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Mt Field
January 23, 2000

Route: Avalon Trail, Willey Range Trail
Map:
 
Elevation: Mt Field – 4340 ft
Mt Avalon – 3230 ft
Vertical Climb: 2636 ft
Distance: 5.7 miles
Who Went: Paul (solo)

The day began with a bright blue cloudless sky, but cold with the temperature at Crawford Notch hovering around –10 deg F. A few high clouds began to move in as the day wore on, but the air thankfully stayed clear. The highest the temperature reached was around +10 deg F. The trails were snow-covered, from around a foot at the bottom, to around 2 to 3 feet on the summit. I parked the car at the Crawford Notch Hostel and started up the trail (which began in back of the Crawford Depot) around 8:30 AM.

The Avalon Trail was loosely packed in a narrow strip along the center. A small group had been by the day before on snowshoes, but other than that, it hadn’t been heavily traveled recently.

I passed a stream twice; both times, the crossings were frozen over, although the second crossing was a snow bridge over the running water below. Although the temperature was cold, I was warm wearing several layers and had to take my hat off and on to keep from sweating too much. After 1.3 miles, I came to the junction of the A-Z Trail, which headed off to the right toward Mt Tom. The A-Z Trail was unbroken; I had been hoping to make a loop over both Mt Field and Mt Tom, returning on the A-Z Trail, but gave up that idea as I did not want to break trail without snowshoes.

After a short rest, I started to get cold. I had taken off my gloves (which were damp from sweating) for a few minutes, and they had frozen stiff, but they soon warmed up again after I put them on and continued up the trail. The trail turned sharply left, and got quite a bit steeper above the junction and there were a few places where ice was partially hidden by powder, but I had no problem getting around them without putting on my crampons. I continued climbing until I reached the junction with the Mt Avalon Spur Trail.

Crawford Depot. Although the railroad is still running, the depot is now used as a information booth in the summer. The temperature was around -10 deg when I left.

The start of the Avalon Trail. This trail begins directly in back of the Crawford Depot.

Start of Avalon Trail.jpg (195879 bytes)

The Avalon Trail near the bottom. The trail was loosely packed in a narrow strip along the center by snowshoers.

Avalon Trail 1.jpg (247234 bytes)

Chip, the Beanie Baby chipmunk sitting on sign at the junction of the Avalon and A-Z Trails. Beyond this point, the Avalon trail was still loosely packed, but the A-Z was unbroken.

A-Z Trail junction.jpg (200592 bytes)

Mt Avalon Spur Trail junction. From here, the spur trail rises steeply 100 yards to the summit of 3230-ft Mt Avalon.

Avalon Spur.jpg (174067 bytes)

Map

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