View Full Version : Mt Tom- Surprise!

05-03-2010, 03:36 PM
Back before the weather reports started talking about a foot of snow up north, we had decided to hike Mt Tom. We also thought that we would do Field and Willey while we were at it. We've done 9 miles many times before, aand this seemed totally reasonable.

We chose Tom, since it was a lower elevation (just over 4000 ft) and figured the snow would be pretty much gone. Since winter decided to rear it's ugly head again, we got just the opposite! I was ok with all snow, or no snow, just didn't want to deal with the in between, to snow shoe or not to snowshoe, mud, ice etc conditions.

We started up Mt Tom behind the trail depot and the wind was wicked in the parking lot. We had hats and fleeces on that I knew would probably come off soon. We shed layers at the first brook crossing, then donned microspikes shortly thereafter. It was about 8am, so there was still snow on the lower trails and the parking lot to the train depot was completely snow covered. We went more than half way up with just the microspikes on and the snow started getting quite a bit deeper. We reached a section where the snow had drifted in over the trail and thought it was time for the snowshoes. We did bring them, after all, why not use them. The second mile of this hike was MUCH steeper than we had thought, with some serious dips in and out of stream crossings. We were starting to feel the effects when we reached the Mt Tom Spur. I was surprised that i didn't see another trail, since I knew there was a junction here.

The last half mile up the Mt Tom Spur was the nicest (flat) section of the hike, despite the lack of views. We did get to stop and hang out with a gray jay and watch the snow swirl off the top of Mt Washington with the high winds. We were surprisingly pooped at this point, and decided that there was no way we were breaking trail across to Field, especially since we were knew to this little range and didn't really know what to expect or where we were going (seems easy enough from the summit, but we all know it's different in the woods!). Plus we were really tired!

On the way back down, someone had come up and broken out the trail over to Field, but it went three different ways and we just weren't up to adding on the extra 3 miles to do the whole loop. We headed back down and the snow had gotten pretty soft and sticky by then. We wore the snowshoes almost all the way back out, till you start to walk along the brook/stream again and then the snow just disappeared and we barebooted it the rest of the way out.

I'm done with Spring snow. I'll hike again in Dec. Jan. Feb. Early March at the latest, but no more sticky, slushy, iffy, trail for me! I will also be investing in new snowshoes, since i know I'm all talk and will be back out there again next winter no matter what! Good hike though, great temps and not a bad view of the presi's!

Snow Miser
05-03-2010, 04:18 PM
It sounds like it was a nice hike, despite the sloppy spring snow. Thanks for sharing.

05-04-2010, 07:55 AM
Hiking up to Mt. Tom seems like a great day of hiking with snow on the ground. Is the summit pretty bare up there? I plan on doing Tom this summer and am very excited. The sticky snow sounds like it was a pain in the neck though. I'm sure it makes you exert way more effort than should be needed!


Jimmy Legs and Little d
05-04-2010, 06:35 PM
A very nice report. We agree that based on the trail conditions you encountered is the reason why we no longer hike in the White Mountains in the spring along with blowdowns and bugs. Best time is fall and winter!

Donna and Mike:)

05-05-2010, 02:27 PM
The summit was not bare. It does look like most of the snow is gone now though (yay!!). I'm over the spring hiking in the snow. I'll have to find something else to keep me busy (maybe use the new mountain bike) till May. Moriah is next, hope it's clear!!