Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mt. Tom, Mt. Field, Mt. Willey, and Mt. Avalon

The temperatures remained mild as I started my second hike on Saturday at 9:30am after driving to Crawford Notch after sledding down Tecumseh real quick. My goal was to bag Tom, Field, and Willey, and return to Lake Winnisquam to spend time with family through Sunday. The trails were once again in great shape. I saw hikers heading up the trail in show shoes so I put them on, but quickly took them off and wore Microspikes the rest of the day, and snowshoes were just training weight. There were a few other groups and pairs hiking in the Willey Range on Saturday. The weather was overcast and perfect for this hike, although I was lucky enough to catch a view on Avalon on my way out (above), since it was socked in on my first trip there in May.
Snow bridge on Avalon Trail
View from the summit of Mt. Tom
The depth of the snow on Mt. Tom was not as high as it was last January on my first ascent. The view was not as great, but its still a great peak and pleasant peak and tough hike up. I didn't linger too long, and I quickly made it down to the junction of the Willey Range Trail. The walk to Mt. Field on the Willey Range was quiet and peaceful. I only heard light breezes and the crunching and thumping of the trees grinding together.
One mile to Mt. Field on the Willey Range Trail
Me on Mt. Field for round two and winter list
The trail conditions were the same as I pushed towards Willey, broken out nicely with a fresh powdery coating. There was a slight clearing as I approached, and I was able to get a decent view down into the notch from Mt. Willey, which was my 39th peak completed on the Trailwright's 72 list.
View from Mt. Willey outlook
The jays were out in full force and looking nice and plump from the mass of food they are fed all year long.

As I said, on the way out, I stopped at Avalon to peep the view I didn't get before (It's a 52 With a View peak), and after that, I continued down and completed the hike in 4hrs 45min. I was back at the lake before dinner. I was feeling great having thought this was the perfect warm-up hike for what was to come on Monday.

Hike Stats
Trails: Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur, Willey Range Trail, 
Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,400 ft
Book Time: 4hrs 45 minutes

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