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w pobliżu Chicks Corner, New Hampshire (United States)
It was a quick trip to the Guinea Pond Junction, and the Black Mountain Pond Trailhead. The Guinea Pond trail was well broken out… by snowmobiles. I headed up the Black Mountain Pond Trail still on unbroken ground. This trail parallels the Beebe River and a great many tributary streams were crossed. I was glad to be out there in the winter. The trail rises about 700 feet in its 2.5 mile stretch to Black Mountain Pond. From Black Mountain Pond to the Algonquin Trail junction, the trail gets as steep and rough as any in the Whites. It rises 1200 feet in a mile which is deceptive. There are a great many very steep sections and a half dozen rock scrambles separated by many feet of level treadway. It took me over an hour and a half to climb from Black Mountain Pond to the Junction. You are rewarded for your efforts with a fine view from the ledges near the Algonquin Trail junction.
There are two halves in the Algonquin Trail from the junction to the summit of Sandwich Dome. I saw my first set of snowshoe tracks for the day and was thankful to have someone else break trail for the day. That individual must have just left the junction and was headed down to Sandwich Notch Road via the Algonquin Trail. The first half was a breeze on thin snow over rock at easy grades with intermittent views to the North and South. Passing over a pud you drop about two hundred feet into small spruce and start the second half which is the final ascent of Sandwich Dome. The snow got up to 3’ deep in this area with the spruce very grabby at my backpack. It took me another hour and half to reach the Sandwich Mtn Trail, longer than I expected.
It was 4:30 pm when I got to the Sandwich Mtn Junction. My original plan was to turn around and take the Algonquin Trail down to Sandwich Notch Road and back to my car, about 9 miles. This would mean walking on a unfamiliar, minimally broken out trail for an hour in the dark followed by a road walk of about 2 hours in the dark. On the other hand the 4 miles of the Sandwich Mtn trail was well broken out and familiar to me. Fortunately, Carl, my son, was able to meet me in Waterville Valley and give me a ride home. Thank you Carl! 13 miles, with 4800 feet of vertical, in 11 hours.