For a hike on this Saturday morning, I chose a trip Washburn ridge in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness. I drove to North Hudson and took the Blue Ridge Road west to the northern terminus of the Hoffman Notch Trail. There is a sign there and a small parking lot.
My first 2.4 miles were on the Hoffman Notch Trail heading south up into the notch. A 0.9 miles there is extensive beaver activity and flooding. A few logs are often strategically placed to assist the hiker to negotiate the submerged trail. I managed to cross today.
|The nose of this old car greets you early on in the hike.|
|No problem with this crossing.|
|This crossing is often the problem.|
|A nice small cascade|
At the location where I left the trail, there is a large headwall. It was still covered in ice on this day, although some large chunks came thundering down. I saw a couple small cairns as I started out, but no indication of human presence after that.
|I climbed up to the left of this ice flow.|
I kept a wall of cliffs on my right for perhaps a half mile until they ended.
|Looking back towards Hornet Cobbles|
|... and a little higher with snow.|
As I got up to around 2000' the ground became snow covered and a little slippery for climbing.
|Big Marsh in the distance below.|
|Really open hardwoods just below the summit.|
Alas, all good things must come to an end. The pine and spruce closed in and I had to paw my way through the wet snowy branches. At least it was only for a quarter mile.
|The summit ridge.|
I reached the summit and found no view were to be had. Earlier I had thought about continuing over to Sand Pond Mountain, but now it just didn't feel like it, so I retraced my steps in the snow back to the trail and out. I would find a different hike for the afternoon.
|Coming back down and looking back up at the cliff wall.|
|A last look at the icy headwall.|
Hike Distance: 7 miles
Hike Time: 4.25 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~2000'
|The route (click image to enlarge)|
|The Nat. Geo. map|