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Thread: Baldfaces and more Wild River Wilderness - July 10, 2021

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Baldfaces and more Wild River Wilderness - July 10, 2021

    My friend Chris contacted me about a last-minute trip up to the Whites. He's around 82% complete with his redlining and had mapped out a route in the southern portion of the Wild River Wilderness that would take care of all those trails. It was an interesting route and I was happy to hike with someone as I usually hike solo. I picked him up at 4 AM and made the quiet drive north, him sleeping and me thinking. By all accounts the previous day's rain did not cause super high water as was the concern and the weather was looking perfect on Saturday. In fact, after stopping for breakfast in North Conway we considered changing our destination to the Great Gulf Wilderness where he still had trails he needed to hike. Ultimately though we stuck to the original plan which would take us on trails less travelled. I'm glad we did - it worked out very well.

    We stashed Chris's bike at the Slippery Brook Trailhead and then drove dirt roads to the East Branch trailhead. We were on the trail by 9:30 AM and enjoyed the briefly cool temps. East Branch climbs very gently but there were plenty of wet sections and overgrown brush to deal with. As we approached the Wild River Trail we encountered swampy soup of a trail which made dry feet nigh impossible. We took the Wild River Trail towards Perkins Shelter where we found a large group of young folk hanging out and smoking their tweeds. We dropped packs near here and jogged/hiked the remainder to where it connected to the Rainbow Trail. We turned around, grabbed our packs and were soon back at the previous intersection. This time we took the Wild River Trail in the other direction to where it intersects with the Eagle Link Trail.

    Lots of wet areas/high grass in this part of the Wild River Trail. But the water crossings were very manageable. I found an huge unopened bottle of Fiji Water and drank half of it. He hit the Eagle Link Trail and began the moderate climb up to Eagle Crag. The humidity began making itself known. Lots of big floppy overgrowth hugging the sides of the trail which were constantly pushing back against my poles. Annoying. But the slope was mostly this thick brush which made for views of the Carters through the few trees. After awhile we hit rock slabs and soon we were out in the open among the incredible views.

    I've never been over on the Baldfaces so this was a real treat. We didn't actual walk the ridgeline but instead did hiked up and down a bunch of trails that Chris needed. Finally we saw other hikers for the first time (other than the stoner campers). I was starting to feel it by this point. I finally relented and changed my socks and shirt which made a big difference. The climb up South Baldface was when I really began to feel worn out. We passed a couple backpackers heading up and a bunch more people heading down. We rested for a bit at the shelter and then it was time to tackle the ledges. These were absolutely great. Terrific rock scrambling and the views into Maine were just splendid.

    Originally we were going to summit South Baldface but time was ticking away and we hoped to squeeze in the Mountain Pond Loop after we finished this hike. So we skipped the summit and instead went down the Baldface Knob Trail. At the intersection we dropped our packs and made the short climb up Eastman Mountain. Great views through the trees here but my feet were beginning to ache. Chris broke his pole on the way down which was sad and we were both ready to head down the Slippery Brook Trail and be done with this hike. We figured with a name like Slippery Brook we'd be facing similar wet, muddy conditions as the East Branch Trail but amazingly it was dry and very runnable. And at the halfway mark it turned to an old logging road which made things even easier. My feet were hurting at this point but I was still happy to run these last few miles to wrap this thing up quicker.

    At the trailhead Chris hopped on his bike and rode the five miles back to my car. I hiked about a mile to the Mountain Pond Trailhead and waited about 30 minutes for him. All in all a great day in the mountains. It wore us out but we dragged ourselves around Mountain Pond before calling it a day! Very happy with how the video came out.


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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    What a beautiful clear day and what an amazing hike.You guys have the big S on your chests. STAMINA! I loved the aerial shots of the Baldfaces. That loop over the 2 Baldfaces including Baldface Knob and Eagle Crag is one of the best hikes I've done in the Whites in the last 5 years. The musical score really fits the pace of the hike well. You should credit the performers. Thanks for sharing the trip.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Thanks Grey J, it was a great hike and those views from the Baldfaces were something else. Normally I hike alone since it was nice to have someone to trade off with. We kept each other moving as our energy began to wain. Yeah - I need to start including the music credits in the video descriptions. Thanks for the reminder.

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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Great video Rhody. I really don't know whether to envy or pity you Those are some long hikes, but great photography. Spent a number of nights at the Baldface shelter in the late 60s. There used to be zillions of delicious blueberries among the ledges behind the shelter and away from the trail.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Very nice video as always. Love the graphic you have been using at the beginning of your videos that traces the trails.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    BTW how did you get those aerial shots? You packing a drone on that marathon?
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Very nice video as always. Love the graphic you have been using at the beginning of your videos that traces the trails.
    Thankya - I like it too. Gives perspective to the hike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey J View Post
    BTW how did you get those aerial shots? You packing a drone on that marathon?
    Yeah, I have a tiny one. Packs down very small. The controller is bigger than the drone.

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    Not sure if its planning or luck with the drone use but the drone use was outside the Wilderness Area as its against the law to use it inside a designated Wilderness area. Luckily the open ridge line is just out of the Wilderness area and the terrain down in the Wild River Drainage is not drone friendly due to the dense canopy. It seems to be a far bigger issue on the the Whiteface Ledges and the Bonds

    UAS are considered to be both “motorized equipment” and “mechanical transport” and, as such, they cannot take off from, land in, or be operated from congressionally designated wilderness areas. UAS are not permitted to fly in areas that have Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) in place, such as wildfires. https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-lan...esponsible-use

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Yeah, I did my research. The open stuff was right outside of the wilderness area so it worked out. And I'm still getting used to the thing so I steer clear of any tree cover.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Not sure if its planning or luck with the drone use but the drone use was outside the Wilderness Area as its against the law to use it inside a designated Wilderness area.
    You can fly in a Wilderness area. You cannot takeoff, land or operate from within a Wilderness Area.
    Last edited by skiguy; 07-16-2021 at 04:02 PM.
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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    This USDA page say not to fly over Congressionally Designated Wilderness,,,

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...eprd493612.pdf

    Unclear if this is a regulation or just a recommendation.
    Last edited by maineguy; 07-17-2021 at 06:22 AM.

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    For the armchair editors, I included a link to the source material in my post.

    If the OP had obviously been posting video from a drone in a wilderness area, I would PM him. I have done so in the past when illegal acts were being documented in a post. The strange thing is usually the post gets deleted and the poster does not thank me for preventing visual evidence of their crime to be left up in public

    My understanding of published drone use regulations is its legal to fly over a wilderness area, but not legal to launch or land one in the boundaries of the area. In most cases the ridgeline of a drainage is an approximate boundary but in order to save a lot of management hassles, the actual boundary is generally offset some distance off any trails (or AMC huts). This is very obvious with respect to the creative boundary around Guyot Shelter and the AT east of the Thoreau Falls to preclude the bridge outside the wilderness boundary. 13 Falls campsite on the other hand does not have that creative boundary and does not comply with published wilderness rules and guidance yet it exists essentially for the convenience of the USFS as it would be management nightmare if AMC did not have a caretaker present.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    For the armchair editors, I included a link to the source material in my post.

    If the OP had obviously been posting video from a drone in a wilderness area, I would PM him. I have done so in the past when illegal acts were being documented in a post. The strange thing is usually the post gets deleted and the poster does not thank me for preventing visual evidence of their crime to be left up in public

    My understanding of published drone use regulations is its legal to fly over a wilderness area, but not legal to launch or land one in the boundaries of the area. In most cases the ridgeline of a drainage is an approximate boundary but in order to save a lot of management hassles, the actual boundary is generally offset some distance off any trails (or AMC huts). This is very obvious with respect to the creative boundary around Guyot Shelter and the AT east of the Thoreau Falls to preclude the bridge outside the wilderness boundary. 13 Falls campsite on the other hand does not have that creative boundary and does not comply with published wilderness rules and guidance yet it exists essentially for the convenience of the USFS as it would be management nightmare if AMC did not have a caretaker present.
    Not sure whom you are referring to as the armchair editor but clarification or an elaboration of another posters points seemed necessary in this circumstance. UAS use is a controversial subject especially among hikers. Taking what could be perceived as an elitist attitude on the subject only throws fuel on the fire of which would otherwise be civil.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    I see you are back to your old approach. I guess your truce is over

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Short follow-up video of our hike around Mountain Pond for those interested:


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