|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Tom, Mt. Field, Mt. Willey, Mt. Avalon, NH|
||Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt. Tom Spur, Willey Range Trail, Avalon Spur, Cascade Loop Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, April 18, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Crawford Depot lot off US 302 is snow free. Maybe holds 15 cars. Overflow parking on the snow free shoulders of US 302. Not only was I the first car in the lot at 0630, I think I was the first person in Crawford Notch, period. |
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow - Spring Snow, Slush |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||I never knew there were water crossings on Avalon! The first two are the largest and and running strong. I used submerged rocks to cross. Apparently there is a water crossing on A-Z too! This presented no issue other than careful footing in snowshoes. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||The few blow downs I encountered do not obstruct the trail. Blazing on Avalon and Willey Range trails in good shape. All signs up and in good shape. |
||Good trail for dogs. |
|Lost and Found:
||One black glove left on the junction sign at the junction of Avalon and Willey Range trails. ||
Avalon Trl > A-Z Trl > Mt Tom Spur > Willey Range Trl to summit of Mt Willey > Willey Range Trl > Avalon Trl > Cascade Loop Trl > end.
This venture was a peak-snatching operation to grab these peaks for the April grid.
My initial plan was to do a 16 mile loop going up Avalon, catching A-Z to get over to Ethan Pond, then travel the whole Willey Range back to Avalon. Buuuuttt... Mother Nature dumped a bunch of snow on New Hampshire on Friday. So, that plan got scrapped when I got up to the A-Z past Mt Tom and noted I would be breaking trail through at least 4-8 inches of wet, heavy snow for who knows how long... Nah. I’m good. Next time. Peak-snatch-for-the-grid operation still on though!
Avalon Trail: well blazed in yellow, well travelled. All signs up and intact. The temp was 34F when I stepped on trail this morning. I was able to bareboot the frozen trail until the junction with A-Z. At this point snowshoes went on. They were an absolute must today. Though the trail was completely broken out, snowshoes kept me floating over the trench. No true monorail on this trail today. Upon return, the snowshoes came off after the second to last large water crossing. Snow was melting fast giving way to bare rock (I didn’t know Avalon had rock on the trail!). Even traction wouldn’t have worked. The sections of snow left on the lower parts of the trail were mashed potatoes. I kept getting beaned by snow bombs towards the end. One kamikaze snow bomb knocked off my glasses.
A-Z Trail: well blazed in yellow, well travelled. Completely broken out. No monorail today. Water crossing mentioned above. Snowshoes ruled on this trail.
Mt Tom Spur: not blazed. Well broken out snowshoe trench. Is there a sign at this peak? I’ve never seen one. But I’ve also never seen this area without snow. The snowshoes were super happy to be rockin’ another hike...
Willey Range Trail: blue blazing doesn’t begin until after the Mt Field summit. Then it is well blazed until the summit of Mt Willey. Also well broken out. No monorail. “Outlook” sign up and in good shape. Met three other ladies all hiking in snowshoes. Snow was turning to mashed potatoes upon my return from Willey summit.
Avalon Spur: not blazed. This is a 100 foot scramble to a great view of the Presidentials on clear days. Packed out.
Cascade Loop Trail: some bare boot foot traffic to the Pearl Cascade. Otherwise, no footprints seen. I barebooted this tiny section of trail as the snow was a quarter inch or less in depth. Cascades (2) near full throttle with the storm’s runoff. Very pretty.
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.