View Full Version : Sunset Hike to Mount Pierce 12/2/09

KD Talbot
12-03-2009, 08:49 PM
Summit of Mount Pierce

Mount Pierce 4312'

Crawford Connector/Crawford Path/Webster Cliff Trail

6.3 Miles 2450'

Kevin, Judy and Emma

We made this climb with the intention of staying until darkness in the hopes of getting some more sunset shots. The sunset was a fizzle but that made no matter to what was a real nice hike on a beautiful late fall day. Temps were low thirties and there was hardly a breath of wind. Most of the trail had been packed with snowshoes prior to our visit, but there were several bony sections with trickling water and lots of blowdowns from the wet storm a few days earlier, some required finding a path around.

Just below us

We broke treeline an hour or so before the sun sank into the approaching weather front that brought an inch of rain and temps in the sixties to southern New Hampshire where we live. I'm not certain if it arrived as rain or snow in the mountains. If it was rain, conditions may have deteriorated significantly. While we were there conditions were beautiful throughout the rest of the afternoon and we enjoyed watching the changing light on the mountains to our northeast and the changing sky, though it offered no brilliant sunset colors.

Leaving the summit of Mount Pierce

As the light faded we began to realize that there would be no showy sunset on this day, and we began the trek back down the Crawford Path. We had worn our snowshoes up from the parking lot and after some discussion about whether we should wear them down or use our microspikes we decided to stay with the shoes rather than carry them. We could have easily done the whole hike in our spikes, but Judy prefers her shoes and I was trying out my new MSR Denali Evo Ascents. I was torn in buying them. I knew a lot of folks on the forums endorsed them, but I had a bad experience twice with the MSR Lightning Ascents I used the last two years. Cleat failures left me out in the woods with one shoe on two different occasions. I finally convinced myself that the Evo's were a better design and the cleat was sturdier and would hold up better. I must say their maiden voyage was a success, but it's not even winter yet!

Last look

Darkness closed in about halfway back down the trail and out came the new 50 lumen Petzl's. All I can say is that they are a lot brighter than anything I've ever had. Like driving with high beams on. The moon rose into a cloudbank and never offered us any light for hiking so the headlamps were more than appreciated. The light from them is so bright it took a while for our eyes to adjust to the oncoming headlights which seemed dim in comparison. Great hike on a great afternoon!

Full set of pics here (http://ghostflowers.smugmug.com/White-Mountain-Hikes/Mount-Pierce-12209/10522686_Nsbif#731079715_zc8wX):


12-03-2009, 09:51 PM
Really nice! I love hiking and camping in the winter, too bad my wife HATES the cold... and she's from Russia... what's up with that, huh? :D

KD Talbot
12-03-2009, 10:46 PM
Tell her this: There is an old russian proverb:

"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes."


12-03-2009, 10:59 PM
Tell her this: There is an old russian proverb:

"There is no bad weather, only bad clothes."


Ha!! I definitely will. Thanks! :D

Snow Miser
12-04-2009, 07:58 AM
Very nice photos and TR Kevin! The mountains look so beautiful now that they are covered in a blanket of snow.:) Also, how does Emma do in the snow, especially in sections where the snow is deeper?

12-04-2009, 11:27 AM
nice pictures; thanks for taking the time to share!

Nice to see that the snow cover seems to be bulding from the summit pic; really making me look forward to my trip up to the whites next week... just curious to ask what equipment did you need to use for your hike, just boots & poles??

BTW just asking because I'm getting ready to pack for my trip and hoping to here that there is enough snow, the ice has formed enough for me to tackle a "ax/crampons" climb (?? my fav flume slide??), but from all the pictures I've seen it doesn't look like it has formed quite enough yet :(

KD Talbot
12-04-2009, 06:42 PM
Bob- Emma loves the snow! I can only think of one time we turned back because it was balling up on her fur so bad. She was probably carrying another few pounds. We are usually on packed trails, but when we're not she stays behind the lead snowshoer (and trailpacker).

Tim- It was 68 degrees here yesterday and there was an inch of rain Wednesday into Thursday. Mountains weren't much different. I stated in the trip report that we wore snowshoes the whole way but could have worn microspikes or even barebooted. The rain may have changed things and there is another few inches of snow expected tonight. Things could change significantly before your arrival. We have not really gotten much winter-like weather yet. Not sure about the feasibility of Flume Slide, but there is good ice in Tuckerman and Huntington forming.



12-05-2009, 04:10 PM
Great stuff Kevin! Had already enjoyed the pics from your FB post and enjoyed the TR to go with it. Not sure we're ready for night hiking yet but it sure is fantastic being up on those summits for sunset. Looks like you're getting an early start on a great winter of hiking.

12-05-2009, 07:58 PM
I love the different shades of pale blue in that "Last Look" photo. Very nice. I'll have to look into those new brighter Petz headlamps--that could make a huge difference!

12-06-2009, 05:01 PM
Hey guys . . . sorry the sunset didn't work out as you had hoped it would. However, you still got what I'd consider to be some darn good photos!
Also, I admire your night-hike undertaking. It's something I'd find difficult to do, but I can still get vicarious enjoyment from sunset/sunrise photos that you and others post.

Regarding your new MSR Denali Evo Ascents, I can fully understand your reservations. I'm on my third set of MSRs. The previous two sets broke (cracked plastic on one set, cracked sole plate on the second set). Each time, MSR replaced the shoes free of charge. So, I'm not out any money, thus far . . . just inconvenienced, and slightly annoyed!

By the way, what is your "FB post" that Mark Truman mentioned in his response to this thread?

KD Talbot
12-06-2009, 05:13 PM
Thanks all!

John- FB is Facebook:



Anna LeBlanc
12-06-2009, 08:21 PM

Really enjoyed reading your TR.The pictures were beautiful.Emma looks like she really enjoys being out there bounding through the snow.:)