Rainy Weekend 4000'ers - 11-12/May/98

By David Metsky

Brenda and I rented a cabin up north with the idea that starting the day up there would let us get early starts and long days. Things didn't quite work out that way as Saturday morning we arrived at the Crawford Notch Hostel around 11:00, later than our starts when we left from Nashua or Boston. Oh well. It didn't really matter, as the weather was grey all day, with occasional rain. At least I used the weekend to test out my new Platypus water system.

The hike was to bag Tom, Field, and Willey, three 4000'ers without much by way of views. In bad weather, choose viewless peaks. We made it up to the summit of Tom first, and met a woman and her dog up there. They turned out to be about the only creatures we saw all day. The summit is in trees but there may be a view into the Pemi on a clear day. After snacks we headed back down and across the ridge to Field. We met the woman again at the Avalon trail junction. She had given up on going over to Willey and the dog looked very happy about the decision. The summit of Field is just past the junction. It looks like there are some limited views from a spot just before the summit.

The ridge over to Willey was uneventful, but pleasant enough. We weren't sure about the summit, but eventually found the cairn where we celebrated three more peaks and had a lunch of pita, tomatoes, hummus, and fruit. Then we headed back to Field and down the Avalon trail. The summit of Avalon is a great short hike for views of Crawford Notch, but not today. There was however a very weird tree on the way down. The is lots of ice storm damage along the trail but most everything has been cleared. It looks bad in the woods. We made it back to the trailhead at the railroad station in Crawford Notch and headed out to a well deserved dinner.

The next day it was still rainy and chilly, so we picked a smaller hike to Mt Hale. The trailhead is halfway in the Zealand Road where we met some of the worst blackflies I've ever seen. We ran up the trail to get away from them. This hike is only 2.2 miles each way and we sped up in fairly short time. The summit is partly open with some nice views but again, we saw nothing. Just a Grey Jay trying to get our food. So, four 4000'ers in two days, not bad for a rainy weekend in May.

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