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Trip 29 Mount Passaconaway 4043’ and Mount Whiteface 4020’

11.6 miles 3850’ Elevation gain

Kevin, Judy and Emma
Dan, Jeannie and Jerry

Another 4th of July climb. It’s a great way to be patriotic, get off your duff and go see the country you live in! This year we decided to do Mount Passaconaway and Mount Whiteface. Meeting Jeannie and Jerry at Ferncroft, Dan, Jude and Emma and I set off with them on the Dicey’s Mill Trail. You park near a farmers mown fields and follow country lane past some old farmhouses and buildings and past the old Dicey’s Mill, (now a house, I think). Nice country walk, but soon we are rising through hardwood forests giving way to evergreens and the pungent balsam smell. Rain is threatening but we don’t care as it is warm and we’re on a mission to get me through my 48 this year. Dan slips and pulls something that he might have hurt on a previous trip with the Ripley’s, but he continues on despite the pain. Eventually we come to where the trail splits left or right around the summit cone of Mount Passaconaway. We went right, Dan being behind us went left and actually made it to the summit before us. We stopped on a ledge below the summit to rest and wait for Dan, when we hear “Hey, where are you guys? I hear you but I don’t see you.” ”Where are you?” we shout. “I’m on the summit.” “Well, we haven’t got there yet, so come down here and rest with us before we climb up there.” And so forth. Eventually he came down and we ate and then all went back up to the treed summit, another sign in the woods as I recall. Soon we are on the Rollins Trail heading toward Mount Whiteface. This trail descends into the col between mountains and then follows the edge of “The Bowl” Natural Area nestled between the mountains. We pass through Camp Shehadi and up to the rocky ledge summit of Mount Whiteface. here we take more food water and rest., before we begin the descent back down to Ferncroft. For views mostly all we could see was the threatening clouds moving over the closer and lesser hills in the area, visibility was probably no more than a couple of miles. The trip down begins over rocky ledges and can be tricky in spots. I wouldn’t want to do it in a downpour, crossing those smooth rocks. We made it down without incident, stopping in a meadow on the rocky slopes to pick and eat the years first blueberries on Blueberry Ledge Trail! The rest of the trail brings you through hardwood forest and meadows and eventually back to Wonalancet River and along country lanes and past old farm buildings back to the parking lot. Dan survived and made his every trip promise, “I’m done. I’m never going again. Don’t even ask me.” Of course, Jeannie and Jerry, the runners, barely broke a sweat. I’m sure they could have blown us away on the trail, but patiently followed as I led. We were tired, but happy. It was a long hike. I’m pretty psyched at this point, as I only have 4 mountains left and all summer to get them. We are planning a trip to Rangeley, Maine and maybe we’ll sneak in a Maine 4000 footer while we’re there.
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Next Mountain
Passaconaway/ Whiteface 1/26/08