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Crawford Hostel, Mizpah Spring Hut
March 18-19, 1999

Route: Crawford Path, Mizpah Cutoff


3800 ft

Vertical Climb:

2014 ft


4.8 miles

Who Went:

Paul, Erin

Day 1

Erin and I drove up on a Friday afternoon to spend the night at the AMC Crawford Hostel at the head of Crawford Notch. It's directly across Rt 302 from the start of the Crawford Path, and close to a lot of trailheads. Our goal was to climb Mt Eisenhower and possibly Mt Monroe. It was snowing when we got there, but it was supposed to stop by morning, so we were hoping for the best.

After cooking our supper in the hostel's kitchen/dining room, we settled into our bunks for the night in one the adjoining bunkrooms. I slept in the top of the two-tiered bunk; Erin took the bottom. Unlike the backcountry huts, Crawford Hostel is heated, and is nice and warm.

The hostel was pretty much filled to capacity due to an ongoing Wilderness First Responder class, so it was rather noisy at night with all the snoring. Sometime after we had finally gotten to sleep, a woman came in and noisily took the bunk next to ours, which of course woke us up. After what seemed like hours of shuffling equipment and changing clothes, she finally went to bed.

Day 2

In the morning, it was still snowing hard but it wasn't windy, and the forecast called for improving weather. People were all heading in different directions: a couple of guys were planning to climb Mt Tom, someone else was hoping to go all the way to Mt Washington on the Crawford Path, and a whole bunch were just staying right there  for the first aid classes.

After eating a quick breakfast, we drove to the Edmands Path Trailhead, but the snow was too deep and unpacked on the trail to climb without snowshoes, which we did not have. So we settled on the Crawford Path instead, which is more heavily traveled, and thus more likely to be packed. I figured we could at least get to Mt Pierce, and then maybe continue on to Mt Eisenhower.

Returning to the hostel to park, we crossed the road and started up the trail. It was packed, but in a narrow strip, and we postholed often. Along the way, I noticed that many of the blazes on trees, which are normally at eye level, were almost touching the surface of the snow.

Me on the Crawford Path. Stepping off the packed strip of snow, I had postholed up to my left knee.

me on trail.jpg (30321 bytes)

Blue blaze on a tree. To give you an idea how deep the snow was, this blaze is normally at eye level.

blaze.jpg (18963 bytes)


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