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Thread: Almost Not Mount Avalon 2/24/09

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Thanked 84 Times in 54 Posts

    Default Almost Not Mount Avalon 2/24/09

    Our hike to Mount Avalon was preceded by a buffet breakfast at the AMC Highland Center.
    We snowshoed to the Avalon trail across from the Old Crawford Depot visitor center and on the other side of the railroad tracks.
    The trailhead was blown shut with a 4 foot drift but looked to be somewhat "broken" out further up the path.

    We were optimistic that maybe someone had punched through the previous days snowfall. Upon hiking on the snow blown path for about a quarter mile we ran into a man who had camped out a short distance up the trail and he told us that he broke the trail for approximatly another 100 yards then gave up when he encounterd drifts up to his waist.
    We soon came upon the section he mentioned and he wasn't joking.


    We struggled through incredible drifts of snow; the deepest we've seen in all our years of winter hiking.

    And with ever increasing incline it just made it more difficult. Blazes were almost covered by the drifts.

    At one point JL was crossing what appeared to be a stream, when the snowbridge gave way and he sank up to his waist and couldn't get his foot out of the depression. Little d pulled him out after about 10 minutes of floundering.
    "Would someone please remind me why I'm doing this"?
    Shortly after reaching the junction of the Avalon trail and the A-Z trail, we turned left leaving us with just another .5 miles to go. Struggling another .2 miles we then lost the trail. NOW WHAT!!
    We looked and looked but couldn't find a yellow blaze and were reaching the point at which we were just going to give up and return, without summiting. It was then that we heard voices; it was a white bearded gentleman and his son. They thanked us for busting out the trail and asked when we started. 9:15 we replied and told them that we couldn't find the next blaze. Brian (the son) scoured the hillside like a freight train searching for the trail. Finally after about half and hour he found the trail. Our group (now 4) continued on with Brian leading the way. We reached the Mt. Avalon (summit 100 yds.) sign at about 2 pm. and summited at 2:15 pm (5 hours to go 1.8 miles)

    Here's Brian and his dad.

    Views of Mount Websters' cliffs were spectacular.

    The Presidential summits were shrouded in clouds.

    Jimmy Legs and Little d on top of Mount Avalon.

    View towards the Northeast with the Highland Center far below.

    Mount Tom.

    Flocked evergreens.

    Descending, after being on the summit for 45 minutes, we couldn't belileve the depth of the snow we had to go through to reach our goal.

    Further down the trail we ran into two hikers wanting to photograph the sunset from the summit of Mount Avalon. Turned out to be none other than Jim Salge and Ryan Knapp from the Mount Washington Observatory and members of Views From The Top.

    It was great meeting you guys.
    We've always admired Jims photos and suggested he publish a book of his works.
    We finished back at the depot at 3:50 pm.

    Our reward for todays adventure: 2 for 1 pizza from the Red Fox in Jackson.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Thanked 34 Times in 30 Posts


    Great report and photos.

    Those two slackers got a free packed trail to the top. Typical.
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    White Mountains, NH
    Thanked 25 Times in 16 Posts


    Excellent, excellent photos -- thanks for sharing your epic adventure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Thanked 398 Times in 250 Posts


    So, Jim was asking for someone to break trail up Boott Spur for him and he switched to Avalon because you guys did it there - for him. What a deal. Take a few neat pictures and look what folks do for you! Your photos are wonderful and really show what the trails can be like after a nice storm - and this was not all that big.
    Brad (a 6288 club member) Personal Photo sales site Personal photo web site MWO image & video archive site 2006-2012

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    South Dartmouth,MA.
    Thanked 173 Times in 116 Posts


    Sounds and looks like you all had one heck of an adventure. You got some great pictures. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Mount Washington, NH
    Thanked 110 Times in 42 Posts


    I feel like I am reading something from Paul Harvey: "And now you know..The rest of the story..." Great trail report. It was great meeting you guys and thanks again for breaking trail.
    Ryan Knapp
    Staff Meteorologist/Night Observer, KMWN (Mt Washington Obs., NH)

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