Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another "non-birding" NH Death March 7/19

The destination of this hike was Mount Isolation, just south of Mt. Washington and the chosen route would begin at Pinkham Notch, on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail (0.3 Miles), then the Boott Spur Trail (2.9) to the Davis Path (3.3 southbound) to Mt. Isolation returning via the Davis Path (2.7) to the Glen Boulder Trail (2.8) and finishing on the Direttissima Trail (1.0) back to Pinkham. With nice weather, I would have the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time above tree line.

Looking toward Mt. Washington and into Huntington Ravine from the Boott Spur Trail.
I heard only 1 Boreal Chickadee all day and it was early on at about 2700', warblers heard where Blackburnian, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, B-T Blue, Magnolia and once reaching ~2800' Blackpoll Warblers. Winter Wrens, Swainson's Thrushes, Golden-crowned Kinglets, White-throated Sparrows and Juncos were also common at times. I'd hear call notes from 5 Bicknell's Thrushes over the course of the day, 1 on the Boott Spur Trail, 2 on Davis Path (near Isolation) and 2 on the Glen Boulder Trail.
A peek across into the Wildcat/Carter Range.

Wildcat/Carter Range from a higher vantage point.

You should be able figure this one out.
While it was warm on the trail, once breaking tree line, a nice 15-20 MPH breeze helped cool things off and with clear skies the time above tree line couldn't have been better. Looking across the Gulf of Slides to the Glen Boulder.
Having never hiked the Washington area from the east side, the views of Tuckerman Ravine were a first for me. There even appeared to be a little bit of snow remaining. Tuckerman Ravine and Mt. Washington, a little snow still in the ravine (white spot to the left), the white spot high on the far wall (right) is large piece of Quartz.
A framed shot of the Washington summit from the Boott Spur Trail.
The Boot Spur Trail connects with the Davis Path at about 5500', Mt. Isolation (4003' elevation) is 3.3 miles to the south ... the good news its all down hill, except for having to "roller-coaster" over North Isolation at ~4300' and then to Isolation at 4003' .

Mt. Washington, Tuckerman Ravine and the upper north wall of Huntington Ravine (to back right), from the Boott Spur.
as above but a winder angle.
Davis Path trail and carins sound bound to Mt. Isolation .
I'd started early and got to the Isolation summit before 11AM and had the place to myself until I left at 11:30. From reading previous hiking reports I expected (hoped) a Gray Jay would show up looking for hand outs, but that was not the case. The views from this remote summit are spectacular, and I was thankful it was such a nice day.
Looking north Mt. Monroe, the bump on the right, Mt. Washington blanketed by the cloud, Boott Spur to the right.
For the return trip I would have to re-climb North Isolation and then continue on the Davis Path and climb back to about 5200' and pickup the Glen Boulder Trail. Only having previously seen the Glen Boulder from rte 16, this gave an opportunity for a close up of this massive rock balancing precariously on mountain side.

Another Washington shot.

Looking south on the return trip from the Davis Path.
The Glen Bounder Trail/Davis Path Junction, looking to Slide Peak.

Another fine view of the Wildcat/Carter Range, rte 16 snakes below..

Looking into Gulf of Slides, perhaps an avalanche knocked these trees over on valley floor.
It seemed to be taking a long to reach the boulder, but I was asured by a pair of hikers it hadn't rolled off the "hill". Glen Boulder can be seen from Rte 16, below note the person (in White) sitting to the right of it.

A closer view, the hiking sticks are for "scale" and were not holding the rock in place.
One more distant shot.
I very very happy to reach the Direttissima Trail, which marked a little more than a mile to go. I'd been out of water for the previous 1.5 miles and had a sore knee. The trail looks level on the map, and for the most part it is, but even the smaller ups and downs had become a chore. The parking lot was a welcome sight and after "tanking up" on some water I was looking forward to large chocolate milk shake.

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