Salty's Chandler Mink Trip Reports

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Hiking Dates

03/03/2015

01/22/2012

12/27/2010

01/02/2009

06/18/2008

05/17/2008

03/23/2008


Date Climbed: 03/03/2015

Distance: 2.6 miles

Low Elevation: 550 feet
High Elevation: 1290 feet
Elevation Gain: 840 feet
Elevation Loss: 840 feet

Start Location: Home
Finish Location: Home
Route: Old Osgood Driveway and back, Old Osgood driveway, White Trail to Chandler Mink and back

Weather: Filtered sun, 20's, a little breeze. '
Companions: (none)

Photos:

Did a walk up to the road in the morning. Track is filled in again, but minimal sinking. That afternoon, decided to go a little farther. Up past 750' where I turned the last couple times, was sinking in a few inches, but still easy going with the old track just discernable. Deer had taken advantage of this a few times!

Made good time, and I was surprised to find myself at the junction so quick. Well, one last steep push and then more or less flat, so let's give it a whirl. Sinking in over a foot at first did nothing for my confidence, but that quickly turned to a wind packed surface that made for easy traveling. Nice to finally get this done, even with another 3-5Ē on the way tonight. A nicely established base is the main thing. Might have to think about Stewarts now.


Date Climbed: 01/22/2012

Distance: 2.4 miles

Low Elevation: 1299 feet
High Elevation: 550 feet
Elevation Gain: 749 feet
Elevation Loss: 749 feet

Start Location: Home
Finish Location: Home
Route: Old Osgood Driveway to Osgood Road, direct line to Chandler Mink viewpoint, Chandler Mink, White Trail, Old Osgood Driveway

Weather: Sunny, cool, little breeze
Companions: (none)

Photos: http://saltynh.smugmug.com/Hiking/Chandler-Mink-and-the

Having had to work the weekend (and the next as it turned out), I needed to get out before getting to it on Sunday, especially with gorgeous skies forecast. I haven't been out to the viewpoint behind me for a few years, so it was time to revisit. I set off on a more or less direct route, getting pushed left a fair bit due to more open woods. As it turned out, I almost ran into the house up the road. In all they're typical low elevation softwoods, wide open, with some old trees.

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I wasn't feeling too speedy in my snowshoes, but finally arrived at the sharp hill below the view (said hill being the reason there are so few trees at the view). This was tough, and I was slipping all over the place, including an indignant fall and difficult extraction which thankfully no one was there to see.

Topping out, at first I couldn't make out much, but as my eyes grew a bit keener all manner of peaks became visible. Last time I had spotted Gunstock and Chocorua, and they were plenty visible.

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But then there was also Whiteface, Passaconaway, the Tripyramids (with the south slide clearly visible), Sandwich and Washington.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Possibly Clay and Eisenhower were also visible. Oh yeah, I could also see Aubuchon Hardware. :)

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I decided to head up to Chandler Mink and take the trail back, and found recent activity of a deer up there, including a couple of bedding spots. There were also plenty of signs of coyote below there and on the other side. I can have trouble following the trail, as the blazes are sporadically well marked, and the woods are pretty open, but I noted flagging the whole route. Pretty nice views hike right behind me!


Date Climbed: 12/27/2010

Distance: 2.2 miles

Low Elevation: 550 feet
High Elevation: 1290 feet
Elevation Gain: 740 feet
Elevation Loss: 740 feet

Start Location: Bean Rd., Warner, NH
Finish Location: Bean Rd., Warner, NH
Route: Old Osgood Driveway, White Trail to Chandler Mink and back

Weather: Cloudy, windy
Companions: (none)

Photos:

A foot of new snow meant time to finally try out the new Tubbs Couloirs. Work great. A 5 minute walk turned into a longer one.


Date Climbed: 01/02/2009

Distance: 6.8 miles

Low Elevation: 450 feet
High Elevation: 1540 feet
Elevation Gain: 1700 feet
Elevation Loss: 1700 feet

Start Location: Bean Rd., Warner, NH
Finish Location: Bean Rd., Warner, NH
Route: Old Osgood Driveway, White Trail, Cross Minks Trail, Chandler Trail for short distance, old tote road above ski tow, then direct bushwhack to Bald Mink. Down Bald Mink to N. Village Rd. to Bean Rd.

Weather: About 7F, light winds towards end
Companions: (none)

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/569486448nlWiaT

Another interesting hike into the Mink Hills of Warner. Oh I know, borrrrring. No clear views, summits only 1200-1700 ft., but there are some trails and most importantly, them thare hills are right behind my house. Drive to the trailhead? I donít need no steenking drive to the trailhead. There are bits of 19th century history I keep stumbling upon on my hikes, there are some nice steep sections, and there are views to be had, albeit limited. So set a spell, grab a few of your favorite beverages (whatís a short trip report??), and indulge me in my journey. Money back guarantee! To those who havenít read my TRís yet, hikes to me are whole stories in themselves. Unfortunately, so are my TRís... My last two hikes were in late October and late November. This latter hike was on that first day of bitter Arctic air with nasty winds to boot. I was nice and toasty, but I canít say the same for my lungs. That air sapped me badly. I had planned on Nancy or Duck Pond Mtn., but only made it to the cascades, and that took a whopping 3 hours. I was left feeling pretty demoralized. Iíve been trying to get out since for that confidence booster hike, and with the holidays and all, just havenít managed it. Finally, I found some time Friday (big sigh oí relief). Iím fortunate to live in the old Osgood house built in 1789 (whatís a square corner?), so the old driveway to another Osgood house (now a cellar hole) is on my property, making access to the trail going up to Chandler Mink (the northernmost peak) as easy as pie. Wait, Iíve made pie. Pie isnít easy. Itís a freakiní pain! OK, easy as someone else making pie. So off I went with temps. in the single digits (but blessedly windless), and quickly met up with the real trail, and saw evidence of our recent and ever-so-patience-testing ice storm. Fortunately, it was not a blowdown-hell day at all. There were constant reminders, but nothing terribly annoying. The first stretch up to the cellar hole is an easy grade, and was made in good time. Past that, things gradually end up getting moderately steep, and my old friend SuckForBreath starting walking with me. OK. Fine. I will do this. Period. Plenty of time. Iím not totally lame. Iím sure as heck not sitting in all winter. It was fairly slow going, but I did make the familiar 1.1 mile trip to Chandler Mink in decent time. Chandler Mink is a 1250 foot peak that long ago held a 30 or 40 foot tower with a flag flying from it that was quite visible from town. I havenít seen pictures of this, but it must have been pretty cool to see it up on this nearby prominent peak. Itís since toppled in half, and is not a good place to get a view (plus thereís a definitive Iím Gonna Poop My Pants factor being up there). Elsewhere on the peak, there are limited views of Kearsarge and its surrounds, but a better viewpoint is had whacking some 900 feet NW of here, where views of Chocorua can be had. Some nice hot tea, a few pictures later and I was off for the prize of the day, unvisited by me as of yet. One of the minks is called Bald Mink. Bald? Mmmmm, views. Yet part of the Mink Hills Conservation Plan shows no views from this peak (note: Bald Mink is inadvertantly labeled Chandler on this map). Yet Google Earth shows a bare area on this peak. Only one way to figure this out. There are two trails that continue from here, splitting just below the summit. I was watching carefully for the junction, but I have continually missed the danged thing. One trail heads off to further down Bean Rd., making a loop of sorts, and the other goes to the bottom of an old ski tow. I hadnít hiked the latter yet, and was keen to get it mapped out on the GPS. I was about 150 vertical feet below the summit, making quick time (ohhh, lovely downhill) when I realized something was missing. My poles! Ar-rar-ragagh. My knees let me my brain know just what it thought of having to go back up again, and folks, I just canít reprint here what was said between those two. I had also realized I had missed the junction earlier, but as it turns out, you naturally head to the ski tow anyway. The route is flagged, and other footsteps were present, so of course, following them took me right off the trail before I realized it. Ah well, theyíre going in the right direction, and the trip up to Bald Mink would be a whack anyway. Apparently this was a tote road, although at the point where it veered away from Bald Mink, it was pretty much an annoying brook, too. Looking back, I was above the ski tow by about 200 feet. The whack started out reminiscent of the Whites, with lots of young firs with dead branches all in your face (and lots going down the shower drain later), but for the most part as youíd expect at this elevation, itís open woods (apparently with more blowdowns to skirt as of late). I had another slow breath sucking, many-a-stopping slog up a ridge, only to see a valley below separating me from Bald Mink (no map today). I donít like them PUDís, no sirree (the bright side of a break from going uphill cannot be seen by this author). OK, fine, Iím getting up there. Period. I was feeling mighty lonely out there, thinking I could very well be the only person to have walked this particular spot of land in a long time. Needless to say, this romanticized hiking vision was soon put back into reality with the sighting of footprints. Hmm, going in my direction, too. I followed this for about 20 minutes before losing them in a windswept area, and never had any indication they were on Bald Mink. Possibly just a hunter. So now this is where it got steep. 40 degrees or more sections, where upon reaching a more level area, I was greeted with yet another steep section. And on and on. The topo belies this because of the alternating steepness. I considered bailing at this point down to a nearby road, but I was only 1000 feet from my objective. Sigh. Suck it up. Onward. 20 seconds of hiking, 10 seconds of resting. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Finally, I could see a high point coming up and knew I was there. The all too familiar boost of energy kicked in. And there were views, albeit limited by the tops of deciduous trees. It was more like Rogaine Mink, rather than Bald Mink. Patís Peak and the Uncanoonucs in Goffstown were readily evident. Monadnock shouldíve been, but I was looking in the wrong direction. I was a happy man again. Granted, it was only about 3 miles, but jeesh, I accomplished what I wanted and was even rewarded for it. On top is a combo cairn and firepit, and a little shelter. OK, the fir boughs were long dead and blown off, but the wind was picking up at this time, and it worked well to enjoy some more tea out of the wind. I checked the time, and was surprised to see it was 2:00, 4.25 hours after I left. Yes, there will be no hint of speed for Salty this winter. I wasnít going back the way I came with 2 hills to climb again, so I took a bearing on a structure I could see below on N. Village Rd. I was crushed after a quick descent (and I mean quick --- it was steep, but Iíve now experienced the joy of glissading) to see a ridge rising above me in my way. Oh, wait, stupid. Down in the valley, the valley so low, was a road. Duh. OK, time for the 2.5 mile road slog. Even the slight grade going up Bean Rd. was causing much huffing. Oof. The muscles on the insides of my thighs hurt. Thatís a new one. But only an hour after I left Bald Mink,, I walked into my home, tired, happy and full of tales of adventure! I fell asleep 10 minutes later. Later I was pleasantly surprised to see I had done 1700 of total elevation gain for a 6.8 mile total trip. Not terribly shabby. Now whereís my danged crampons?


Date Climbed: 06/18/2008

Distance: 2.6 miles

Low Elevation: 550 feet
High Elevation: 1280 feet
Elevation Gain: 730 feet
Elevation Loss: 730 feet

Start Location: 297 Bean Rd., Warner
Finish Location: 297 Bean Rd., Warner
Route: White Trail, X-Minks Tr, Bean Rd., return

Weather: Upper 60s, some clouds
Companions: None

Photos:

Mapping out the trail and confirming pink flagged trail is the Cross Minks Trail. There's a logging road parallelling the White Trail towards the top. Visible on GE.


Date Climbed: 05/17/2008

Distance: 3.5 miles

Low Elevation: 550 feet
High Elevation: 1280 feet
Elevation Gain: 730 feet
Elevation Loss: 730 feet

Start Location: Bean Rd., Warner, NH
Finish Location: Bean Rd., Warner, NH
Route: Old Osgood driveway, White trail to clearing, bushwhack to trail crossing, to east logged area, to Chandler Mink, to viewpoint, to Old Osgood driveway to home.

Weather: Started sunny, clouded up quickly
Companions: none

Photos: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/563650344YXKHUB

Lost the trail immediately upon leaving the clearing. Ended up way right of it. Found an enormous (ash?) tree just above the logged out area below some ledges (waypointed). _x000D_ _x000D_ Logged out area is not clear, but there are quite a few paths through it. The third Mink is visible from there, but that's about it. Trees are maybe about 6 or 7 feet high. Found a trail in the logged area, but continued away from Chandler, so cut through a wall of trees to find another path, this one taped. This too went below Chandler, so BW the rest of the way to Chandler, with a really steep section at the end. Suspect this trail goes to the ski tow trail._x000D_ _x000D_ No real view from atop of Chandler this time of year. Thought better of climbing the fallen tower. BW to the viewpoint a lot rougher w/o snow! Boulders all over the place. View was OK from the VP.


Date Climbed: 03/23/2008

Distance: 1.5 miles

Low Elevation: 550 feet
High Elevation: 1280 feet
Elevation Gain: 730 feet
Elevation Loss: 730 feet

Start Location: Bean Rd., Warner, NH
Finish Location: Bean Rd., Warner, NH
Route: Home to near corner of private property, to far corner, then direct to clearing. Up and over towards Chandler Mink summit, down along easterly tape line, direct to clearing and back the same way.

Weather:
Companions: None

Photos: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/563649248LQeDJe

Snow pack was firm. Great to be out hiking again. Beautiful clear day, light winds. A little huffing and puffing at first, but felt very strong after that. Found one of the clearings and created a waypoint. Mt. Chocorua plainly visible off in the distance (60 mi). Trodded around trying to find the other two clearings, but couldn't. Found a line of pink tape, presumably from the Chandler Mink summit down to the east. Need to follow sometime. Also saw footprints zig zagging everywhere along the route above the far corner of the private property all the way up. Sunken down a bit, so looks like someone was determined at something.