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View Full Version : Baldface Knob 5/25-26/09



KD Talbot
05-28-2009, 07:12 PM
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Field Pussytoes Antenmaria neglecta and Common Strawberry Fragaria virginiana

"Carry springtime in your heart;
Give time some fairy wings;
And let your days be fragrant
With tiny blossomings."

Dorothy Evelyn Begg (My grandmother) an excerpt from her poem "Reassurance" found in her book "Ghostflowers"

Baldface Knob 2900' ?, South Baldface 3570' and North Baldface 3610'

Baldface Circle Trail, Slippery Brook Trail, Baldface Knob Trail

10.4 + Miles 3550' Elevation gain

Kevin, Judy and Emma

A spring visit to Evans Notch is just not something that I can describe with words. My photos hardly do it justice. It's something that one needs to add to their list of life experiences to fully appreciate. We have spent some time here since discovering it many years ago. We love to camp at Hastings and Wild River and The Basin, but most special have been our backpack trips to this area and especially to the Baldfaces.

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Pink Lady's Slipper Cypripedium acaule

We went in hope of a repeat of an excellent overnight at the South Baldface Shelter tentsites we had last fall. This time we climbed a little higher by way of the Slippery Brook Trail and camped in the woods near Baldface Knob. The perfect spot was marked by a young buck's fallen antler, thus "Antler Camp".

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Guard Dog

Besides the usual soul cleansing I had come here for I was intent on recording the sunset/sunrise and the additional hope of finding the Rhodora in bloom. It was indeed and I was able to get a few satisfactory shots. The wind played quite a roll in this as it blew a gale as we reached the summit of Baldface Knob, but later died down before sunset and became very calm as we had supper on the area we have come to call "The Plateau" on the great northeastern shoulder of South Baldface. If you have made this hike you know where I mean.

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On "The Plateau"

The forecast had predicted "near record overnight lows" and it was off by a few degrees in our favor, but we still spent a cold and windy night in the woods. After sunset the wind picked up again and blew pretty hard the rest of the night, but again just before dawn it died down enough that we were able to sit and make tea on "The Plateau" as the sun crested the horizon. As it did the wind again began to pick up a little and this made photographing the Rhodora in sunrise light pretty frustrating. I was amazed that the wind the night before had not frozen and blown away all trace of what appears to be this fragile, delicate thing, but which withstands the ravages of upslope, icy breezes at this time of year. They even seem to thrive in this environment. What doesn't kill you just makes you stronger.

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Rhodora Rhododendron canadense

After a light breakfast we returned to camp and gathered some things for our trip up and over South Baldface and along the beautiful trail between peaks to the summit of North Baldface.

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On "The Plateau" at Sunrise

We decided to leave breaking down camp until after this hike. We took our time doing this, stopping on each summit to explore and take in the views. The woods were still full of Trillium at this elevation. Lady's Slippers were still waking up. We had our lunch in the sun on North Baldface and marvelled at the views of Washington, the Wildcats, the Carters, the Moriahs, the latter ringing in the beautiful Wild River Valley.

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Mount Washington

On the return trip the view to the southwest gives a blueish-green spine of mountains from Mount Shaw to Franconia Ridge. Incredible!

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Southwest View

Like every dream you've got to wake up. Reality sets in when you get back to the camp and pack everything up and hoist it onto your back. Even though you've eaten all the food and drank every drop of water you've slogged in, the pack does not feel one ounce lighter. My legs are tired. I didn't sleep much, but my soul is rested. Worth every second of discomfort.

Pics Here:

http://ghostflowers.smugmug.com/gallery/8354002_xGWMw#547826650_zgX5m

KDT

mtruman
05-29-2009, 07:19 AM
Wow - just incredible Kevin. I knew that the Baldfaces were on my short list but this has now moved up to one of our top places for a weekend backpack trip.

CHRIS
05-29-2009, 08:00 AM
Great trip report and excellent pictures. Well except the snake I hate snakes but it was a good shot of it. Thansk for sharing.

KD Talbot
05-29-2009, 09:46 AM
I hate snakes as well. Spent 36 mths with them in Panama, Central America, in the Air Force. They were everywhere. I could tell you stories that would curdle your blood!:D

This was the biggest Milk Snake I have seen. Maybe irrational fear makes them look bigger! :D The book says they grow to 30" but I'd say he was longer. 36-40" as he lay across the trail sunning himself after a cold night.

Emma went right over him like he wasn't there. Jude was next and she froze, paralyzed. I distracted him while she went by. He was shaking his tail at us like a Rattlesnake but I knew he was not.

Snakes are pretty harmless in these parts. Only one known location of Rattlers in NH. No other poisonous snakes. Even a Rattler won't strike unless you step on it or corner it.

KDT

PS: Mark, please contact me before going I've got some tips to share!

laudizen
05-30-2009, 02:15 PM
I always loved that area, thanks for bringing back so many memories. I enjoyed the picture of the milk snake, beautiful and harmless creatures. Thanks again.

JimS
06-03-2009, 05:55 AM
I'm way behind in reading trip reports, but wow, this was worth the look this morning! Love the sunrise shots over the Rhodora!

Great shots...really enjoyed the Chocorua pictures as well! Schools out in 2 weeks, hopefully I can join you on a hike after that!