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Thread: Nothing Great, But Simply a Different Way to Hike to Mt Crawford (27-Jul-2010)

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    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Nothing Great, But Simply a Different Way to Hike to Mt Crawford (27-Jul-2010)

    Probably most would agree that the views from Mt. Crawford are fabulous. Because of these excellent views, many folks make this their sole destination for the day. There is really only one practical way to get there, which is to do the 5.0 mile round-trip hike from the Davis Path trailhead on Route 302. You go in and come out the same way. There is no loop-option available.

    So, with the above in mind, I decided to create my own loop. Please understand from the outset that I'm not touting this to be the greatest idea ever! I'm simply saying that it provided a different way to hike to Mt. Crawford. I really had no idea whether my plan would even work. However, I rationalized that it would be something fun to try, regardless of whether or not I succeeded.

    I began my improvised loop by hiking a short distance on the Davis Path and then left the trail to follow the nameless brook up the nameless ravine to the headwall of Mt. Crawford. I then planned to climb to the top of the headwall and aim to arrive at a point just slightly to the west of the Mt. Crawford summit. Then from there, I'd follow the bare ledges to the top of Mt. Crawford. I'd then descend from Mt. Crawford via the Davis Path to complete the loop.

    The map below illustrates the plan described above. My approximate route is shown in yellow, and the traditional route to Mt. Crawford is shown in red.


    The hike along the nameless brook was quick & easy since it was open hardwoods and the grade was very gentle. Along the way, there were some cascades and colorful fungi. (See two photo collages below.)


    I don't know, but perhaps I'm the only person on the planet who has noticed, let alone been curious about something that can be seen from Route 302 as you look up the nameless ravine that I described above. I'm talking about the tan spot at the bottom of the headwall.
    In the photo below, a red arrow points to this spot.


    Anyway, I made it to that tannish-colored spot. It is nothing more than a large scree field, which was pretty much what I expected.
    The photo below shows the view from this scree field.


    Once I reached the scree field, I had a decision to make. Should I "GO ALL THE WAY" for a touchdown! Or, should I simply call it a day? Although it was readily apparent that the headwall was steep, it was also apparent that there were still plenty of nice open woods.
    So, I decided what the heck! Before setting out on this trek, I had calculated that it was only 0.3 mile from the top of the scree field to the top of the headwall. It turned out to be a good decision since the woods and the terrain for that 0.3 mile were very conducive to bushwhacking. And although it was steep, I really don't think it was any steeper than portions of the Davis Path.

    Upon reaching the top of the headwall, it wasn't long before I could see the summit of Mt. Crawford (see photo below). It was very odd to be approaching this peak from this direction!

    Approaching the Top of Mt. Crawford

    As I travelled the remaining short distance to the top, I began to experience the fabulous views that Mt. Crawford provides.
    For what it's worth, some of my personal favorite views are shown in the photos below.

    Stairs Mountain (of course!)

    Mt. Washington and Southern Presidential Range

    All the Many Peaks and Bumps & Lumps When Looking Southward

    You might ask how long it took to do this loop. Well, if I deduct the chunk of time spent while stopping to look at stuff, take photos, snacks, etc., then I'd guesstimate it took slightly less than 4 hours total hiking time.

    This adventure was one heck of a lot of fun!
    I would definitely consider doing this improvised loop again the next time I plan to visit Mt. Crawford.

    1HappyHiker
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 07-28-2010 at 12:26 PM.

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    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    Yes I've frequently wondered what the little patch was

    We must think alike. I've wondered what the little patch was many times and now I know. I'd probably never bothered to explore that particular route though. I have phantasied about whacking all around Mt Crawford however. I've often thought about descending Mt Crawford by various routes. #1 and #2 would make interesting loop hikes.

    #1 Descend via the spur ridge that takes you down right hand side of the nameless brook ravine. Could be interesting when you get to toe slope that fronts on Saco or is it Dry River at that point? I'm at work so have no maps to check on.
    #2 Descend via spur ridge that leads to westward off Stairs Mt. Again could be interesting when you get to toe slope that fronts on Saco or is it Dry River?
    #3 I'd like to check out that big dome shaped ledge that lies between you and Stairs in your photo of view towards Stairs. That ledge just beckons me.

    Thanks for your fine TR.
    Last edited by Jazzbo; 07-28-2010 at 11:44 AM. Reason: clarify my comments
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    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    What great exploring you do. I'm envious.
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    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Pretty cool scoping out a sweet spot like that. Seems like nice hardwoods out there too -- won't make the spruce allergy flare up.

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    Senior Member Jimmy Legs and Little D's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Terrific job, John. You always keep us interested in your reports with your unconventional ways and the routes you use to attain your destination. Have you ever thought of changing your name to 1HAPPY EXPLORER?

    Donna
    Last edited by Jimmy Legs and Little D; 07-28-2010 at 02:13 PM.

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    Senior Member Lefty E's Avatar
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    T.O and Chad and Antonio would be proud of your TD scramble!!

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    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzbo View Post
    We must think alike. I've wondered what the little patch was many times and now I know. I'd probably never bothered to explore that particular route though. I have phantasied about whacking all around Mt Crawford however . . .
    Ray, thanks for your reply.

    It's great to hear that at least one other person has had the same curiosity about that tan-colored spot!

    You're right about there being a lot of interesting bushwhack possibilities in the Mt. Crawford area. That whole area drained by Sleeper Brook looks very interesting, and is probably largely unexplored. And speaking of brooks in that area, it's too bad that the lower (south) end of Razor Brook is on private land. As you probably know, there used to be an official trail that went up the Razor Brook Valley and eventually terminated at the Davis Path just a bit NE of Mt. Crawford.
    Quote Originally Posted by erugs View Post
    What great exploring you do. I'm envious.
    Thanks Ellen. From reading your reports and your responses to reports filed by others, it sounds to me like you've done some pretty nice exploring as well!
    Quote Originally Posted by dr_wu002 View Post
    Pretty cool scoping out a sweet spot like that. Seems like nice hardwoods out there too -- won't make the spruce allergy flare up.
    Hey Dr. Wu . . . regarding spruce . . . if you're not highly sensitive, then you'd probably be OK since there were mainly hardwoods along the route I took. BUT, there were a few spruce intermingled here & there, particularly near the top of the ravine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Legs and Little D View Post
    Terrific job, John. You always keep us interested in your reports with your unconventional ways and the routes you use to attain your destination. Have you ever thought of changing your name to 1HAPPY EXPLORER?
    Thanks Donna for your very kind comments!

    And regarding your suggestion about a name change to 1HappyExplorer . . . hmmm . . . some might suggest other less-flattering name changes! Anyway, I think you'd agree that all of us on this Forum are "happy explorers" in our own way, and "happy hikers" as well!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty E View Post
    T.O and Chad and Antonio would be proud of your TD scramble!!
    Thanks Lefty! Took me a second to un-scramble your response!

    Anyway, it's probably fair to say that a NE Pats' scramble for a TD is a much greater achievement than my decision to "GO ALL THE WAY" for a touchdown at the top of the ravine. I guess you could even say it's whole different ball game!
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 07-28-2010 at 05:11 PM.

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    Senior Member NeoAkela's Avatar
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    Those are some really pretty spots on your bushwhack route. Nice cascades, too! You always come up with some interesting alternatives!
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    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeoAkela View Post
    Those are some really pretty spots on your bushwhack route. Nice cascades, too! You always come up with some interesting alternatives!
    Thanks Chris!

    Hey, perhaps this might be a case of "it takes one to know one"! You also come up with some very interesting hiking alternatives . . . um, like your latest adventure you recently posted on this Forum regarding Holden & Noble Falls!

    Speaking of cascades/waterfalls, the nameless brook that I used as a handrail on my whack to Mt. Crawford has some prospects for a few good ones during spring run-off. None will make the "waterfall hall of fame", but potentially picturesque nonetheless. Just something for you and others to keep in mind at times of high-water when seeking out waterfalls to photograph that are off the beaten path, but yet easy to access.

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    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    Nice! We can always count on you for different views through the forest. Really like that cascade picture. Thanks for posting.

    happy trails

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    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    That is one great report and awesome pics...nice job
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    Thanks Happy. I thought of whacking up Sleeper Brook once, and walked out to that nice section of the Saco that it empties into. But wasn't sure I had the right brook and didn't do it, and continued up the Saco to the Dry River Trail.

  13. #13
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Forestgnome; Sapblatt: Thanks Patrick and Mike for the nice comments! Very much appreciated!

    ---------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Grayjay View Post
    Thanks Happy. I thought of whacking up Sleeper Brook once, and walked out to that nice section of the Saco that it empties into. But wasn't sure I had the right brook and didn't do it, and continued up the Saco to the Dry River Trail.
    Grayjay: Glad you enjoyed the trip report. Hey, even though you decided against going up Sleeper Brook, it sounds like you still ended up with a nice bushwack up to the Dry River Trail. It's not worth going into detail, but I did something somewhat similar last November.
    In the process I found a slide that had a view looking down the Dry River toward the Frankenstein Cliff & Mt. Bemis area. It certainly wasn't a blockbuster view, but a view nonetheless! Below is a photo.


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