was the trees..everywhere there were smashed busted trees and tops along the trail..mostly dead stuff at first but soon many beeches lay twisted and torn...we moved dozens and dozens of broken trees and branches..eventually Claude remarked that even he wasn't that excited about sticks anymore.. I can say that the trail between Roberts and Faraway is essentially clear with twigs and sticks remaining.... Based on memory, in haste we had neglected a map but had looked at the kiosk one a bit..I knew that we would becoming to a side path to faraway..now that I am home and look at a map it is clear that the trail to the actually summit is the one that is cabled off with the big mysterious iron thing nearby..Rocket?..We went up that trail awhile but turned around and continued along the ridge clearing numerous blowdowns along the way..eventually reaching a spot that Claude recognized as the Frank Falb Memorial bench..We paused for lunch there..Frank was a long time OTHH member and hiked this area frequently..Great view from "his" spot..

    The ridge walk throws a little curve at you soon and heads away from the direction that makes sense.. I was sure we were on the right way however and eventually we came to the orange trail which leads in long switchbacks down the ridge..Very many large broken trees along this trail..we cleared many but some of these are chain saw work..In one spot a massive oak lies directly across the trail..in another a 16 inch beech lies twisted and shattered in a brook bed which made for a difficult by pass... we spotted an old trail on one of the switchbacks and saw some fairly fresh prints and decided this was the quicker way down and we dropped quickly to the Source of the ledgendary castle Springs water..Interestingly there were a few mouse traps in the kiosk area there? Following the access road out we arrived at the perfect time as a gentlemen got out of his truck to open the gate just as we passed..

    A nice day in the mountains..and no regrets about not heading north....

    a few pics at

    http://flickr.com/photos/silverfox77...7611262894357/
    Last edited by Silverfox; 12-16-2008 at 04:42 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great hike!

    Trail clearing kharma points = 25

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    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    Nice! I recalled a recent hike along the same path as I read your TR. I also missed the summit of Faraway Mtn. It wasn't a destination and I think there are towers of some sort which I saw from Mt. Roberts, but I never saw a spur trail to the summit.

    That bench is a nice little spot!

    Maybe Rocket21 will chime in on Faraway.

    happy trails

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    Quote Originally Posted by forestgnome View Post
    It wasn't a destination and I think there are towers of some sort which I saw from Mt. Roberts, but I never saw a spur trail to the summit.
    From Mt. Roberts, you can see two sets of towers - the larger ones are located north of Faraway, while the smaller ones are at the 2,782' highpoint. The road to them is indeed where that cable and big old roller are - I suspect that roller was used to pack the roads at some point. It's a few minute walk down that road (about 2 minutes into it, an old carriage road departs to the right, leading to the knobs labelled Faraway on the old topo maps, while the main road continues straight ahead, eventually wrapping around to the highpoint (with very limited views).

    Thank you for your help clearing the trails, Silverfox! The portion of the Mt. Roberts Trail above the ledges was a bit of a mess too - you probably saw sawdust from my excursion there two days earlier. It seems though that the upper carriage roads were hit the hardest...I spent a few hours clearing .9 miles of carriage road from the Mt. Shaw Trail junction to Mt. Shaw Sunday - what a mess!

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    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21 View Post
    It's a few minute walk down that road (about 2 minutes into it, an old carriage road departs to the right, leading to the knobs labelled Faraway on the old topo maps, while the main road continues straight ahead, eventually wrapping around to the highpoint (with very limited views).
    rocket's "old carriage road" is only about 5 yards past the chained gate and roller, so you probably won't need two minutes. It also no longer perceptible as that, and much of it isn't perceptible at all. It appears not to have been maintained for decades and has nearly melted back into the forest. Some of it is waterlogged. Also, what "Faraway" meant on those old topos is a contentious point, already debated well beyond its merits. buckyball and I explored all of that area, including the knobs, in October, as you can read here, with some photos.

    None of the rival candidates for the summit of Faraway offers much of a view, so rational hikers will skip them all for the Memorial Bench Silverfox mentions, which is right on the High Ridge Trail and gives you a wonderful Lakes panorama.

    I note that herd paths cut off great swaths of those switchbacks on the Faraway Mtn. and Cold Spring Trails, but they are probably best saved for when footing is better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amicus View Post
    rocket's "old carriage road" is only about 5 yards past the chained gate and roller, so you probably won't need two minutes.
    For us young people with short attention spans, it seems like 2 minutes Nonetheless, Amicus is correct, the old carriage road is very close to the High Ridge Trail.

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    Senior Member Kevin, Judy and Emma's Avatar
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    Nice TR

    Would like to get up there this winter, we'll see. Nice TR!

    KDT
    "Use what talents you possess- the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those who sang best."

    Henry Jackson Van Dyke

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