Another day, two more peaks bagged. Whichway (Melissa) needed Hale for her winter list and, not being a morning person, was open to a lunch-time start. This gave me an opportunity to bag Cannon in the morning. The drive up was sloppy, having rained most of the night, and the drive took longer than usual. I parked in the Tram lot at Cannon, which was a sheet of ice, and got dressed. I put snowshoes on at the Kinsman Ridge Trail start proper and wore them the entire day.
Kinsman Ridge Trail Jct. Rim Trail
The rain and warm temps made the going feel like late April. Spring snow conditions for sure, complete with running water under the trail. Despite careful foot placement and snowshoes, I post-holed up to my calf a few times. Luckily, I got my shoe out before the water made it into my boots. Mostly this was a problem anywhere the trail crossed perpendicular to the fall line through the glades. At the start of the glades, there was flock of robins in some mountain ash. At first I thought they were cedar waxwings but the song was definitely robin. Above the glades, the snow was soft, but not slushy.
Eagle Cliff from the parking lot
No views from the top today. I sent Whichway a text saying I was on my way to meet her. On the way down, it was easier to post-hole and I tried to smooth them over, but if it freezes, it will be a bit sloppy up there.
My forth time on Hale. My forth time on the Firewarden's Trail. The North Twin trail was a luge track, so we wore micropikes up to the base of the birch glades (where the birch with the blue paint is.) The FWT from NTT to this point was mostly soft snow, with a few bare spots. Of note was the Little River had water well over the ice, and all of the tributaries were wide open. Crossings here will be suspect for a while.
Birch Glades through which the Firewarden's Trail runs
The FWT trail switchbacks its way up to the north shoulder of Hale, the gradient is never steep and very steady. Above the glades and into the spruce, the snow got deep enough where you will need snowshoes. Unlike Cannon, the trees were not very laden with wet, drippy snow, but like Cannon, the top 25% of the mountain was in the clouds. We snapped a quick picture and flew down the trail.
Tim, Whichway and Delilah on Hale
All Photos, not that there are many