My friend Lucy is down to her last three 4000-footers (well, now she’s down to her last two after today) and needed Mt. Whiteface (the one in the Sandwich range of NH). I had hiked this mountain last year with Devon, as a loop with Mt. Passaconaway. We were joined by fellow hikers Mandi and Katie for about two-thirds of today’s hike.
All five of us met up at Ferncroft Road and hit the trail (well, the dirt road to the trail) at about 7:00 AM. We took the Blueberry Ledge trail up, which starts off pretty easy, then gets steeper and rocky, and just below the summit offers some challenging but doable ledge scrambles.
Just before the true (unmarked) summit is a spectacular ledge with views of Moultonborough, Lake Winnipesaukee, Red Hill, and Squam Lake. There is a USGS marker for Whiteface here, which Devon and I missed last time. After a brief break for pictures and lunch, we continued ahead on the Rollins trail toward Mt. Passaconaway.
The Rollins trail is partly an easy ridge walk, but with some rocky ups and downs thrown in. We followed this trail a couple miles to its junction with the Dicey’s Mill trail on Mt. Passaconaway. Here we parted ways, Mandi and Katie heading up to summit Passaconaway, and Lucy, Devon and I heading down Dicey’s Mill trail to return to the parking lot. The descent was pretty uneventful – some steep downhill gravelly spots, some rocky spots, one stream crossing (using a fallen tree), and a relatively flat and easy hike out the last 1.6 miles after passing the junction with the Tom Wiggin trail.
I hit my best pace for a 4000-footer on today’s hike, largely due to trying to keep up with hikers much faster than myself (plus the easy parts near the beginning and end, and the not-so-rocky descent down the Dicey’s Mill trail helped as well). Considering the total time included our 20 minutes or so near the summit of Whiteface for pictures and lunch, our pace came out faster than book time! Woohoo!