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Mt Tom
April 26, 2001

Route: Avalon Trail, A-Z Trail, Mt Tom Spur,
Cascade Loop
Map: tommap.jpg (289389 bytes)
 
Elevation: 4051 ft
Vertical Climb: 2721 ft
Distance: 5.8 miles
Who Went: Paul (solo)

As usual, I left home at 4:30 AM to make the three hour drive to Crawford Notch. I didnít bring Muffin because I knew the snow would be too deep for her, and dogs can't wear snowshoes. The weather was perfect - sunny and cool, with a predicted high in the 50s. Before hitting the trail, I stopped at the Crawford Hostel to rent a pair of snowshoes. The caretaker helped me fit them, and I was off.

I stopped near the trailhead to take a picture of the Crawford Depot, then crossed the tracks and started down the trail. Although there hadn't been any snow on the ground in the notch, the trail was snow-covered immediately after I entered the woods. I tried to walk on the narrow strip of packed snow in the middle of the trail, but it was too hard to keep from slipping off, so I soon stopped to put on the snowshoes. They made a big difference at first, working well where the trail was flat or gently sloped, and keeping me from postholing where the snow was at least loosely packed.

Not long after passing the trail to Mt Willard, I came to the first crossing of Crawford Book, which flows down from the col between Mt Tom and Mt Field high above where I was headed. The water was a bit high, but passable, and I went upstream about 20 ft to find a slightly better point to cross. I stepped carefully across the slippery rocks, and made it to the other side without incident. About a half-mile up the trail, another crossing of Crawford Brook was a little more difficult, but at least the brook was only about 20 feet wide at this point, unlike some of the tougher and wider crossings on the Lincoln Brook Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

The trail began to angle upward away from the brook, and woods started to become more open, unlike the denser growth closer to the water. This would have been all right, except that there weren't a lot of blazes along the Avalon Trail and, due to the softening snowpack, there was very little left of any previous tracks to follow. 

Crawford Depot. Although there wasn't any snow on the ground in the notch, there was still plenty left in the woods.

crawford depot.jpg (208710 bytes)

Trailhead sign. The trail begins directly across the railroad tracks from the Crawford Depot. It immediately enters the woods, and became snow-covered.

trailhead.jpg (256028 bytes)

My snowshoes. As I was about to find out, these were not the best snowshoes for this day's snow and trail conditions. Their attached crampons were too small to bite into the soft snow and I had a hard time climbing and descending steep slopes.

snowshoes.jpg (295919 bytes)

Map

  Tom page: 

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