|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Weetamoo, Mt. Weetamoo - East Peak, NH|
||FR206, bushwhack, bike trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, September 18, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||I parked at the gated entrance to FR206 about 3/4mi down Sandwich Notch Rd from Waterville Valley. Room for a few cars here. In fact, a biker pulled in shortly after me. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Not too long after leaving FR206, I had to cross Chickenboro Brook in a marshy area. Deep and sluggish water. Crossed above it on logs. Crossed a drainage or two of Chickenboro Brook on my ascent and descent both of which were easily rock hopable. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||I believe I’ve been told that these trails, shown on Gaia, surrounding FR206 are bike trails. They’re narrow and, as such, a little hard for me to imagine biking on them, but they were in good shape and have had been made well with some nice trail work. No blowdowns that I recall. |
||Sure. May want to try and avoid the steeps unlike myself though. |
||A fly or two. |
|Lost and Found:
||Day 322, Peaks 304 & 305. I walked FR206 at east grades, which wasn’t badly overgrown, to a jct a little more than 1mi in. Gaia showed a bike trail diverging NW here, then another gray line diverging SE immediately after off of FR206. The bike trail did diverge, however, the road that may have once been here is clearly no longer. That said, I whacked roughly along its route shown on Gaia until it turns due south and nears Chickenboro Brook. Things got a little swampy and wet here so I chose my way carefully. I found logs to cross the brook and tributaries on. Once on the other side, I whacked through “meh” woods to the bike trail, shown on Gaia, passing over a dry stream bed along the way. I crossed it and began whacking south toward the main summit of Weetamoo. This was at a point just a few hundred feet west of a tributary brook shown on Gaia. |
Woods were open and I got pulled slightly west by the contours in the urge to go uphill. Grades as I recall them were moderately steep until I began slabbing more gently over to cross the tributary of Chickenboro Brook at 1750ft. Once on the other side of this tributary, I whacked very steeply to the south. No cliff bands, just very steep. Woods began to become a bit mixed and not quite so open somewhere around here as well. Just before ascending the summit come, I crossed what seemed like a hobblebush drainage of sorts. I pushed through some thicker stuff at times and finally came to the ledges around the summit. Nice summit cairn but no register. Overall the whack here was much longer than many whacks to the 500, very steep at times, and in open woods to start transitioning to semi-thick woods with thicker sections later on.
From the summit, I took a couple different bearings to east peak because I couldn’t make up my mind ;P First I’d considered taking a direct line and going partway down into the valley on the south side of the peaks as the whack between them is so long (almost 1mi as the crow flies). East Peak looks so gradual I didn’t care much about losing an extra hundred feet of gain. Ultimately I decided against this though as it looked like cliffs on the east side of Weetamoo were a possibility and the whack across the ridge was only a whopping 0.1mi longer. So I set off from the summit on a NE bearing, trying to find the ridge down toward the col. I didn’t find it easy to find at first and a bit of a fir band and some pokey trees didn’t help with that either. I got out of that soon enough though and back on some ledge (could I have followed ledge all the way here??) then found good mixed woods and the ridge easy to follow. In fact, some of the woods here were very cool and had a unique sort of feeling to them. I more or less followed the WMNF boundary shown on Gaia, but not marked as far as I could tell, in the woods. Though it certainly doesn’t appear to be so on Gaia, I felt as if the ridge almost split as it neared the col. I followed the correct one into the col though where I was treated to an open hardwood forest. I gently ascended over the first knob just east of the col then took a new bearing straight for the peak where I’d basically contour over to it. I should have done this just before reaching that first knob though.
The woods remained open and though there was no steep sidehilling, the woods seemed to love this way and that and I couldn’t find a nice corridor to follow so this section of the hike felt rather clumsy and inefficient. Then, roughly south of the 2400ft knob NW of the true summit, the woods became thick. A mix of pokey and spruce. I tried to go where the woods seemed best but they seemed bad everywhere. I wound up ascending a bit here and found myself roughly in the col between the NW knob and the main peak. I whacked SE up to the summit of East Peak in some more thick stuff. I finally came to the highpoint but no cairn or register. Three or four very close together bumps here all about the same height and I didn’t find anything on any of them.
I then took a NW bearing and headed back down to the bike trails. I aimed for the southernmost point of all the bike trails. I actually had a pretty good line here however this whack was gnarly much of the way. The contouring from the summit of east to the east of the NW knob and to the top of the steeps was usually very thick. Slow going. I was tempted to get pulled down into the drainage to the N/NE toward Upper Hall Pond as at least that was only hobblebush but I stuck to my bearing and got a good dose of thick woods. From the top of the steeps, woods were open though. I slabbed down to the NW. No cliff bands, just very steep. I hit a a tributary shown on Gaia and followed that back to the southernmost point of the hike trails I’d aimed for. From here, I followed the bike trail that swings east, but generally heads north back to FR206.
I’d been avoiding this hike for awhile as I just wasn’t pleased with any of the approaches to it. Just looked like a pain in the tuchus kinda hike. Maybe I’d drag a friend along and be able to traverse it? Perhaps that would be easier? But today I bit the bullet and looped them together. Overall, woods and terrain were very varied. Open hardwoods, oddly low elevation spruce, some hobblebush, pencil woods, fern glades, and a just genuinely interesting area or two. Total hike was 7.5mi or so with 1800-2000ft of gain. Took me just over 5hrs to complete. 43 more days and 60 more peaks to go…
||Liam Cooney |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.