|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Tom, Mt. Field, Mt. Willey, NH|
||Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur, Willey Range Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, April 13, 2017|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Ample parking this time of year at AMC Highland Center. |
||Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow/Ice - Postholes |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The first crossing of Crawford Brook is fully open water- can be rock hopped with trekking poles. The second (re-crossing) of Crawford Brook is the main crossing problem of the entire route, it is fully open water at the crossing point. Water is high enough and flowing strongly enough that HIGH boots are needed for fording to stay dry. The region of the normal crossing area seems best. Small brooks are snow-bridged or easy hop overs. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Many blow downs, but all are walk overs, unders, or around, mostly walk unders. Only on the Willey Range Trail segment from A-Z Trail to Mt Field did not see trail markers, but saw them everywhere else. |
||No dogs or people encountered the entire day. Trail dogs should not have a problem. Lots of dog shit on Avalon Trail near the beginning segment. |
||No bugs, no snow fleas- Nada, most of route probably too cold and not much sun. |
|Lost and Found:
||Nothing seen except dog poop. ||
||Note- this entire trail route is fully snow covered expect a few SMALL patches near the beginning segment of Avalon Trail. It felt like Winter, not Spring, on this hiking route today. As I drove up I-93 to Franconia Notch and then on to Rte 3 and 302 I was surprised to see that a lot of areas not have NO SNOW visible at all from the road, but not so in this area.|
Brought all the gear- Snow shoes, 12 point full crampons, ice axe, Microspikes, but only used MSR Revo Ascent snowshoes the whole day beginning at the Crawford Notch train station picnic tables and never took them off except to do the 2nd (upper) Crawford Brook open crossing. Snow shoes are the way to go, not booting.
The route has snow virtually the whole way, much of it was frozen and crunchy and covered with a fresh 1" or less of new powder. I "broke trail" on the small amount of fresh powder until I reached Mt. Field, when I encountered the fresh snowshoe tracks of another solo hiker. It snowed lightly in the morning while ascending, was cloudy most of the day, and cleared about 3 pm. I would estimate about 3 feet deep at higher elevations. Looked like only one person on these trails today who also used snow shoes (only saw their footprints) and looked like they went to Field and Willey, but not Tom. Route I took- Avalon Trail to A-Z trail, to Mt. Tom Spur to Mt. Tom, Mt. Tom Spur back to Wiley Range Trail, Willey Range Trail to Mt. Field and then on to Mt. Willey. Returned by Avalon Trail from Mt. Field. Generally didn't have any problems except on the Willey Range Trail segment between Field and Willey. This segment appears less traveled than the rest and has a lot of postholes, narrow sections, and narrow monorail, spruce canopy in the face, i.e., the surface condition is pretty messy and choppy and uneven. Summits of Field and Willey were pretty windy with gusts to 30 to 40 or so, Tom not very windy. Lowest temp I measured was 25F, but most of the route was at or below freezing. Much of my return was in the dark by headlamp including the brook fording.
Note- finding the Willey Range Trail starting point to go to Mt. Willey from the summit of Mt. Field can be a little tricky.
Note- there was a steep ice patch very close to the summit of Mt. Willey and I did not want to try Snowshoes on it so I bushwhacked around it to get to the summit and the "lookout point". Otherwise, the entire route today had virtually no ice patches.
Note- watch out for tree branches, some sharp stubs, at and near face and eye level, there are quite a few !
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.