Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Welch-Dickey Loop - Tougher Than You Might Think

We last did this hike in August of 2010.  That was only a month or two after I first started hiking.  I wondered if my recollection of this being a tough hike were only because I was new to hiking.  Or, maybe I found it tough because 11-weeks earlier I had rotator cuff surgery and therefore I only had full use of one arm during that hike.

Nope, this is a tough hike no matter how long you've been hiking.  I'm not saying that it comes anywhere close to a Mt Washington or the other Presidential summits but nonetheless, the endless ledge scrambles on Welch-Dickey are tough on the body.  Your quads, shins and ankles will be talking to you the next day.  All of that said, this is a very worthwhile hike with many excellent views along the way.  Do it!

The entire loop is only 4.4 miles with about 1,680' of elevation gain.  I will also say that the drop when you leave Welch and proceed to Dickey is, well, steep.  It does not go on very long but it does drop rapidly.  This is a very popular hike and you will not be alone (particularly on weekends).  The large and paved parking area can probably accommodate 50 cars easily (75 with a little juggling).  There are also bathrooms at the parking area; a tidbit that is always important to know.   

This and the next shot are the first views you reach below the summit of Welch.

We have a snack at the first outlook.

There are what seems like endless ledge scrambles like this one.  You just need to lean into the mountain and go.  Probably not a great choice for a winter hike!

We are on the summit of Welch and looking towards Dickey in the distance.

On our descent from Dickey we will walk along these ledges.

Along with the ledge scrambles there is a significant amount of this sort of trail.

This shot is while standing on Dickey looking back at Welch.

The big, snow covered mama in the distance is Mt. Washington

This is the end section of the long ledge we needed to walk along during the descent from Dickey.  There is plenty of flat so it is not bothersome at all to be on this shear ledge.


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