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Thread: Seeking Suggestions for an afternoon on skis or snowshoes near Conway

  1. #1
    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    Seeking Suggestions for an afternoon on skis or snowshoes near Conway

    I'm coming up to do Mt. Doublehead cabin for the night on Feb. 27 and will arrive the day before, for a night at the White Mt. Hostel in Conway. I've got two friends who will join me. One is a backcountry skier, like me, the other is more comfortable on less steep terrain. Since we'll be skiing the Doublehead trail the following day I think the bc skiers will have at least one thing that is more suited to them. I'd like to find a place where we could go during the afternoon of the 26th that might suit us all. Ideas that I am considering are a Greeley Ponds (or similar) ski tour or a hike to some worthy destination.

    The less skiing inclined member of the group and I have combined our interests on occasion. Last winter, after a Baldpate slog, we went lift-served skiing the next day and then, after a night at the hostel, on the way home stopped in Warren to go find Waternomee Falls. The W.F. trail was skiable for me and snowshoeable for my friend. Going up we were well matched in our pace and going down, since it took me a little while to get things buckled down, etc. we weren't too far apart in getting back to the truck. Something like that can work too.

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Since you'll be in the Jackson area (eventually), why not try one of the skiing/snowshowing trails in nearby Carter Notch?

    The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation's web site has plenty of information about all sorts of options. You could try the Bog Brook Trail, Wild River Trail, and Rainbow Trail to head up the back of Carter Dome. Even if you don't summit the actual peak, the southern summit area (about 0.7 miles from the actual summit) has a nice, open, flat area with great views of the southern Presidentials and Mount Washington -- particularly nice in the winter.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    If you're looking for something akin to Waternomee Falls, if the Ellis River is frozen enough to cross, then Winniweta Falls is could be a nice trip along some old logging roads. If you head up to Pinkham Notch, taking Old Jackson Road out to Lowe's Bald Spot would be a longer, but very pleasant trip, with some options to explore Lila's Ledge too.
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    And don't forget that for the bc folks there are various new glade areas open. One is on Baldface in Maine up 113 and the other is right in lower Bartlett off East Branch Road. I think there's another in Randolph probably (Peakbager will know). For casual trails there is also Shell Pond off 113.

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    I am not a BC skier but yes there is ski glade in Randolph. When I hiked by it a few weeks ago it was pretty bony. Not much base left after the warm spell but today's and Sundays snow may help. Randolph plows the parking lot all winter.

    Here is link to the Granite Backcountry Alliance. https://granitebackcountryalliance.org/

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Here's to those who plan their treks around the interests and skills of their friends.

    Faced with a similar challenge some years ago, on an unsettled winter day with a mix of whiteout snow squalls and breaking sun, we had a gratifying hike to Iron Mountain. We could not drive the road all the way to the trailhead so that stretch was a combination of road walk and xc skis and eventually snowshoes as the trail got steeper. Through some fortuitous breaks in the clouds we were able to see the stark gray face of the SE Presidentials; it was chilling just to look at. Beyond the summit there are some cliffs and again a break in the weather gave glimpses of a beautiful valley down below ... I know not what but it was quite an inviting contrast to the earlier scenery to the north. Another squall hit us on our return, a figurative kick in the butt to get back to the car and the tailgate and hearty dinner waiting with a sense, right or wrong, that we'd earned it.

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    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    One of our options might be Moat Mt. Trail past Diana's Baths to Red Ridge Trail as far up as we can, on skis. Anyone who's done this on skis care to comment? Anyone who skis backcountry and has hiked the trail have an opinion on the idea?
    Last edited by bcskier; 02-05-2020 at 10:28 PM.

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcskier View Post
    One of our options might be Moat Mt. Trail past Diana's Baths to Red Ridge Trail as far up as we can, on skis. Anyone who's done this on skis care to comment? Anyone who skis backcountry and has hiked the trail have an opinion on the idea?
    I've not skied the trail, but can tell you that a good portion of it at lower elevation -- before it gets all climb-y, about where it crosses the old forest road [that passes by the gravel pit, a bit further south] -- has a decent grade with wide corridor.

    After that crossing of the road, the trail begins a moderate climb, and the climbs much more steeply.

    Lovely trail, though!

  9. #9
    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    I think that will be our objective. If snow levels are decent will try it on skis, if not snowshoes or boots. I noticed the trail crossing the forest road in the guidebook description and wondered if that would be a possible route of ascent, instead of coming up from the Baths. Any idea where it starts and whether there is a place to leave a vehicle?

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Regarding the road, someone more local than I can chime in on that road and its accessibility, but if I recall correctly, it's a gated forest road that starts out as the road to the Moat Mountain Mineral Site Trail, off of High Street, which heads north off of Passaconaway Road, two miles east of the trailhead for South Moat Mountain.

    The distance from the High Street/Passaconaway Road intersection, to the Red Ridge Trail crossing, is just over five miles (according to CalTopo).

    There are houses on High Street, so I suspect that the road is plowed/accessible at least part of the way.

    You might even be able to incorporate the Moat Mountain Mineral Site Trail into a loop, if you come in from the south that way.

    Again, I have no idea what sort of road access you'll find.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    If you head up to Pinkham Notch, taking Old Jackson Road out to Lowe's Bald Spot would be a longer, but very pleasant trip, with some options to explore Lila's Ledge too.
    I have done this one. very scenic. coyote paralleled my track for about 30 minutes, until it figured that I wasn't heading for a massive MI

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