Salty's Potash Trip Reports


Hiking Dates


Date Climbed: 02/26/2011

Distance: 4.4 miles

Low Elevation: 1250 feet
High Elevation: 2680 feet
Elevation Gain: 1501 feet
Elevation Loss: 1501 feet

Start Location: Downes Brook TH
Finish Location: Downes Brook TH
Route: Downes Brook Trail, Mount Potash Trail to end and back

Weather: Sunny, cold, brisk wind on top
Companions: New Hampshire, JustJoe, HardCoreIdiot, Desi, Chrissy


Given it was another crappy weekend for Brian's Madams finish, we had some trouble coming up with a hike. Thanks to copious shoveling on Friday, I could feel my groin acting up again, and I jumped at Joe's suggestion of Potash. Short and sweet. Abundant sunshine but very windy, so this really fit the bill.

As expected, we found an unbroken trail (and an empty lot), but only were sinking down maybe 6-8 or so. I was in great spirits, as nothing was going to keep me from finishing this hike, and the usual crap-giving provided much laughter. We saw a logging clearing on the way up, and Brian and I whored some views from it, traveling off trail a short distance. My purpose was to also see how the snow was consolidating off-trail, and while not there, it was getting there. We got some nice views north and rejoined the group, chiding Joe for not being a proper Views Whore. He made up for it by taking pictures of every little trickle of water he could find.

Finally the trail starts to ascend and we arrived at the view ledge, catching a nice view of Chocorua and Passaconaway and its slide. Appetites were wetted, and more vows to climb it uttered. We could see the knob that marks the end of the trail ahead and looking very high up. I was feeling the groin a little bit, but nothing major, but the distance didn't seem so short. We carried on, slugging up some steep sections, and the woods opening up promising the top nearby. Here Greg and Chrissy decided to make a full assault on the summit instead of the slabbing direction the trail takes. We wished them luck with a laugh.

The top finally came with a super view spanning Passaconaway, the Sleepers, Tripyramids, Osceolas, Huntingtons, Hancocks, The Captain, Carrigain, Vose Spur and the Nancy Pond area peaks, with Willey poking out also. Much to Joe's disappointment, George was in the clouds. The wind was pretty good here, so we spent only about 10-15 minutes on top, but this was definitely 52 With A View worthy. I love the near view of Carrigain Notch, with only a small unnamed hill in the way, and finally got a good closeup of cliffy Captain.

Going down was a very quick affair, with the landmarks ticking off quickly and lots of people heading up. For the last mile, however, my groin muscles were really starting to hurt and once again I was struggling near the end. I was very glad this hike wasn't any longer, and will have to take it easy the next few weeks until it fully heals. A lack of snowfall around here would really help...