It is amazing how quickly the weather can change, as just days before last weekend, and all of sudden three systems come together to form Blizzard Nemo. Little did it care that I was planning a major weekend with a possible Presidential Traverse followed by a Wildcats to Moriah Traverse. Then its Saturday afternoon, I'm still in MA shoveling out from 2 feet of snow! That left me with only Sunday for hiking. My plan, well, maybe I could still do a Presi today? Obviously I was sort of doubtful, but I headed to Appalachia anyways, and I arrived around 4:30am.
When I pulled up, I was more crushed to find that it wasn't plowed at all. What was I going to go? Hurry the hell up and start shoveling, of course! The snow was nice and light. First, I shoveled two long arched paths, with one of them nicely snug just inside the boulders the outline the lot. At the end of the arch, I pushed straight far enough to make a parallel spot along the boulders that outline the lot. Then, I knocked the down the snow in between the arches I made, and for a bout a half hour used my shovel like a snow plow through the light snow until I had a nicely paved driveway right into my personal parking space. It wasn't that bad, but I spent the extra time making sure that I shoveled all the space I needed to pull in and be able open the doors on the first time. I never thought I would ever find myself shoveling out Appalachia - but that's twice now this winter I've had to do some shovelin'.
|Shoveling a spot into the Appalachia parking lot|
|Appalachia Trail head|
|Valley Way Trail in winter|
|My fresh tracks in a foot of powder - brutal but so awesome|
|Unique drifts at the summit of Madison, just for me|
|Mt. Washington & Mt. Adams from Madison|
|View east from Mt. Madison|
|Approaching the summit of Mt. Adams|
|Mt. Washington, Mt. Clay, & Mt. Jefferson from Mt. Adams|
|Mt. Adams - 2nd Highest Peak in New England|
I kept my snowshoes on from start to finish on this hike. There was a ton of exposed rock, so I probably beat the heck out of my snow shoes on this one. In between Adams and Jefferson though, there were times where I sank in nearly up to my waist - even with my snowshoes on, so I felt most comfortable leaving them on. I fell numerous times throughout the rest of the hike because of the varying ground conditions.
|Large cairn just below the summit|
|Mt. Jefferson, 3rd Round|
|Mt. Washington from Mt. Jefferson|
|The Carter-Wildcat Range (which I still need to traverse this season)|
|Snowfield near Mt. Jefferson; Gulfside Trail in winter|
|King Ravine, Mt. Adams|
Trails: Valley Way Trail, Osgood Trail, Gulfside Trail, Airline Trail, Jefferson Loop
Distance: 15.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 6,400 ft.
Actual Book Time: 12:20