Friday, June 3, 2011

Mt. Field & Mt. Willey - 5-29-11

So after about another 3 week drought, it was back to the mountains to keep pace with this quest. I get nervous of falling behind and having to bust out multiple hikes in December, so the plan for Memorial Day weekend was to try and get 4 more 4000ers.

After the Bruins game on Friday night, we relaxed Saturday and prepared ourselves to hike Sunday. Bill and I set out from MA early on Sunday morning and headed to Crawford Depot. I think we set off up the trail around 8:40am. Having gone up Tom this winter on a crisp and beautiful winter day, there was certainly some excitement to grab Avalon, Field, and Willey as we headed up the trail. The air was humid and heavy and the temperature comfortable as we started. We took the little side trail on the way up Avalon, but we decided to peek at the cascades on the way out. As we ascended further, the forest began to be engulfed in a misting cloud that hung over the mountains all morning, which gave us no views on any of the summits. Looking forward to getting Avalon again some other day, but for now, its just one less mountain on another list (52 with a view).

Snow on the Willey Range
We then connected with the Willey Range Trail, which goes up and down a few times, but it did not seem give us any problems when it comes to elevation gain or loss. There are just a couple short, steep and rocky sections.   As far as conditions go, everything was bare-bootable. The only snow left on the trail was after Mt. Field, as shown here. The ground and all of the trees were soaked with water, and on top of the misting, it caused our clothes to get damp, but thankfully the temps were well above normal, otherwise we would have had to pay more attention to that fact.

The summit of Mt. Field has a nice open area at the summit where you can sit and enjoy the summit a bit, and I did as I reached my 16th peak since January. There are no views, but its all good. We added a rock to the cairn and off when went to Willey.

Speaking of Willey, it sure was a wet one as the misting picked up on the Southern Willey Range. We made it to Willey, my 17th peak of the year. There is an outlook just past the summit that would provide excellent views during a clear day. Other than that, the summit cairn is basically right smack in the middle of the trail. Before headed back along the range, Bill and I shared an orange, which I have to say is starting to become a favorite snack on the trail. It reminds me of in between periods playing hockey in high school. The orange is probably worth its weight in energy, especially for a day hike.

Me with Avalon in background
Beecher Cascade
As we made it back to the open area between Field and Avalon, where you get a good shot looking back at Avalon, we noticed the sky slowly start to clear up. It was the first time we could glimpse towards the east and get a sense of the altitude, which was great. The rest of the way back down to the depot went by fairly quickly as the knees and legs enjoyed the whole trip and were feeling great. We treated our feet to the ice cold Beecher Cascades, which was refreshing. Number 16 and 17 in the bag on an overall great hike.

Selected photos from this trip:


  1. Hey Dan, great report! Looks like a lot of fun...surprising how much snow is still up there. We had the same kind of weather when we were on Field, but I don't think you're missing much view-wise.
    Keep it up!

  2. Thanks! Yeah you're right, but the waterfalls made up for the views.