Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mt. Zealand & Guyot 11/19/11

What to be thankful for this week? How about another weekend of incredible New England weather in the mountains. My brother and I decided to take on Mt. Zealand and Mt. Guyot on Saturday before it got fishy as to when the road would be closed. Here began the push for Bill's final 10 White Mountain 4000 footers.

From the start there was a thin coating of snow on the trail and through the woods. The hike in was very pleasant, and it was the first time headed up the easy Zealand Trail. It was very picturesque and we enjoyed this area very much. There were several bridges along the trail that skirt and cross the boggy area. The open area offered great views, especially up to Zealand, but no luck with any wildlife. I'll never see anything!

We stopped at the waterfall lookout below the hut, where there is a stand of some sort. My guess is that it must be for wildlife viewing? I have not seen anything like that anywhere else. The waterfall below the hut was impressive, so we stopped a second to snap a few pictures there. We then made our way up to Zealand Falls Hut, where we took a super quick break before moving on. When we did, we came across another very impressive waterfall above the hut.
Me at waterfall below the hut
Zealand Falls Hut
Falls above the hut
As we ascended, the coating of snow remained consistent, but never posed any issue. Our traction stayed in the packs all day. The section from the hut up to the cliff is pretty steep within the distance it travels. The reward is the incredible view from Zeacliff, which was another new Pemi vantage point in the books for me. I loved the view of Carrigain and the Hancocks.
Mt. Carrigain from Zeacliff
Tom, Field, Willey, and the Presidentials from Zeacliff...awesome
We haven't even made the view-less summit of Zealand, and the views on the way were already satisfying enough for the whole hike. We climbed higher on our way to Zealand. The sun was beaming through the trees and the weather was comfortable. We passed a few tricky spots, the ladder, and continued to the summit spur.
Icy Twinway - I don't like the Twinway on this side either!
Bill coming up over the icy section
We hiked along the spur trail to the summit. Zealand was peak number 39 for Bill and my second time to Zealand this year. Although nothing there at the summit but a fancy sign and regular looking cairn, we were enjoying the hike, feeling good, and enjoying the sun-splashed summit.
Me and Bill at the summit of Mt. Zealand
We hiked on the Twinway toward Mt. Guyot. The trail between here is pretty easy. As we descended from Zealand though, it appeared to us that it seemed far to where we were going. However, sometimes its easier than it looks (sometimes its not always the case). I've hiked this section before, but sometimes you see something you didn't before. Despite how far it looked, it didn't take us long to get there, and Mt. Guyot is a unique peak. The scrub is about waist to shoulder high as you crest the summit where there is a bare section of rocks that overlooks the Pemi Wilderness.
Bill standing in front of what will be his final challenge
Me strolling around the summit looking all over the Pemi
I've counted this claim of Guyot as my 32nd Trailwright72 peak. Although not on the list of 4000 footers, Guyot is 4580' and creeps out from the trees just a little bit. This was a great and enjoyable hike, and it had it all including outstanding views from Zeacliff, a view-less summit, an exposed summit, waterfalls, snow, sun, Zealand Falls Hut (which is open), and picturesque Zealand Pond. We hiked out feeling good ready for the next one.
Zealand Trail close to trailhead
Since we were hiking on Sunday too, instead of driving back to our place near Tilton we opted to stay in Twin Mountain at the Four Seasons Motor Inn. It was well worth it, as we enjoyed a great meal down the street and then went back to the room and watched the Bruins until we passed out.

Hike Stats
Trails: Zealand Trail, Twinway
Distance: 12.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2850 feet
Book Time: 7hrs 35min

To view the full album from this hike, view or click on the slide show below.


  1. Sounds like you had a geat 2 day outing. I've got to get back to Zealand Falls Hut and the notch, hopefully during the winter for some backcountry skiing. It's been a few years, but I love it there in winter. Keep up the great posts. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Hi Mike, I can see Zealand Falls being a great place to try cross/back country skiing for the first time. Thank you...and you as well.