N. & S. Baldface Mtns. Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 07/31/2010 - 07/31/2010
Trip/Event Location: North Chatham, NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
One of the finest ridge traverses of the White Mountains, with about four miles of open ledge walking.
Per SummitPost: "Here's an argument against peak bagging: while you're spending...
Getting to Conway from points south: If traffic is light, you can take rte 16 some 75 miles all the way from Portsmouth NH, which is on Interstate 95. If you prefer to maximize your highway miles, you could take Interstate 93 north, and turn east on your choice of rte 25, 112, or 302.
From Conway NH, head east on 302/113 to Fryeburg ME, where 113 North takes a sharp left (not well-marked, but if you see the sign for 5/113 South pointing right, backtrack a couple of blocks). Take route 113 (paved but bumpy) north about twenty miles. The small parking lot - plowed in winter- is on the right shortly after a huge brown sign. The trail is a short distance further north on the opposite side of the road. There's a sign, though it's partly obscured by a telephone pole.
An assault of the Views!
Last time I did this I had so much fun I had to do it again. We hit the trail around 9:15am and made good time to the South Baldface Shelter, where we took a snack break.
We then set out to climb the South Baldface ledges, and what would be about 4 miles of above-treeline hiking. The ledges are quite fun and a somewhat rough scramble.
The weather was great, with fair weather clouds and a refreshing breeze. Along the way up and over the ledges, we had to pull ourselves up over boulders.
When we got up over the tough stuff and came to a reasonably flat spot, we stopped to snack on wild blueberries. Everyone marvelled at the fantastic 360 views.
Then we set off again stopping at the stone bench, at the junction of the Baldface Circle and Baldface Knob trails. We then set off for the final climb to South Baldface.
On the South Baldface summit we took a break for lunch and soaked in more views. We then headed over to North Baldface.
We made good time from our lunch break to the North summit, where we stopped for an extended break, chatting with others on the summit and identifying peaks. We then headed down Bicknell Ridge.
This trail took us in and out of wooded areas to at least five open ledges with great views over to South Baldface. I started to get a view overload. It was almost hard to concentrate on your footing, after looking at the great views all day. But we enjoyed what we had left of them before heading into the trees. The last part of the Bicknell Ridge trail turned out to be very mellow ~ almost a level trail ~ and then we intersected with the Baldface Circle trail and made a stop to Emerald Pool. None of us were up for jumping into the frigid water.
After the hike we went into Fryeberg, ME for some pizza/beer and chatted a while before heading home. The hike took just under 8 hours. I'm sure we'll all want to go back to the Baldfaces again at some point ~ this is one of the best hikes in the White Mountains.
A wonderful trip made even better by the great company!
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- Thanks, Mike. This is one I've wanted to do for along time and it didn't disappoint. It was even more special with such a great group of guys. - shep5
- And thanks for the eye candy, as I'm sure you planned it all along... - JPHiker
- Great trip! one of the most scenic hikes in the whites. Open ledges, tons of blueberries, and great company. Thanks for the fun! Chuck - outsider