On the last day of my trip up in the
mountains, I didn't plan on doing any more trailwork. After breakfast, I
filled my water bottles, packed up my things, and headed out to climb Mt
Jackson and return to Crawford Notch via the Webster-Jackson Trail.
A dusting of snow overnight had made the
trails a bit slippery, especially the newer bog bridges that had just been
installed over the summer on the Webster Cliff Trail The rocks along
the way were a bit icy too, so I had to step carefully. I didn't want to
do all that work on my trail and then get hurt on the way back down.
There's a large and interesting bog on the
north side of Mt Jackson where the views to the south on a nice day can
be superb. On that morning, the higher summits were in and out of the
clouds, but the surrounding air was generally very clear. I was glad
that I wasn't climbing up the Crawford Path as several others at the hut
had talked about doing. It was undoubtedly snowing hard up there with
extremely poor visibility and high winds. To the southeast of Mt
Washington, there were even a couple of lenticular clouds high in the
Even though I wasn't in the middle of a snow
squall where I was standing, it was still cold and windy, and it
continued to get even windier the higher I climbed. I particularly
regretted forgetting my gloves, since, of course, I had returned the
borrowed work gloves the previous evening. The south face of Mt Jackson
is a fairly steep climb; as you approach the summit itself, there are
several very smooth open ledges where the wind pummels you at full
Luckily, once I reached the summit, I was
able to duck behind a large rock formation that shielded me from most of
the wind's force. Still, after a brief stay admiring the views, I was
glad to head down the Jackson branch of the Webster-Jackson Trail. At
the bottom of the summit cone, there's one rather steep pitch. It was a
little icy, but not nearly as bad as I've seen it twice before,
struggling to climb up it in the dead of winter with several feet of
snow on the ground.
Just below this pitch, the trail entered the
woods again, and I was finally out of the wind. Later, I took a short
break at the junction where the Webster and Jackson branches split, and
then continued quickly down to the Highland Center. After returning the
borrowed loppers and hard hat, I was on my way home, and I was tired.
Cliff Trail. A dusting a snow had fallen overnight, and the bog
bridges were a bit slick, especially the newer ones that had
just been installed over the summer.