Mount Tom, Avalon, and Field Loop
4,000 footers number 2 and 3 are in the books. This was probably the most miserable hike i have done so far this year. Not because of the trail itself but because weather conditions were less than ideal. I hike rain or shine and it seems I have had more rain than shine this season. This day was a cold wet one.
"Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing." -Barry Finlay
The first summit was Mt. Avalon, which was the only one i was able to catch a view from. This peak is not part of the 4,000 footer club, but offered a beautiful view just the same.
I had actually planned on hiking Mt. Avalon earlier this spring but after reading some reviews on All Trails i decided to wait because someone had mentioned the river being impassable. The river was still a little tricky to get over but i managed with out much difficulty.
My initial plan was to hit Mount Tom over to Mount Field, then hop over to Mount Willey and trek back down towards Avalon, but things didn't work out that way.
Somehow I missed the trail marker heading to Mount Tom and ended up on the trail to Mount Avalon first instead of last. I ended up going the opposite direction than what i had originally planned but this was fine and wasn't a big deal.
After summiting Avalon I summited Mount Field next. At this point i was in the clouds and a view was non existent. The only thing marking my accomplishment was a big pile of rocks. Woot woot! This was my second 4,000 footer of the season. At this point things started to get really wet and cold.
It started to snow after grabbing a snack on top of Field and heading towards Willey. It wasn't long before i decided to skip Willey this time and head towards Tom. It started to snow pretty heavily and i didn't know if conditions would improve. I was already cold and wet and I made the wise decision to turn back. Willey could wait another day.
By the time I reached Mount Tom it stopped snowing and was just raining. Still wet and cold I didn't hang out on Tom for very long, not to mention my potential view was in clouds.
By the time I reached the end of the trail and got back to the picnic area at the train station where I parked I was pretty sure I was borderline hypothermic. I stripped down right then and there and didn't care who was watching. I changed into dry clothes and shoes and made my way back home.
Mount Avalon, Mount Field, Mount Tom Loop:
Location: Near Bretton Woods, New Hampshire off from Route 302. Parking at train station.
Distance: 7.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,904 ft
Time Frame: 5-7 hours
4,000 Footers (except Mount Avalon)
This was a great trail and can't wait to try it again on a clearer and warmer day!
"Although I deeply love oceans, deserts, and other wild landscapes, it is only mountains that beckon me with that sort of painful magnetic pull to walk deeper and deeper into their beauty." -Victoria Erickson