Field and Tom
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My dad and I have done a lot of summer hiking in this Whites, including a magnificent ascent up the trail the Guidebook calls the hardest trail in the White Mountains, Huntington ravine. But almost no winter climbing, except for the little 5 mile round trip 'Mount' Major near Alton a couple weeks ago. My dad's done a lot, apparently, in his youth, but his youth is long buried in the mists of time and so we want to make sure not to bite off more then we can chew - I don't really want to carry him home. :)
Obviously, Washington in winter is the crown jewel of New Hampshire hiking, but that's unrealistic for him now. So instead, we were planning to climb both Mount Field and Mount Tom (both 4000 footers) next Friday.
Have any of you done those? Are they reasonable for a winter hike? And is the view anything like that from Passaconaway - trees quaintly framed by...more trees?
Field and Tom
As 4k's in winter go, Tom and Field are probably two of the easier ones to get. The round trip distance is short, and the trails steep, but not too steep. Tom is the easier of the two to ascend, and I would suggest bagging this one first. There is a good viewpoint down to the Highland Center and beyond to the Presidentials if they are visible. This lookout is just below the true summit which lies northwest of this. From the true summit there is a good view west into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. You guys can assess your situation here and decide whether you want to continue on to Mount Field. The trip up the Willey Range Trail to Field is relatively easy as far as hiking between peaks in the Whites goes. From Field you may consider descending by the Avalon Trail. There is a short spur trail to the summit of Mount Avalon which probably has the best views of all. However, the Avalon Trail is quite steep. It will get you down fast, but may be tough on tired legs. Returning to the col between Field and Tom and descending by the A-Z and Avalon Trails does not add a lot of distance or time and may be easier on your dad.
Tom was one of our first winter 4k's. We did Field and Willey last March.
Tom + Field + Willey is the 'cheapest' three-for on the AMC 4000er list. There are some steep sections, more on the Avalon Trail (to/from Field) and the Willey Range Trail (to/from Willey on the south side) but overall it's pretty easy.
It seems a lot of people have reported doing these peaks in the last 2-3 weeks...
Here is a TR from 1/19/08:
Well, we decided not to drive all the way to Crawford Notch because of a predicted snow snorm this evening, and instead did Tecumseh this morning. It was absolutely gorgeous, with the temperature around 5 degrees when we left the house. The trees were totally encased in ice - utterly magnificent. Unfortunately, I'm not the best photographer and couldn't really capture of the feeling of the moment, but perhaps you'd still like to see?
Interestingly, five minutes (probably without exaguration) after I took this of the summit and we were returning from a quick outlook, the clouds had moved in and completely hidden the summit. I've never seen them move so fast before.
And this little guy goes with us on each of our hikes - sort of a roaming gnome kinda thing. He's been to Washington, Chocorua, Whiteface, Passaconaway and a few others. Rather well traveled, for being a stuffed animal. :)
Anyone ever done that mountain?
Nice pics! Glad you guys got to climb something together. Looks like great conditions.
Nice to see you have a cool hiking companion too.
I opened up a special photo album for my traveling companion - The Hat.
Glad you had such a great hike!!
We tried Mt Field on Monday (between storms #1 and #2). We only got as far as Mt Avalon. The hike in to the intersection with A-Z trail was nice, but wow... the volume of snow on the rest of the way up Avalon was incredible. Tim was breaking trail the whole way through about 14 inches of snow - which just slid away like a mini-avalanche as we tried to climb. The snowshoes couldn't really grip at all. For me, anyways, it felt like 2 steps forward and then a 3-step loss, then try again. :D
It was good exercise anyways! It's always good to be in the woods!!
You have a nice shot of snow and ice on both the north and south slides of Tripyramid at the same time as you look across the Waterville Valley. There is nothing wrong with that.