Clouds on Black Mountain

After finding ourselves in the area on a clouded day, we decided to hike Black Mountain via the Chippewa Trail. Hearing that it was surrounded by clouds, you may think it was socked in, but we still got some great views, along with a small side trip to the old abandoned lime kilns.

The cloud-capped Kinsman Range to the east.

We began the trail, and soon came to a snowmobile trail that leads over to some lime kilns. This is where they would put limestone and burn it to produce lime. Lime was taken out of nearby mountains such as Sugarloaf Mountains. We actually met a caretaker while we were there, who told us about the history of them. This specific kiln is 20 feet tall.

The tallest of the lime kilns.
Yet another lime kiln.

From here, the trail winds into the Kingsbury-Chippewa Trail Forest. As a side note, many lady's slippers pepper the forest floor.  Before the trail reaches the main ledges, we took some side trails that lead to smaller ledges, where we could see Sugarloaf Mountain.

Sugarloaf Mountain on Jeffers Mountain.

The trail got steeper, but not too bad. We first came to a large ledge looking west into Vermont, and this is where the clouds can be seen. Early in the day, I thought that we shouldn't even go for a hike, but once we reached the first views, I realized we were on the only mountain that wasn't engulfed in clouds!

Looking west from Black Mountain.

The trail weaved in and out of the trees on the ledges for a while. We soon opened up to the large ledges below the summit. Black Mountain, like any other mountain with the same name, is named for it's dark appearance due to the pine trees, but the rocks are awfully white.

The summit of Black Mountain above the ledges.

The trail briefly ducks into the trees then meets with the Black Mountain Trail below the summit. The view from the summit, and all the ledges from here, offered a great view of the cloud-capped Kinsman Range, which appeared ominous beneath the clouds.

The Kinsman Range includes Mt.Moosilauke, The Kinsmans, and Cannon Mountain.

We took herd paths to some enormous ledges on the eastern end of the ridge. I will definitely be returning to this peak on a clear day. It's no wonder it's on the 52 With a View list!

Knights Hill from Black Mountain.
Looking at Jeffers Mountain, with Mt.Clough to the left.
Mt.Moosilauke behind Mt.Clough.
A glacial erratic on the eastern end of the summit.
The lower ledges from the summit.

The descent was gentle and scenic. We sure did get some pretty unique views! It was a good hike, but I'm sure it still would've been a better climb if there were no clouds. The lime kilns were also a great side trip! Overall, I will be returning to Black Mountain at some point, on a better day!

1 comment:

  1. WOW!!! What an incredible blog update. I usually check in on your blog a couple times a week. What a special treat to check in and enjoy reading about 4 amazing hike entries! Your pics are absolutely beautiful, I especially love the sunrise...

    To hike in pitch black darkness up a mountain at such an early hour to catch the rising sun is a testament to the absolute true passion you have of the mountains and outdoors.

    Keep them coming...