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View Full Version : Sunset Hike Up Mount Avalon...



JimS
02-25-2009, 04:42 PM
Ryan and I did some hiking around the notches the last few days, and wow, it's a good winter.

Conditions yesterday (Tuesday) were clearing, cold, and decreasingly windy. The Crawford Notch area was the bullseye for the last storms accumulation, with over two new feet on the ground at the highland center. After breaking trail to Lila's Ledge the day before (a short but incredibly tiring hike in the conditions), we decided we would only do Avalon if the trail was broken!

We arrived at 2PM to the lot, and found fresh tracks...luck was looking good...but we had no idea how far they went. And trudging through 3-5 foot drifts over through the tracks pretty much guarenteed we weren't making sunset if we had to break trail.

About a mile in, two folks came down, and confirmed that it was broken to the summit, as they, and another couple had broken it out. Met the other couple a few minutes later, who started at 9AM and it took them 5+ hours to go the ~two miles. And in talking to them...our heros were none other than Jimmy Legs and Little D from these very forums. Great to meet you guys.

The last pitch was steep, and but we got to the summit a bit after 4:30. I shot the last light on the beautiful rimed up trees for a few minutes, but wanted to save batteries. Here's the best shot of that scene...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3601/3310152450_5a0ee925cb.jpg

We then hunkered down in spruce wells and hid from the wind until sunset. Clouds were dissolving, light on the mountains was intense. At 5:10, I told Ryan I was going to start shooting, and all of a sudden, the light disappeared. We had no view to the west, but there was nothing but clear skies in every direction. I resorted to a lot of cussing! After bright glow, here was the light we were left with...a great view, but fairly dull...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3590/3310152424_a2e68ebfa3.jpg

We kept trying to convince ourselves that the light was coming back.

It never did.

It didn't really matter...it was a beautiful night in deep snow that I dream about all year long!

I did get two other shots I liked though, one down the notch, and one of the range right as darkness was settling on the range...probably not going into the portfolio, but nice shots none the less...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3549/3310152476_477c24a0e6.jpg

and

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3574/3310152498_edfb6a4b4d.jpg


The hike out was quick under headlamp. We got back to the notch under brillient starlight without the new moon.

Despite the frustrations of slow slogging, and poor light, it was a great day out!

When I got home, I checked the webcam archive. These are the two shots before and after the light faded, and the tiny annoying cloud that stole an epic shot. I'll be back...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3359/3309329951_eacbab7a90_m.jpghttp://farm4.static.flickr.com/3609/3309329967_8d82fb532e_m.jpg

and the mountain...
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3617/3310159000_84a7ee55af_m.jpghttp://farm4.static.flickr.com/3508/3310159016_0b1359faab_m.jpg

Seeing this is frustrating...

KD Talbot
02-25-2009, 06:51 PM
At least you got out there and got to enjoy the winter Whites! Great pics anyway, even if you didn't get what you were after. The thing it took me a while to learn is: set your expectations low, then when things work out it's all gravy! :) And... what I have learned from Emma is: it is always good to be out on the trail. Especially in the winter.

KDT

JimS
02-25-2009, 06:55 PM
At least you got out there and got to enjoy the winter Whites! Great pics anyway, even if you didn't get what you were after. The thing it took me a while to learn is: set your expectations low, then when things work out it's all gravy! :) And... what I have learned from Emma is: it is always good to be out on the trail. Especially in the winter.

KDT

It was a great hike for sure...and what a view...

Expectations...they were low for most of the hike...as we didn't know if we would make it in the deep powder. It was a great slog...everything I love about winter hiking!

mtruman
02-26-2009, 06:42 AM
Beautiful! Avalon is my favorite of the summits we've been on in winter (unfortunately the list is short). With the views you'd never believe that this isn't a bigger mountain. Thanks for sharing Jim.

Stets
02-27-2009, 12:00 AM
One of the most underated Summits in The Whites.


Nice job.


Your photos always amaze me and the extra effort shows in every image.


Thanks for more great shots.