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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
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27 July 2015

Talus Fields at East End of East Hale

It's often difficult for me to decide whether to post some of the stuff I do, especially since I realize that the offbeat places I visit can be of little or no interest to many of my readers.  But, for those who might have some interest, here goes!

On a couple of occasions I've bushwhacked to the top of East Hale which is located on a spur that runs off the east side of Mt. Hale.  There are fabulous views from that location. However, there is a variation to this hike which I'll call East Hale "Lite".

This "Lite" version is done by bushwhacking about 0.6 miles nearly due west from the Zealand Trail parking area in order to reach the mammoth talus fields located several hundred feet below the summit of East Hale on its far eastern end.  It's a relatively easy trek through mostly open woods.  And, in less than an hour from leaving the parking lot, you can be sitting on the talus fields enjoying the views.
Photo taken upon arrival at the bottom of the talus fields
As stated above, and as can be seen in the Google Earth image below, the talus fields are indeed mammoth!  And as a result, this "Lite" version provides a lot of options for exploring.  You can climb as high as you want, and move laterally across the talus fields to your heart's content.  And yes, as might be expected, tramping about on these broken rocks can be tedious, but also a fun challenge!
Google Earth image showing mammoth talus fields at east end of East Hale
As one can well imagine, moving around to different points on the talus field will yield a variety of viewing perspectives.  To illustrate this, my blog posting contains photos taken from two of my treks to this location.  One was done in early May 2010 when I climbed higher up on the talus than a more recent trek done in late July 2015.

To begin, shown below is a panoramic view (taken in July 2015) which shows that the vista from the talus field stretches from the Presidential Range (left) to Zealand Notch (right).
Panorama photo taken on July 2015 trek to East Hale talus fields.  The view stretches from Presidential Range to Zealand Notch.
On my July 2015 trek, there was a rather overcast view of the Presidential Range as shown in the next photo.
A rather overcast view of the Presidential Range (taken on July 2015 trek to East Hale talus fields)
However, on my May 2010 trek, the view of the Presidential Range was much better.  Not only was it taken from a point higher up on the talus fields, but more significantly, the sky was clear!
View of Presidential Range was much better on my May 2010 trek.  Photo taken from a point higher up on the talus fields, but more significantly, the sky was clear!
There was a view of Zealand Notch on my July 2015 trek, as shown in the next photo.
Photo of Zealand Notch taken on my July 2015 trek to East Hale talus fields
But once again, the view of this landscape feature was much better on my May 2010 trek (see next photo).  Not only was I positioned higher on the talus field, but was a bit further on its south side.  Zealand Pond shows up in this photo. It's the small blue spot just to the right of center. With the naked eye (and even better with binoculars), the Zealand Hut can also be seen to the right of the pond.
View of Zealand Notch was much better on my May 2010 trek when I climbed to a point higher up on the talus field, and a bit further on its south side.
To sum it up, besides being a shorter hike than a full-fledged trek to the top of East Hale, this "Lite" version provides good views in its own right, and also provides a lot of options for moving up, down, and sideways on the expansive talus fields at the base of the mountain.