East Osceola and Greeley Pond
You always start a bold new adventure with a hearty breakfast; and this was no exception.
We stopped at Polly’s Pancake Parlor for buckwheat blueberry pancakes, crispy cob smoked bacon, corn meal waffle and coffee.
Our trek up East Osceola began at 9:20 am at the Greeley Pond Trailhead.
We encountered several log bridges spanning the boggy areas of the trail. The morning sunlight cast a heavenly glow across the trail.
At 1.3 miles we reached the junction at the Mount Osceola trail and Greeley ponds trail.
Up to this point the trail and footing was easy. Turning right, heading up the East Osceola trail it continued at a moderate grade until about mile 2.
We had some areas along the way where we could look up and see some of the neighboring cliffs
Along the way we met up with three people and one dog (named Bailey).
One of the women was visiting from our state (Maryland) and in the same town (Columbia) in which my aunt lives. To say the least we had some good conversation, which took our minds off the ever increasing steepness.
We encountered more rocks and steeper ascent until we reached the broken ledges where it became more steep. I could just imagine hiking this coated in winter ice.
We did however have a view at this point.
The last pitch before leveling off was perhaps the steepest section of the Mount Osceola Trail.
At the top of this steep section we hiked about 40 yards to the right where we came upon good views in either direction.
The view above is towards the Kancamagus highway.
Below is the view towards Osceola.
After admiring the views we continued on to the summit of East Osceola. When we reached the top of East Osceola we noticed that someone had placed a photo inside the summit cairn.
We enjoyed a leisurely lunch consisting of left over fluffernutters , some snack bars and coffee, which we brought in a small stainless steel thermos.
We sat for awhile, chatted with others who had come by from Osceola and took several pictures of ourselves using a tripod mounted camera.
We spent 40 minutes on the summit before starting down the trail to Greeley Pond.
It only took us an hour and a half to reach the junction of the Greeley Pond Trail.
Greeley Pond proved to be an unexpected pleasure in that we could relax and reflect on the mountain we just climbed
The pristine waters were so clear that you could see the bottom as if looking through glass.
We went completely around the pond, bushwhacking part of the way because we had lost the trail at one point. We arrived back at our vehicle at 3:20 pm to a full parking lot.
Tomorrow (10/20/08) looks like a good day to climb Mt. Flume.
After viewing our next mountain we cleaned up and head down to Woodstock Station to meet the former owner of the Franconia Notch Motel, Ed O’Brien and have a Philly Cheese Steak Wrap with a local seasonal brew.
East Osceola can be a crampon hike in winter
From the Greeley Ponds trail, it's one of those winter 4's that is short but can be a bit tricky! Microspikes or crampons come in handy just so you won't keep sliding back down... Of course everyone butt-glissades down it (I plead guilty to doing this myself), so that just makes it a nice toboggan run.