Sunday, May 01, 2005

Back on Top Again

Team Sellers was happy to lace up the hiking boots again after spending a winter in cold storage (both Team Sellers and the boots). We had talked with someone the day before who had climbed Mt. Whiteface and they had encountered deep snow at around 3000' elevation. With this information we decided to stay under the snowline and wisely chose to hike Red Hill - located near Sandwich, NH.

The day's weather was perfect - highs in the 70s, and clear blue sky all around. Red Hill is so named because of the predominance of red pines on its flanks and summit. One of the popular approach trails to the top ascends Eagle Cliff - a fantastic perch overlooking beautiful Squam Lake. Beyond Eagle Cliff, the trail meandered past snow patches and vernal pools of meltwater - alive with the sounds of awakening animals.

At the top, a manned fire tower occupies Red Hill's summit. An incredible 360 degree view provides an awarding range of sights - an up close panorama of the entire Sandwich Range - including dominant summits Mts. Whiteface, Passaconaway, Chocorua, the Tripyramids, the Sleepers, and the looming mass of Sandwich Dome. To the south, one could spend significant time tracing the shoreline of both Squam Lake and the many inlets of Lake Winnipesaukee. Sometimes, broad ranging views from smaller peaks are impossible - their sightlines are blocked by the presence of larger neighbors. However, this is not the case with Red Hill. Its commanding location at the shores of NH's largest lakes serves up big sky and limitless horizons.

We retraced our steps as we hiked down back to the trailhead and parked car. It was a nice warm-up hike to what we expect to be another exceptional season of adventures in NH's White Mountains.


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