DENALI CHALLENGE: The Scaur
Hiking/Walk DATE: 08/10/2018 - 08/10/2018
Trip/Event Location: Waterville Valley, NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Join us on this hike to one of the most popular hikes in Waterville Valley! This is 1 of 3 hikes we’ll be doing as part of the weekend Denali Challenge.
We’ll start hiking up The Scaur...
Meet us at our house: 676 Upper Mad River Road, Thornton NH 03285. Contact us if you need detailed directions.
The rocky outcrop, The Scaur [2200'] provides fine views of Waterville Valley for a good start to the Denali Challenge! On the way, we enjoyed the scenery on the multi-use Livermore Trail, including brooks and mushrooms. We started from the kiosk at the east end of the parking area and walked out to a junction.
We turned left onto the flat, graded Livermore Trail, marked as Livermore Road on the cross-country ski trail signs. An easy walk of 0.3 miles leads out to a grassy clearing with a partial view of the Tripyramids that we'll do tomorrow. After about one mile we reached the Kettles Path/Irene's Path/The Scaur. The former name Kettles Path was retained for historical purposes with Irene's Path and The Scaur now sharing it.
This trail starts out level, then angles up a hillside, climbing easily for a while before flattening out again. It was difficult to capture in pictures but we passed through a hardwood forest with three kettle-shaped depressions in the earth. They were formed when receding chunks of glacial ice broke off and were subsequently run-over by the receding glacier, which covered it with layers of sendiment. When the ice of the broken-off chunk melted beneath the sediment, the earth dropped down, creating a "kettle."
In 0.9 miles from Livermore Trail, the trail takes a sharp right turn at a former trail junction, then climbs more steeply for 0.2 miles. It then makes its way around to a rock face behind The Scaur. The main trail continues along this rock face. We turned right which there was a yellow sign, The Scaur, to indicate that was the direction we should go.
We climbed moderately, with one rock scramble, for a short distance out to the viewpoint ledge. Here, we found a wide view over Waterville Valley to Sandwich Dome. To the far left, above the trees, we could see Middle and South Tripyramid which we'll be hiking up tomorrow as well as North Tripyramid.
To the right and below was the long ridge of Snows Mountain, which blocked the view of the town. To the right of Sandwich Dome is Mt. Tecumseh and we could clearly see the ski area. By exploring the north side of the knob, we found a viewpoint of Mt. Osceola and Thornton Gap, with the Painted Cliff of East Osceola in full view.
Early evening, we drove back to the Waterville Town Square to pick up our Denali Challenge T-shirts and hiking log card. Tomorrow is the Tripyramids!
~ Mike and Jon
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