Day 2 of the great north whack weekend. We got up early, had a Big Greasy Breakfast, broke down and headed out 3 miles up Rt. 26 to Corser Brook Road. Thankfully, we had info. on where to go and what to expect, and I had mapped out the route, plus an unknown route which would cut down the distance to get NW Crystal. We drove, and drove, and drove, taking all the requisite turns, and came to Roaring Brook Road, the mystery road that might deliver us to shortness. We went in quite a ways, but a deep mud puddle over 10 miles from the highway was enough to stop us. We turned around, and made our way up another road to near N. Blue Ridge. We would have to walk a bit to get NW Crystal, but ah well, that's the way it goes.
We noted a road going towards NW Crystal, but opted for the short whack first up N. Blue Ridge. A little mucky logging cut, soaked from the showers that were coming and going now, and then we hit nice fern woods. It was open woods the whole way, and I was surprised when we hit the summit so quick, 40 minutes later.
Bitchin'. We would then take the NNE ridge to NW Crystal. It was a gorgeous fernwhack with moose trails right on the ridge.
The col was a bit wet, and just as we emerged from it, we saw it. The wind gauging tower we had heard about and seen earlier. OK, now we know where that was. We checked it out, and discussed about how now all the peaks in this region were now at risk of wind towers, much like Dixville Peak and Mt. Kelsey were now closed off due to a wind project that promised oh so much. It's private property, though, and the Libertarian in me can only try to suck it up.
Still, this may sum it up.
I didn't realize until later, this is the spot that the mystery road ended. Stupid mud puddle. We found another road heading in our direction for a bit, and Brian (correctly) guessed it was the road by the car. The woods continued being great, with ferns and easy hobblebush, but now it was flat out raining, albeit lightly.
Shortly before the summit, it turned to shit. Sorry for the language, but total, complete shit is what it was. We nailed a blowdown field head on, with no way out but up. Crap. Again??? Seriously? Every time we climbed our way over or under one blowdown, another greeted us 10 feet away. Greg had made his way up quickly somehow, while Brian and I veered to the right into young fir/spruce, which had to be pushed through, and yes, was loaded with blowdowns. We kept calling to Greg to get a bearing since we couldn't see squat, and he barely got closer every time we yelled. Argh. The final blowdown eventually presented itself 10 feet from the summit. The lovely view from the summit.
So we headed much more left of where we came in and found better woods. This is relative. It was swimmy young fir, but with just a hint of moose paths to allow us through, and I kept looking right to avoid the blowdown field visible. We came back to the lovely woods and headed back to the road, now in a full moderate rain. I was getting wet, and also chilled. Geez. So much for showers. We followed the road and figured it was going to come out on the Pittsburg road network, but it then took a left and took us right back to our car. An easy decision was made of dry clothes and Scorpio's restaurant over doing W. Tucker and N. Crystal, which were a fairly long drive away. We all had to work the next day, and although it was only 1:00, we wouldn't get back until 8:00. The rain had just sucked all the fun out at that point, anyway, and even though I absolutely knew the last 2 peaks were a piece of cake, we would do that on a more pleasant day. Stupid rain never let up the whole way. Phooey.