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Taking on the Osceolas

Located in the Sandwich Range — although not in the wilderness — are two NH 4000-footers going by the name of Mt Osceola and East Osceola, the elevations being 4340- and 4156-feet, respectively. The former offers delightful eastward-plus views from a rocky summit ledge of bare rock. They hiked up from Tripoli Road which links I-93 to Waterville Valley offering an alternative to Route 49, at least in three of the seasons (it’s closed in winter). The other access is from Route 112. The one-way distance from this direction is 2.9 miles with just over 2000-feet of elevation gain, but then a mile, one-way and another 400′ up is added in order to get the East Peak. And of course one has to return. Doing so also requires hikers to take on a rock “chimney” that, to some, is pretty terrifying. Thankfully there is a by-pass to this chimney, but guess what? It’s scary, too. That said, our guest, with the help and encouragement of Redline Guide Mike Maciel, got it done. Both peaks, in the books.

Highlights of the day were the fact that this hike captured peaks 9 and 10 out of the 48 for our guest, it was her first winter-like hiking experience — which she seemed to enjoy — and that she was treated to hot tea on East Osceola and fed some gummy bears a bit later as a pick-me-up. Trust us, this is only the sort of thing you get from hanging out with Redline Guides.

Happy hiker, starting out fresh. Already it is a gorgeous day.

It may be fall down low, but up here there are sure signs winter is around the corner.

A winter wonderland.

Our guests are typically given the honor to summit first, particularly in nice weather.

Mt Osceola, in the books.

Up next is the East Peak. Note the bulge nearing the low point? That is the location of the infamous “chimney.”

Thou shall not pass — um, no thanks on the “chimney.”

Thou shall by-pass — though, yikes, it doesn’t feel much safer.

The summit of East Osceola. Good job! Now to get back to the main peak.

Traversing the tunnel brought about smiles.

Re-visiting the main peak, Mt Washington looming in the background.

Good lead, Mike, and congratulations to our guest for coming two peaks closer to her goal. And thanks for doing it with Redline Guiding.

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