Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mt Hale #29/48 Winter NH4ks Feb-25-2015

CLICK HERE TO GO TO my Winter New Hampshire 4K (NH4K)Hikes.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO my Maine/Vermont 4K Hikes.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO my New Hampshire 4K Hikes.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO New England Hundred Highest (NEHH) list.

PHOTOS:  Note my camera still thinks it 2014 but the time and date are right.
 Crossing the bridge to Zealand Road. Late start because I was planning to start at another trail (Little River rd to Twin Mt trail to the old Fire Wardens trail) but couldn't find a well defined broken out trail there.
This hike was perfect for the pulk that I built for last winter's Bonds hike. Over 5 miles of pulkable road vs. only 4.4 miles of actual trail and Zealand Road was well packed and fairly level so that I barely knew I was pulling it. Beats carrying a heavy pack. And YES , I do enjoy saying "pulk". 

First dilemma;  a fork in the road. It took me a while to decide but since the sign on an open gate on the left said no motor vehicles, I figured it must be closed in the summer so Zealand Road is to the right. Turned out to be correct but didn't really matter since the snowmobile road joins back up with Zealand later. Actually the snowmobile road was a bit shorter, I took it on the way back down. I actually took this picture on the way back (16:10)
 Zealand road was well packed by lots of XC ski traffic. This pic is looking back.

2d dilemma: Most of the ski and snowmobile traffic is going right, but the sign says its going to Twin Mt. so I correctly chose left.  For a while I was concerned that I may have chosen badly until the river showed up on the left of the trail as shown on my map. Note there is a third XC ski trail in the middle marked with blue dot blazes.  I ended up crossing that trail while hiking Hale Brook trail .{I actually took this picture on the way back (15:42)}

 Continuing on Zealand Rd, much less sign of traffic. Probably just skiers going to or from Zealand Hut.  On the way back I met a father and son skiing to the hut. It was late and I doubt they made it before dark- hope they had head lamps.
 Start of the well defined Hale Brook trail. I left my pulk at the trailhead.
 1-3" fresh powder over most of the trail. This is before I came along and...
 .... This is after looking back.
 Several sections of the trail cross perpendicular to the fall line. Have to be careful here because the downhill side is soft and very deep.
 Mini avalanches  had thrown snow clumps onto the trail. Not hard to bust them apart and pack them down with the snowshoes but a pain in the butt.
  This picture is hard to see it but there were also many 1'-2' diameter hunks of snow fallen onto the trail from the trees.
 One huge blow-over crossing the trail - had to climb under - no way around it.
 Some parts of the trail were completely drifted in. I had to probe with my poles to find the packed trail underneath. Too far right or left means thigh deep snow and possible spruce traps
 After I tramped trough a drifted section. Solo hiking doesn't break trail out very well and is pretty exhaustin. When I got near the top I was only taking 10-20 steps at a time before having to stop for 10-15 breaths to catch my breath.  Damn Emphysema!
 The reward: A small cleared area (that used to have a fire tower on it) with a mostly covered cairn (see next picture to see what it looked like in the summer)  Not even any grey jays around to feed - I did  a few cheerios for them though..

The same Cairn a few summers ago (My grandson Kris on the top)
 Peak selfie. 29/48 WNH4Ks

A few pictures from standing on top of the cairn:
Heading back down there were some views that I didn't notice on the way up.

Hill side trail on the way back down the low side seemed even softer on the way down and collapsed on me a few times
 Indian Chief.


No comments:

Post a Comment