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Monday, January 11, 2010

Mt. Tom, Mt. Field, Mt. Willey and Mt. Avalon

STATE: New Hampshire
DESTINATION: Mt. Tom, Mt. Field, Mt. Willey and Mt. Avalon
ELEVATION: 4051 Ft, 4340 Ft, 4285 Ft.
TRAIL: Avalon Trail, A-Z trail, Mt. Tom Spur, Willey Range trail, Avalon Trail
DISTANCE: 10.5 Mi.
HIKING TIME: 5 Hr 45 Min
SEASON: Winter
DATE: 1/11/2010
WEATHER: single digit temperatures, sunny skies, very windy
MAP: (Tom) (Field) (Willey) (Avalon)
DESCRIPTION: From the Highland Center the Avalon trail is broken out and well used to the A-Z junction with a moderate grade. I continued up the steep and difficult A-Z trail where previous hikers appeared to lose the trail for a few hundred yards here and there but following the packed incorrect route was easier than breaking trail. Chilling winds announced my arrival on the ridge soon reaching the Mt. Tom Spur. A 0.6 mile gradual incline to the summit of Mt. Tom provided spectacular views of Zealand, the Bonds and Carrigan to the West.
The high winds created large snow drifts completely covering sections of the Willey Range trail however the moderate incline and relatively straight shot up field made navigation a literal breeze. No substantial blow downs but I needed to duck under a few low hanging branches.
With the whipping winds on Field's summit I didn't procrastinate and continued along the ridge 1.2 miles to Mt. Willey. Descent was steep and trail contained some PUD's (pointless ups and downs) but I would consider it easy to moderate. After returning to Field I descended the Brutally steep Avalon trail to Avalon's summit, the A-Z junction and finally to the Highland Center.

Avalon Trail - A-Z trail = 1.7 Mi.
A-Z trail - Mt. Tom spur = 1.0 Mi.
Mt. Tom Spur - Summit = 0.6 Mi.
Summit - Mt. Tom Spur = 0.6 Mi.
Willey Range - Mt. Field Summit = 0.9 Mi.
Mt Field Summit - Mt. Willey Summit = 1.2 Mi.
Mt. Willey Summit - Mt. Field Summit = 1.2 Mi.
Mt. Field Summit - Mt. Avalon Spur = 1.0 Mi.
Mt. Avalon Spur - A-Z Junction = 0.5 Mi.
A-Z junction - Highland Center = 1.7 Mi.

Total distance = 10.5 Mi.

Round trip = 5 Hr 45 minutes

NOTES / COMMENTS: My legs were very sore from a 17 mile trip to Owl's head yesterday and I wasn't looking at my watch or calculating mileage. My goal was Tom and Field with the potential to attempt Willey depending on how energetic my legs felt and I made the judgement call continuing to Willey once I hit the Field Summit. Whipping winds along any Western facing ridge or slope made the single digit temperatures even colder.

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