Passaconaway & Whiteface / Georgiana Falls

Date of Hike: 10/13/12
 
Downes Brook Trail: 5.2 miles
Kate Sleeper Trail: 0.8 miles
Rollins Trail: 2.5 miles
Dicey's Mill Trail: 0.9 miles
Walden Trail: 0.7 miles
Square Ledge Trail: 0.7 miles
Passaconaway Cutoff: 1.7 miles
Oliverian Brook Trail: 1.9 miles
14.4 miles 3,750 feet elevation gain

Trip Report:
- Originally Alton and I planned to hike into King Ravine on Saturday but after a cold snap of weather we decided to stay below treeline and join in with Bob & Geri and their dog Dusty for a Passaconaway - Whiteface hike.
- We spotted a car at the Oliverian Brook Trailhead and then headed to the Downes Brook Trailhead and began the long gradual walk to the Kate Sleeper Trail junction.  The Downes Brook Trail has great footing and is a beautiful trail on a nice crisp fall morning.  Making the hike even more enjoyable was the foliage, while peak foliage had just past it was still very good and the fallen leaves mad for a colorful carpeted trail.
- There was one catch to this fun stroll through the woods - ten water crossings! More than half of the water crossings were tricky and care was needed to keep the feet dry. Luckily Dusty is a water crossing ninja and he had no issues on nine out of ten crossing while the rest of us got our trail runners wet at various time. Eventhough our toes got a little chilled the water crossings added to the fun of the hike and the weather was not too chilly so everything dried up quickly.
- Once at the Kate Sleeper junction we quickly headed up to the Rollins Trail and over to the open south summit of Mount Whiteface to take in the incredible views of the Squam Lake region.
- After a nice break in the warm sun we headed north over the Rollins Trail where we ran into over two dozen hikers, most of which came from Ferncroft by way of the Blueberry Ledge Trail.
- Mount Passaconaway is a wooded summit but there are a couple of outlooks close by that have great views over to the higher peaks of the Pemigewasset Wilderness and a close up view of Mount Paugus and Mount Chocorua.
- Mount Whiteface and Passaconaway were peaks number 42 and 43 for Dusty who still had loads of energy for the descent back to the Kancamagus Highway.  The drop down the summit cone of Passaconaway was a steep and rocky one but once on the Passaconaway Cutoff the trail became less rugged and we made good time to the Oliverian Brook Trail.
- The Oliverian Brook Trail was a really great walk out but there was one last water crossing that we had to manage which was a lot of fun.  It involved a balancing act on a fallen Birch branch and one last leap from a rock to the bank of the brook.
- After the brook crossing the trail was a nice flat walk along old logging and railroad beds before hooking onto a cross-country ski trail through a pine grove.
- We made it back to the car just before 4 p.m. and Bob and Geri headed back to Twin Mountain and Alton and I headed over to Lincoln (AKA Leaf Peeper Central) before meeting back up with Bob & Geri for a yummy dinner and drinks at Rosa Flamingo's in Bethlehem making for a great ending to a kick ass day in the White Mountains!
 
10/14/12 Georgian Falls Trail: 2.5 miles (750 feet elevation gain)
- On Sunday we were going to meet up with Scott and his brother Chris and their hiking group for a hike up the steep Arrow Slide but the weather was subpar for slide hiking and we didn't have any light traction with us making us bail out the night before.
- We decided to sleep in for once and then head over to Route 3 and check out Georgiana and Harvard Falls.  The trail was soaked but it wasn't raining so we were able to stay relatively dry.
- This is a great hike for beginners, it is a short hike with just one steep 0.25 mile section between the upper and lower falls.  The Falls are pretty powerful and there looks to be a pretty cool water hole below the Lower Falls which would be a nice place for a dip in the summer.
 
 Geri on the first crossing of the Downes Brook
 Downes Brook Trail
 The gang at crossing #2 of the Downes Brook
 Alton contemplating her next step
 Bob leads Dusty from rock to rock
 Jump Dusty jump!
Bob, Dusty, and Geri crossing Downes Brook 
 Fall on the Downes Brook Trail
 Downes Brook Trail was a foliage carpet!
 Another crossing of the Downes Brook
 The gentle Downes Brook Trail
Geri carefully making her way across the Downes Brook 
 Bob lending a hand to Geri
 The Gang makes yet another crossing of the Downes Brook
 This was the toughest crossing...and we actually didn't have to do it!
 Alton helping Geri
 Downes Brook Trail = Soft footing!
 Downes Brook
 Last major crossing of the Downes Brook
 Trail junk from an old camp
 Trail junk!
 Approaching the Whiteface / Sleeper Col
 Kate Sleeper Trail Junction
 Kate Sleeper Trail
 Squam Lake Region
 Sandwich Range
 Mount Paugus and Chocorua
 Mount Whiteface Brook
Mount Passaconaway 
 Dicey's Mill Trail
 Site of the former Camp Rich
 View from the outlook below Mount Passaconaway Summit
 Pemi Wilderness
 Mount Carragain
 Pemi Wilderness
 Mount Passaconaway Summit Area
 #43 for Dusty!
 Alton enjoying the views
 Belly Rub!
 Alton and Dusty
 Sandwich Range
 Sandwich Range
 Sandwich Range
Square Ledge Trail Junction 
 Birch trees done shedding their leaves on the Square Ledge Trail
 Small slide on the Square Ledge Trail
 Passaconaway Cutoff / Square Ledge Trail Junction
High on the Passaconaway Cuttoff Trail
 Descending the Passaconaway Cutoff Trail
 Foliage Steps!
 Sun shining through the leafless trees
 Passaconaway Cutoff Trail
 Campsite
 Passaconaway Cutoff Trail
 Mid-afternoon sun on a perfect fall day!
 Lower section of the Passaconaway Cutoff Trail
 Geri balancing on a well place Birch branch on the final water crossing of the day!
 Beaver Pond along the Oliverian Brook Trail
 Oliverian Brook Trail
 Old Railroad Grade along the Oliverian Brook Trail
 

---------- Georgiana Falls Hike ----------

 Harvard Brook
 Georgiana Falls Path
 Alton in her 'ninja' outfit
 Harvard Brook
 Harvard Brook
 Small Cascade
 Marshmallows!
 Harvard Brook
Georgiana Falls
 Alton at the lower end of the falls
Red blazed trail, a rarity! 
 Harvard Falls
 Above Harvard Falls
 Lincoln and North Woodstock blanketed in clouds
 Harvard Falls
Harvard Falls 
Georgiana Falls Trail


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