On a beautifully cold February day, John, Jeff, Richard and I snowshoed up to Nancy Pond so we could bushwhack to another New Hampshire 200 Highest peak, the viewless Duck Pond Mountain. A few inches of powder over a packed trail made for good traction, and the bushwhack to Duck Pond was a little thick but otherwise easy. The highlight of the day was the perfect sun halo, and snowshoeing over the frozen Norcross Pond to the view of the Bonds across the Pemigewasset Wilderness.
Parked Nancy Pond Trail parking off Route 302 in Hart’s Location, NH
Snowshoed Nancy Pond Trail to Nancy Pond
Bushwhack to summit of Duck Pond Mountain and back
Bushwhack across Nancy Pond and Norcross Pond and back
Snowshoed down Nancy Pond Trail back to car
Date: 13 February 2021 Distance: 9.2 miles Moving Time: 04:20:15 Pace: 28:25/mile Elevation Gain: 2785′
My first big, multi-day hike was a three day Pemigewasset Loop in July 2013 with a great group of friends. I decided that I wanted to push myself a little and attempt the Pemi Loop in a single day. Or, since I started in the evening, in a 24-hour period. I would be doing the hike solo, and with just a hammock and emergency bivy if I was forced to stop.
Since I had hiked Franconia Ridge plenty, I decided to set out clockwise from Lincoln Woods. That way I would do Franconia Ridge at night and the Bonds during daylight. I also decided to stick just to the Loop, no side hikes to Galehead or West Bond (or the further but attainable North Twin and Zealand).
A couple of friends and I took advantage of mild winter conditions to bag one of the more difficult winter 4000 Footers, a bushwhack to the Peak above Owls Head. The Peak above Owls Head is considered one of the more difficult hikes for several reasons: it is one of the more isolated peaks, by trail it is a 19 mile round-trip hike, there is no official trail to the summit of the peak and there are many water crossings which can be dangerous when the waters are high. To top this off, the best way to get to the peak in the winter is to do two bushwhacks known as the Black Pond Bushwhack and the Brutus Bushwhack.
Three of us drove up to the mountains Friday evening after work and camped at Hancock Campground, which was open year-round and across the street from the start of the hike. On the drive over Kancamagus Pass we pulled over to watch a moose munching leaves on the side of the road. Once at the campsite and after some food by the fire we turned in for an early morning start.