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South Baldface, North Baldface, Eagle Crag, NH, 10/09/07

threecy

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South Baldface, North Baldface, Eagle Crag, NH

Date Hiked: 10/09/07

Trails(s) Hiked: Baldface Circle Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Conditions: Sunny, cloudy


With lots of junk weather in sight for days, I decided to take some comp time and do an afternoon hike. Though tempted to work on the NH 4,000 footer list, I decided to go for a hike I had been looking to do for some time now - the Baldfaces.

Starting just after noon, I left the parking lot and walked north on the road for a few dozen feet, before ascending the rock stairway and starting the gentle first portion of the trail. Up until the Emerald Pool/South Baldface intersection, it's very easy going.

After the Slippery Brook Trail slides off the South Baldface Baldface Circle Trail, things become moderately steep for quite awhile - all the way to the leanto. From here, the real fun starts.

Up until this point, the leaves were still green. Starting at the hut, the trail climbed up ledges surrounded by excellent fall colours. The views very quickly stretched up Evans Notch and beyond. There's a lot of fun scrambling - wouldn't want to be here when its wet!

After probably a good 1,000 feet filled with fun scrambles, the trail levels off a bit and heads up to a knob with great views. From here, I continued up the Baldface Circle Trail to the South Baldface summit.

I had this panoramic viewpoint all to myself - something I likely would not have had if I were doing a 4,000 footer. The views stretched way north towards Rangeley, Maine, out to the colourful Carter Ridge, a cloud covered Mt. Washington, the Sandwich Range, Pleasant Mountain, and beyond.

After having a snack, I continued to the slightly higher North Baldface. The trail between the two crosses many bare ledges and involves a few scrambles.

The views from North Baldface weren't quite as good, due to quickly approaching clouds from the west. Nonetheless, they were still excellent. After chatting with another hiker for a bit, I continued with the loop.

My next stop was Eagle Crag - just a bit north of the Baldface Circle Trail. The trail has multiple dips along the way, as well as multiple view points. Eagle Crag had impressive views, though nowhere nearly as good as the Baldfaces.

The descent was very steep at first from there - a decent amount of scramble coupled with some nice views. Upon reaching the flats, I listened to Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother. I made on stop along the way - checking out the neat Emerald Pool. Yes, it indeed has an emerald coloured tint to it.

What a great hike - to date I've hiked a bit over 40 4,000 footers in New England and I must say, despite being almost half a grand short, the Baldfaces are more enjoyable than most of the peaks on that list that I've climbed. Between the fun trail, neat topography, minimal crowds, and excellent views, there aren't many peaks I've been to that top these.

Trip report/map/photos:
http://www.franklinsites.com/hikephotos/NewHampshire/southbaldface-2007-1009.php
 

uphillklimber

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That was one of our favorite hikes in Evans Notch. It was cloud shrouded first time we went up, and a thunderstorm chased us off the second time. It sure is nice there,and not too heavily used.
 

MichaelJ

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*LOVE* the Baldfaces. You are right on that they're not as heavily visited since they're not 4000-footers, but they're as much, if not more, of a challenging hike with all that time above treeline for incredible rewards. Nicely done!
 
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