Mt. Welch and Dickey
December 8th, 2001
El. 2,605 and 2,734 ft.
YDS Class 2
This was last years grand finale. With a snowstorm on the horizon there is a possiblility that it might be the grand finale of 2001. Last year I struggled up this mountain, at one point nearly slipping down a steep ledge. I had quiet a productive first year in the White Mountains. But it is time for it to close. I decided to end it on this mountain because it was close to home and I knew winter was right around the corner. This year presented an interesting obsticle, ice. Even though it hadn’t rain in three days, Ice form by the constant melt and freezing of water beneath the rocks cause some very interesting situation for me as a hiker. I still scratch my head in why I choose this trail at this time, except that it is close to home and a short hike.
On the way up Mt. Welch was an easier that average trail until you hit the ledges. Once you hit the ledges all hell breaks lose. The trail then becomes a number of Class 2 open slab scrambles to the summit of Welsh before calming down on Mount Dickey. There a number of ledges that are need to be climbed and a large number of drop offs. Me being a beginning hiker struggled a little on the tougher sections. This part of trail can be very hazardous in wet and snowy conditions. Unfortunately today there was ice around the rock due to the freeze and thaw of water that was coming off the mountains. That did not stop me though from heading to summits of Welsh and Dickey.
The faces were still dangerous and still drawed fear into me, but not with the intensity that they last year. Still that being said I was sure you caution coming off the final ledge on Mount Dickey because to my left was a dropoff and there was ice all around this area. Even the occasional unfriendly icy spots couldn't stop me though. Views of Lafayette and Lincoln were winners and of Sandwich Mtn. breathtaking from the most of the exposed areas of this hike/scramble. I am very glad though that I got this mountain in before the winter took it's full grip here because later in winter this mountain would probably require some equipment I do not owe. Adios 2001, may many more good hiking season come my way.
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