Sunday, August 9, 2015

Mt. Chocorua in August

Mt. Chocorua is a popular hike in the White Mountains, especially on a beautiful Saturday in August. To avoid some of the high traffic, we arrived at the Champney Falls parking area off the Kancamagus Highway by 8:30 am. Surprisingly we were only the third car.
Rainfall has been light of late so we expected little flow in Champney Brook and over the falls. But water flowed continuously over the falls filling the brook below with plenty of clear, cold water for Henna and Kodi to cool off and slake their thirst.
The loop trail leading up and away from the falls back to the main trail has a well-built series of steps--easy in summer and a very different scene in winter.
Although seemingly more treacherous in winter and when icy, summer presents dangers too. As we descended from Mt. Chocorua after lunch, a hiker was running up asking for an EMT and trying to get cell coverage as one of his friends had fallen maybe 30 feet at Champney Falls and was badly hurt. As we continued our descent a rescue crew was hiking in with a stretcher and the parking lot, now overflowing with cars, was also an incident command center. We hope the young man who fell is okay.

We encountered only a dozen or so other hikers on the way to the summit of Mt. Chocorua. A series of switchbacks provides a lovely view north to the High Presidentials; only the tip of Mt. Washington was in the clouds.
It was a spectacular day to be up in the mountains on a high peak: temperature in the mid 70s, no bugs, mostly blue sky with beautiful cloud formations, no haze.
We reached the summit by 11:00 am and by then many more people were arriving. After a snack on top we headed down and over to Middle Sister for lunch, where we enjoyed a quiet and lovely view all to ourselves. Here is a look back at Mt. Chocorua on our way to Middle Sister.
Kodi enjoyed the hike and the scenery.
There was a hint of fall in the air. The weather felt a bit like early September and the hobblebush were starting to turn color.

2 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, I think it was this guy: http://www.telegram.com/article/20150810/NEWS/150819949

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  2. Hi Cumulus,

    Yes, sadly he fell to his death. It was a sobering walk out not knowing that, but then learning about it later. Still not sure exactly where he was when he fell. Maybe the rocks were slippery?

    Ellen

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