NH Memorial Weekend Trip
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
We stayed with Addario's family in Berlin NH which put us less than an hour from most of the trailheads. The drive up friday was uneventful and we arrived at around 1am.|
Day 1 (~10 mi, ~4k feet gain):
Saturday morning we were up early to get the Willey range. We parked at Crawford notch near the train station and took the Avalon trail to the A-Z trail. We hit the first snow of the day inside of a steep stream crossing. After that there wasn't much snow/ice until the col. We reached the col in good time (ahead of book time for a change). We went up to Tom (.5 mi 300 ft gain) and spent a while on the summit. It was hard to leave the views and the Canada jays that would come and eat out of your hand if you held some gorp out. On the way up Tom there was some icy snow, on the way down I slipped a few times so the stabilicers stayed on for the rest of the day until we came off the ridge. The hike up field was relatively uneventful and had a nice grade that made the climb somewhat easy. The summit of Field had more Canada jays and a lot more people. The hike down and back from Willey was a little rougher but still nothing too strenuous, the hike back up field from Willey did wear me out a bit. Back at the summit of Field we hiked down the Avalon trail back to the trailhead. If the conditions are slick/snowy I would recommend going back down the Willey range trail, then the a-z to the Avalon instead.
Day 2 (~7 mi, ~2500 feet gain):
We were pretty sore from Saturday, and the weather forecast was pretty shady (afternoon storms) so we decided to try something somewhat quick. Waumbek was a good choice since it didn't involve much driving. We got to the trailhead and began hiking. The trail starts going up right away, Good if you want to gain elevation, bad if your legs are already tired. I bonked early and was really feeling it on the ascent, but when I got to Mt. Starr King I was still ahead of book time. We went over to Waumbek and then hiked down. When we were about a mile from the car a light rain started, but we were back before any serious rain started.
Day 3 (~4 mi, ~2200 feet gain):
We wanted something quick and easy for the last day and so we opted for hale. We got to the parking lot and took care of this quick out and back hike. On the summit of hale there is a tall rock pile, the only views you get are standing on this pile. One nice thing about hale was that there is a nice section of switchbacks that help take care of the steeper sections. Despite it being the 3rd day of hiking, my legs felt much better than the day before and we made great time. After the hike we jumped into the stream that runs near the road, I think that was the second highlight of the trip (after the birds).
The Good and The Bad
The birds on the summit of Tom and Field
Some of the snow got pretty annoying in sections
|The drive to/and from NH was uneventful. Finally stopped at Quechee gorge, it was pretty lame.|