Here I will share my travels throughout the majestic White Mountains of NH and also delve into some of the area's rich history and forgotten places. I do this in hopes of getting others excited about exploring these wonderful places.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mt. Chocorua - 5/20/09

For my birthday this year I was given the gift of a great book entitled Our Mountain Trips (part 1 of 2, the second of which I promptly purchased after reading the first). This book is culled from the journals of a couple newlywed hikers in the early 1900s. It’s a fascinating look back in time and especially interesting when one is at least a little familiar with the mountains in which they travel.

Highly recommended read!

Far and beyond, their favorite mountain “tramps” took place on Mt. Chocorua. They visit this peak far more often than any other. In fact, Chocorua is one of the most hiked of all the White Mountains. It’s height lie under the 4000 foot mark, but the summit is a giant mass of open ledge that is easily spotted from more places than I can even begin to count. In fact I had seen it from both of my past two hikes, Whaleback and Hedgehog. I made plans with a couple friends and on a slightly cloudy morning we set off over the Kanc, once again, headed for the Champney Falls Trail.

Champney Falls

Mark, Samantha, Kevin, and I were off and taking the relatively easy grade pretty quickly, reaching the falls in good time. We all hopped around taking pictures of the various cascades, and conversing with the other people out for the day. Not long after we were on our way again, climbing up the steep set of stone steps before rejoining the main trail. We made our way up at a steady pace, stopping for the occasional flower or peak identification. As we made our way up, the treadway began getting more rocky and the trees were getting fewer and farther between. Ledges and rocky knobs started coming into view, the summit was seen not long after.

The summit of Chocorua

We each meandered and picked our own way up to the top, Mark and I in search of the famed spot where Chocorua, an Indian chief, had famously leapt to his demise. Whether we found it or not, we had a good time either way. We got to the summit under some dark clouds and there was a brief light rain while we were there that hastened our visit. We took our pictures, ate our snacks and set off toward Middle Sister, the second of the rocky knobs on the shoulder of Mt. Chocorua known as the Three Sisters.

The remains of the firetower atop Middle Sister

Before long the remains of the fire tower atop this little dome was becoming visible. After a quick stroll we were taking in the sights from atop the stairs on the tower foundation. After our stop here we began our descent long the same trail, this time skipping the falls. The rain never showed up again after the light shower at the summit and we still got great views. It was a great day, spent in good company. Now I have an itch to go back and read those books all over again.

View North from summit of Chocorua

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