Friday, July 20, 2012

Imp Face - Seek the Peak Warm-up

After so much anticipation we were finally headed to New Hampshire for Seek the Peak week.  This was going to be a very special year for a lot of reasons, but  more about that in my upcoming post on the Seek the Peak event itself.  For now, the warm-up...

We arrived at Moose Brook Campground, our usual Seek the Peak location, on Thursday afternoon.  We went a day early this year so that we'd have time for warm-up hike on Friday and be able to go to the registration event in North Conway without having to worry about getting back to set up camp afterward.  We set up the new LL Bean King Pine tent (which we really love) and got settled in for the evening.  Nobody else in our group was arriving before Friday so we had a quiet evening.

Home sweet home for the next week

We had been hoping that the recent heat wave was going to break before we got to NH, and did it ever!  We woke up on Friday morning to brilliant blue skies and a 42 degree temperature reading!  Chilly, but felt so much better than the hot, sticky weather of late.  We made coffee and went through the maps and books looking for a good hike to get our legs going for Saturday.  We thought about a couple of possibilities in western Maine (since we were so close).  Caribou Mt. looked like a good possibility, but we finally decided to go to Imp Face in Pinkham Notch.  We'd wanted to do this one for a while and it would be a good chance to wave to our friends that were doing their Seek the Peak hike on Friday.

Hmmm, where to go...

The hike up the Imp Trail to Imp Face is only 2.2 miles with about 1900' of elevation.  Perfect for a quick warm-up.  The trail at the beginning is soft and the grades are easy.  Just a nice walk through the sunny woods.  There are some nice brooks and pools along the way.

Before long the trail gets steep and stays that way.  The climbing was pretty easy and it didn't take long to get to the ledges.

Ladder on some steep ledges

As we headed out to the ledges I discovered that I'd somehow drawn first blood.  Not quite sure how.  It's not a real hike unless there's blood though...

I quickly decided that my wound wasn't life threatening and was then overcome by the views.  This spot has perhaps the best views of the northern Presidentials of anywhere.

Line of Presidents from the ledges

Pinkham Notch and the Wildcats

Long way down!

Checkin' out the view of the Carters

Mt Washington - see you tomorrow!

Checking in?

We sat, had a snack and enjoyed the views for a long time.  This is such a wonderful little hike.  It's certainly no wonder that it's on 52 With a View.

Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Clay, Washington

Best northern Presi view anywhere

Pineapple, chocolate and potato chip.  Not bad!

On Imp Face - 52WAV #11.  Already love this list!

Oh no - the chocolate melted on the pineapple and nuts!  Hey, wait a minute...  Mmmmm

We finally decided it was time to head down.  We had time to stop back at the campground and take a swim before heading to North Conway for registration.  The week was definitely off to the right start!

Not sure if this is actually the Imp profile.  Looks impish though

One more look...

Heading down

Nice spot to cool off

Smooth trails, beautiful walk

The trail map and some Google Earth aerial views:


  1. What an outstanding vista! Madison looks particularly fine.

    1. It sure was Owen. Been wanting to do this one for a long time and we really got a perfect day. Hope things are well with you. Look forward to getting out on the trail with you again soon.


  2. Can't wait to get up there Mark, so glad this is on the 52WAV list! Great shots!

    1. Thanks guys. Just realized that I never replied to this. Been too busy writing more trip reports :)

      52WAV has so many great hikes! We definitely need to get together for some of them.


  3. Nice warm-up hike indeed. The northern Presidentials don't even line up that nicely from Wildcat Ridge. Nice view!

    1. Thanks Dan. It's definitely a little hike that gives back more than the effort. I just love that angle on the Presis. It was really hazy the day that we were on the Carters last month so we didn't get the full effect. This more than made up for it!