Monday, September 8, 2014

White Faced On Mt Whiteface

There are sections of this hike to Mt Whiteface that lived up to their reputation and without a doubt I was "white faced" while trying to do them.  There were two spots in particular where my fear of heights had me shaking in my boots.  Beyond those two short sections however, I really enjoyed this hike.

Our original plan was to summit Mt Whiteface using the Blueberry Ledge Trail and then to avoid coming down the tough and steep sections of the ledges we would instead take the loop around the bowl using the Rollins and Dicey's Mill Trails.  I guess the steep and difficult sections did not scare me sufficiently on the way up so we scrapped our original plan and instead did an in and out using the Blueberry Ledge Trail. 

Truth be known, may wife embarrassed me into descending using the same route.  She did not want to do the extra 2-miles or so required for the loop and she seemed fine with returning on the difficult but shorter route.  Far be it from me to tell her I was scared to death by the thought of returning on that route.  After all, I am the big burly husband and I am not supposed to show any fear.  She'll know the truth when she reads this blog post though. 

Our route took us across 7.8 miles with 3,000' of elevation gain.  Book time is just under 5.5 hours and it took us nearly 7 hours.  Did anyone account for the difficult scrambles in the book time?  Heck, there were some sections where I needed a 10 minute pause just to plan out my strategy of how I was going to get from point A to point B.

On to some pictures.  And, I should note that I have almost no pictures of the steep sections.  I was too darn worried about not sliding into an abyss to think about taking photos.  Google this hike and you will find more shots of the steep sections.

The number of man made stone steps on this trail had to be in the 100's.  Someone put a ton of effort into their quality contruction.
There they be.  Our first glimpse of the ledges ahead of us.

The trail somewhat suddenly breaks out of the woods onto this shear cliff with great views.

This is one of the steep sections and this photo simply does not do it justice.  The section between these tree roots and the next flat where one could stand is particularly challenging.

There were a number of great viewpoints on the upper sections of this hike.  This shot and the next show some of those views.


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