Home4000-FootersOther White Mountain TripsOther StatesTrail WorkMemorabilia

Map

  Zealand-Ethan page: 

1

2

3

4

5

6

 
Zealand Notch, Ethan Pond - page 3 of 6

Day 2

After a quiet's night sleep (I'm sure it was noisy up at the crowded hut), we rose to a thick colorless sky that portended rain. But since we had no control of the weather, we shrugged it off and made a quick breakfast of hot oatmeal, cold dog food, power bars, coffee, and juice, then packed up our belongings. By the time we had the tent down and stuffed into my backpack, the rain had begun to fall.

We walked down to where a small trickle flowed across the trail and into Zealand Pond, filtered enough water to last for most of the day, then shouldered our packs and headed down the Ethan Pond Trail. The trail was wide and flat for a over a mile, following the bed of an old logging railroad. The thick forest protected us from most of the rain, and our raincoats and ponchos did the rest. As we drew near Zealand Notch, the shower began to let up.

When we broke through the last of the trees out into the open rocky  slopes of Whitehall Mtn, the rain had stopped, but the sky was still ominously cloudy, and mists hugged the mountaintops like ethereal gray blankets, obscuring the peaks from our view.

The notch itself was like a giant's playground, strewn with rocks that had tumbled down from the slopes above. It reminded me of the Rampart in Carter Notch. The trail here closely follows the railroad bed that had been carved into the slopes some 200 feet above the floor of the notch, and so offered a relatively flat, secure, and unobstructed passageway. This section of the Ethan Pond Trail, in my opinion, offers a sensation of being much higher up in the mountains than you usually get for so little effort. 

About halfway through the notch, we passed the junction with the Zeacliff Trail, which drops precipitously to the floor of the notch, then climbs the steep slopes on the other side to Zeacliff, the virtual end of a long ridge dominated by Mt Zealand, but linking to Mt Guyot, the Bonds, the Twins, and Garfield Ridge beyond.

After a couple of short rests for pictures and snacks, we passed out of the notch and back into the woods, and once again picked up the pace in our effort to reach the now nearing Thoreau Falls.

Toi resting in Zealand Notch. By this point, the rain had begun to let up, which made it easier to appreciate the view in the notch.

zealand notch 2.jpg (64540 bytes)

Looking south through Zealand Notch. The Ethan Pond Trail closely follows the bed of an old logging road across the scarred lower slopes of Whitehall Mtn.

zealand notch 3.jpg (45048 bytes)

A digital watercolor of Holly near the middle of the notch. She is resting on the rocks by the side of the trail.

zealand notch 4.jpg (93602 bytes)

The Zeacliff Trail junction. The Zeacliff Trail drops precipitously to the floor of the notch, then climbs the steep slopes to Zeacliff.

zealand notch 5.jpg (69810 bytes)

Toi on the Ethan Pond Trail near the south end of the notch. The lower slopes of Zeacliff are at the left.

zealand notch 6.jpg (48667 bytes)

Map

  Zealand-Ethan page: 

1

2

3

4

5

6