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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.


Paul Gaitanis said...

John, I've never commented here before but I LOVE these bushwhacking trip reports and pics. I have never heard of these talus slopes on East Hale so these type of reports that you and others such as Steve Smith provide make for fascinating reading. Thanks so much for your efforts and please keep up the good work!

Ken MacGray said...

"especially since I realize that the offbeat places I visit can be of little or no interest to many of my readers"

John, as you know, I follow your adventures for exactly the opposite reason. :) I love all these off-the-radar locations. This looks like a great place to explore!

1HappyHiker said...

Paul, I deeply appreciate you taking the initiative to post your thoughts, and also want to thank you for your very kind words.

Many of my off-trail adventures are merely short forays that are done whenever I have a couple of free hours. But, based on your comments, perhaps even mini-adventures such as those might be of interest to readers such as yourself. So, I’ll give that some definite consideration.


1HappyHiker said...

Ken, many thanks for giving me further encouragement to post more of my off-beat adventures.
Hopefully, you will continue to find that it’s worth your time to stop by and take a look at the postings to this blog.


Larry Wood said...

hey John, off-beat adventures, before the blog posts or hikes & adventures to new places that I'll never get a chance to visit myself; it's all good. I noted the frequency of your posts has dropped a bit, but it's clear you put some time, thought and passion into each one and that takes some dedicated time. Time you might otherwise be spending on another new walk-about. As long as you keep posting, you do have a fan base of sorts out there that will keep reading them and do appreciate you sharing with us. peace!, Larry NYC

1HappyHiker said...

Larry . . . great words of encouragement! Thanks!

You’re correct about the frequency of my posts falling off a bit. And you’re also correct about it taking dedicated time to generate the postings. I strive to make my reports short. So that shouldn’t take much time . . . right? Short answer . . . no! Writing short reports can involve considerable time spent making many decisions such as what to include/exclude, etc, etc. Anyway, I’m in the process of considering how to generate ‘quantity’ without sacrificing ‘quality’. But, it’s proving to be a difficult balancing act, at least for me! :-)

Thanks once again for reading my blog postings, and taking time to post your thoughts. Much appreciated!


Zack Adley said...

Awesome report of a neat place... Sounds like a good bushwacking spot on the way to Hale. I love places off the beaten path like Whitewall and Redrock Ravine.

One Day in America said...

As you know, John, I love your mini-adventures—or any adventure at all!
The talus field sounds a bit challenging; I can just imagine all those rocks waiting to twist an ankle! Looks like you had fun, though.

Just a quick thought on the frequency of your posts. As you may have noticed, I'm not posting as frequently as I'd like to either. Seems that I share your quantity and quality debate. In the beginning I posted every week without fail But now when I read through some of those earlier posts I'm not satisfied with the quality!
I continue to enjoy your posts, John, even if they're not as frequent. I hope that my readers feel the same.

Keep up the good work!

1HappyHiker said...

Zack, thanks for posting your comments!

You might have already thought of this, but if you’re considering combining Mt. Hale with a trek to East Hale, then it might be worth thinking about skipping the talus fields and just going for the summit of East Hale where the views are even more expansive than from the talus fields below the summit.

Although I’ve never tried it, it certainly might be doable to climb the talus fields to the top of East Hale and then bushwhack westward to Mt. Hale.
However FWIW, the two ways I’ve reached East Hale’s summit are as follows:
1) launched an eastward bushwhack from Hale Brook Trail from a point near the top of Mt. Hale;
2) launched a southward bushwhack from a point along Hale Brook Trail shortly after crossing Spruce Goose XC-ski trail.
Although it’s significantly steeper, I personally prefer the second option described above.


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Your assessment about the talus fields is correct. It is indeed a bit challenging to pick your way along the uneven surfaces of those broken and jagged rocks. However, having this upfront knowledge, you can plan your day to allow plenty of time for a slow moving pace while exploring the talus. And as indicated in my posting, you can spend as little or as much time as you want, by moving up, down, and sideways. It doesn’t really matter since there are views regardless of where your comfort level and available time might lead you!

And, thank you for your comments about quantity vs. quality. As indicated in my reply above to Larry, to my way of thinking, quality is interconnected with taking the necessary time to produce a report that is concise (i.e. short). And oftentimes when I have this discussion with myself, I think of the quote attributed to Blaise Pascal, i.e. “I'm sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn't have time to write a short one." :-)

Thanks as always for posting your thoughts, and for being a loyal reader of my blog.


One Day in America said...

I love that Pascal quote, John! I'm going to file it away for future use!

Matt M said...

Hi John, another great post. I really enjoy reading your posts about your offbeat adventures. I find it fascinating the places you explore and hope one day I will be able to see them. Please keep the posts coming.

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks Matt for your kind words! Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

My best wishes to you for many rewarding days of fun-filled explorations!


CoJo said...

This is amazing, me and a friend are going to try to follow logging road from zealand out to beaver ponds, then follow that road to the end near the base of talus slopes, and make our way up. Then back to zealand trailhead. This was great insight, thank you

1HappyHiker said...

Hi . . . thanks CoJo for letting me know that you found this blog posting to be of interest to you.

I’d love hear back from you about the details of your trek to the East Hale talus fields. Or maybe you could provide me with a link to something that you post online about this?

Happy trails,