Home4000-FootersOther White Mountain TripsOther StatesTrail WorkMemorabilia

Map

  Crawford Path-Bald Mtn page: 

1

2

3

4

5

6

Crawford Path Overnight, Bald Mtn
December 15-16, 2000

Route: Crawford Path,
Bald Mtn-Artist’s Bluff Path

Maps:

 

Elevation:

Crawford Path/Mizpah Cutoff campsite - 3380 ft
Bald Mtn - 2340 ft

Vertical Climb:

2413 ft

Distance:

5.4 miles

Who Went:

Paul, Muffin

Day 1

This was destined to be a very unusual trip where nothing went as expected. To begin with, Toi and Holly were leaving for Rocking Horse Ranch in the Catskills in the afternoon on a Girl Scout weekend. Partly because of this, and partly because of the weather, I didn’t want to leave as early as usual. The previous day, we had a minor snow storm. Naturally, this greatly affected my choice of trails and I wanted an update in the morning before I left.

I was considering three options. The first was climbing up Mt Adams and staying overnight at the RMC Gray Knob cabin. I wouldn’t have to carry the winter tent, but I wasn’t sure how Muffin would do above treeline in possible deep drifts. The second option was to hike up to the Ethan Pond Shelter with my tent, and then climb Mt Willey, but I figured the steep Willey Range Trail might be too deep to climb without snowshoes. My final decision was to climb up the more heavily-traveled, and thus more packed, Crawford Path, then take the Mizpah Cutoff up to the tent platforms by the hut, and climb nearby Mt Jackson.

I had planned to leave around 9:00 AM, which would have gotten me up to Crawford Notch at noon, and to Mizpah Hut around 3:00 PM, about an hour-and-a-half before darkness set in. Unfortunately, I didn’t get going until 9:30, and that was after I discovered that I still needed to stop for a new pair of shell mitts, a spare fuel canister, and some parachute cord for tying down the tent and hanging the bear bag. After stopping in Lincoln to get these items, and to get lunch from McDonald’s, we drove quickly through Franconia Notch toward Twin Mountain. I was planning on calling home when we got close to the trailhead to let Toi know we got there safely. But when I tried calling on the prepaid cell phone that I had recently purchased $30 worth of time on, I discovered that the roaming area I was in wouldn’t allow me to make or receive calls. I left the trailhead parking lot and went over to the AMC Crawford Hostel to try their phone, but it wasn’t a coin phone and you needed a phone card to make calls from it. Since I didn’t have a phone card, I drove several miles south to a motel to use their phone. A one-minute call from their Bretton Woods Phone Company pay phone just to leave a message on our voice mail cost me $4.70, plus another half-hour’s time driving around.

Finally, back at the trailhead again, we got ready to leave. The first thing Muffin did was to run through the deep snow near the parking lot and lose two of her new dog booties. This was not a good start. I considered spending the night in the car and leaving early in the morning on the hike, but I decided to just start out and go as far as we could.  

Trailhead. The Crawford Connector runs from the parking area on Mt Clinton Rd to the Crawford Path, a short distance above the Rt 302 trailhead.

Crawford Connector Trailhead.jpg (233810 bytes)

Map

  Crawford Path-Bald Mtn page: 

1

2

3

4

5

6