Springtime in the mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere is oftentimes indistinguishable from just another routine winter day. And such was the case on the first day of Spring 2017 where I live in northern NH. Although there was no active snowfall on that particular day, there was upwards of 24-inches of snow on the ground.
By the time I left my house for a hike, it was early afternoon. With such a late start my intent was just to do a 3.7 mile (round-trip) hike to Mt. Avalon (3,442 ft. elevation). However, hiker traffic had compacted the snow on the trail's surface such that it was almost like walking on a paved sidewalk. As a result I was able to travel at a quick pace, and arrived at Mt. Avalon much sooner than expected. And so, a decision was made to add an additional 2-miles (round-trip) to my hike by doing a side-trip to Mt. Field (4,340 ft. elevation).
Presented below is a map that shows the route for my out-and-back hike, which was about 5.8 miles round-trip.
|Map showing route for my hike|
Just as a side note, Mt. Avalon wasn't named after the beach town in New Jersey, or a rock star of the 1950s. It was named in the late 1800s by an early pioneer named Moses Sweetser. He thought this mountain bore a resemblance to the hills of Avalon on the Newfoundland peninsula.
|First view when popping out onto summit of Mt. Avalon|
|Looking down Crawford Notch from top of Mt. Avalon|
|View of Presidential Range and Crawford Notch from top of Mt. Avalon|
|Zoomed photo looking down at where my car was parked!|
|A zoomed view of the top of Mt. Washington|
|Although the snow on the trail itself was firmly packed, there was definite evidence of impressive snow-depth between Mt. Avalon and Mt. Field. Most trail blazes were near knee to hip-level versus eye-level during warm-weather months.|
While descending one of the many steep sections of trail on the return leg of my hike, I took this photo. Although it's not my personal preference, many hikers like to descend these "steeps" by sitting on their behind and glissading down the trail.
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