Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mt. Field - Solo Summer Hike



Elevation: 4,340ft
Trails: Avalon and Willey Ridge
Elevation Gain: 2,400ft
Distance: 5.4 miles roundtrip
Duration: 5 hrs/15 min (includes stops for breaks along the trail and at both summits)
My 4000+ Peak #17
Listed 4000+: #23
Via: Mt. Avalon (3,342 ft.)
Difficulty: Moderate

So there I was at the trailhead for the third time. The first time I did a solo hike to Mt. Willard, and the second time I made my first winter solo hike to Mt. Tom. I was familiar with how the Avalon Trail starts off easily from the Crawford Train Depot. I had planned to hike to Mounts Avalon, Field and Willey. But thunderstorms were forecasted for the afternoon and if I did hike to Mt. Willey, I didn't want to take a chance of hiking back down the steep rocky portions of trail when it was wet. I'd make my decision once I got to the summit of Mt. Field.

I expected the heat but not the humidity. Some parts of the trail are steep and rocky and the combination of humidity and bugs didn't make it any fun. There were a few hikers on the trail, both on the way up and on their way down. One female solo hiker on her way down had braces on both her knees. It reminded me that I had yet again, forgotten my knee brace in my pickup.

I didn't stop at Mt. Avalon, instead hiking to the summit of Mt. Field first, I would stop at Mt. Avalon on my way down. I had the Mt. Field summit all to myself and spent 30 minutes eating my lunch and taking photos. The only marker at the summit was a cairn. I decided then not to go onto Mt. Willey, saving it for another day hike. On my descent I stopped at Mt. Avalon summit and spent 15 minutes enjoying the cool breezes and taking more photos.

The rest of the descent was not fun! The humidity annoyed me, and I was glad I had not hiked onto Mt. Willey after all. And the bugs were relentless....I was tired of getting bitten and having bugs use my eyelids as landing strips. After my hike I changed clothes at the Highland AMC center and had a sushi lunch at Imperial Palace, just off of I93 in North Woodstock. The spicy tuna roll, although small, was actually very good. But the breading of the Agedashi Tofu was just too greasy for me. I didn't end up eating any of it.

It took me longer than usual to get home due to traffic. Near exit 31, there was traffic due to a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint (exercises?). And southbound I93 at the Concord exits was packed with traffic from the NH Nascar race in Louden. Traffic was so bad that they used one northbound lane on I93 for southbound traffic from exit 16 to exit 11. 

All in all, it was a good hike for me and it feels great to check off #17! And this time I remembered to use the Peaks app on my iPhone! :)

At the trailhead - Crawford Depot (2)
 

 Along the Avalon Trail (5)




 From the summit of Mt. Field (3)


 The Willey Range Trail from the summit of Mt. Field
 From the summit of Mt. Avalon (3)



No comments: