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!
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: