Steve Smith and Fred Knight
180-deg Panorama from ridge (click for higher resolution)
With temperatures expected to stay in the single digits and with increasing wind expected, Steve and I got started at 8am from the Sandwich Mtn. Trailhead, located just before Waterville Valley. The morning light was still hitting the hills. The Sandwich Mtn Trail climbs steadily and then more steeply onto a ridge where we got our first view of the Whites. We got to the Daniels Brook Trail junction after 2 hrs and 2.5 miles, all with microspikes on a broken trail. With 1.3 miles to go for the Sandwich Dome summit, we soon switched to snowshoes due to deeper snow and an unbroken trail. We reached the summit at 11:20. The sky was almost cloudless, a gorgeous blue with 0 deg F temperature and not too much wind—simply a treat with good views toward all the Whites. Since our first view, clouds has gathered to the north, and Franconia Ridge and the southern end of the Presidentials were in clouds. We could see the nearby peaks is bright sunlight.
All the pics are here.
On our return, we did the 0.2-mile excursion to Mt Jennings with a good view of the route to Sandwich Dome that we had just hiked. The return was back to microspikes. We met one solo hiker and a group coming up; otherwise no other hikers. Quite a pleasant trail, if less majestic than farther north. Definitely a good choice for the day.
8 miles, 6 hrs, 2600′ rise, kmz file for 3-d view in google earth.