Ghosts of April: Webster/Jackson 4/18/09
Mount Webster 3910' and Mount Jackson 4052'
Webster-Jackson Trail and Webster Cliff Trail
6.5 Miles 2500' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
Still trying to chase the ghosts of April away we set out to Crawford Notch. The sky was gray and bleak producing some rain on the drive up. Didn't figure there would be any views today. Didn't matter. That wasn't why we were going. Outdoor time. Forest time. Quiet time. Time to think. Time to feel. More importantly, time to heal. We saw no one until we got back to the car. Had the mountain to ourselves. We could have been the only two people on earth. For a while we were.
The glory of a trip like this is no one, nothing to distract you from your thoughts. The only thing going on to distract you is nature. You can take the time to observe it as it's happening in front of you. Fog sublimating the snowpack and simultaneously forming new rime feathers as we stood on each summit.
Rime on Spruce
It is amazing how different even the most familiar mountain can look covered in snow, and the summit of Webster seemed quite different to me. I could not easily make out where we had camped before. The snow was still deep and we were walking among the tree limbs rather than beneath them. There was plenty of bare rock proving the sun had been working hard as well, but this day he called in sick, at least in Crawford Notch.
The hike up to Webster proved a little longer and steeper than I remember. It always does. I think your mind blocks out the miserable parts of the trip so you forget and always make the mistake of going back. It's always fun when your brain says, "Oh yeah, now I remember, I hated this part last time." Whatever. No big deal. It just reinforces my belief that none of them are easy. They all have some aspect of difficulty. Nothing too severe on this hike.
Falls on the Silver Cascade
The Silver Cascade on the Webster portion of the Webster-Jackson Trail was it's usual beautiful self. There is still a beautiful blue ice bulge that must have been quite impressive a month or two ago. On Webster summit we had a quick lunch and sat quietly in the dampness, taking in what beauty there was in the gnarly, freshly rimed krummholz and bright green moss/lichen covered rocks. The rocks stood in stark contrast to the surrounding dense nothingness of the fog.
We headed north along the Webster Cliff Trail towards Mount Jackson. The snow was still very deep but provided good footing, although the trail was sometimes hard to follow. The trees close in at some points and there are some blowdowns that leave you questioning if you are still on course, but pretty minor stuff. We were nearly on the summit of Jackson before realizing we were there, the fog being that thick.
More quiet. Calm thoughts. Solitude. Peace. Time. My mind detoxifies. For a few moments I am able to breath. The weight is gone. I can feel life filling back into me. Washing me like the waves of clouds that pound the mountainside. All that is good in my life comes to the front of my mind. I am clean again.
Rime on Summit Cairn, Mount Jackson
and the first picture is the best
Amazing ice pictures. Sure turned the ghostly images into something very beautiful.
Top notch TR and pictures as usual.
Ghosts of April
It is a special gift to be able to express one's feeling and emotions as you have in your report. Your pictures compliment the essay.