Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Second Winter Hike - Jackson and Webster - 1-22-12


View of Mount Tom from the trailhead

Second winter hike ever for I was staying at the Highland Center, Webster-Jackson was near the top of my list, and with clear weather expected all day, and high-teens summit temps, this was a go. The winds which were supposed to be in the 30mph range never materialized again, not that I'm complaining! Maybe on Washington they were blowing, but not on the clear summits to the South! (And I was later told they weren't blowing much higher up either).

Nothing unusual here, I did the Webster-Jackson Trail, doing Jackson first, then along the Webster Cliff Trail to Webster, and down the Webster fork. Microspikes were perfect for this. There were numerous icy ledges along the Webster-Jackson Trail, especially the portion below the fork and the Jackson Branch. Bare boots would have been fine between the summits, but I left the spikes on.

Not too many people seen today either, I might have gotten out before the crowds. Saw 2 people as I returned from the cliff overlook 0.6 miles from the road, they were heading to Washington for the day...that's a decent walk! Ran into 2 guys coming down about 3/4 mile from the Jackson summit (kpmmbm and CrazyBob from Views From the Top).

Almost to the summit of Jackson!

I was climbing at a better overall rate today, and actually summited right around book time (2.5 hrs) One couple caught up to me shortly after this and we leap-frogged to the summit. They headed right down after taking a few pictures (football game?) So I had the summit MOSTLY to myself for 45 minutes while I hung out by the summit carin and snacked. 3 gray jays were all over me during this looking for was even taking food from my hand as I went to eat it!

Gray Jay looking for handouts

FANTASTIC views today! The only other time I was on Jackson it was overcast and cloudy, and so visibility wasn't great. Today was a perfect day, 120 mile visibility no problem. Temps were around 15-20F on the summit (at 11AM) and as I mentioned, just a very light intermittent breeze, and abundant sunshine. A true Presi day as the term goes. I took a ton of pictures, identifying what I could off-hand in Carrigain/Vose Spur, Field/Tom/Willey, all the Southern Presidentials, Isolation, Wildcats and even some Carters, Chocoura, Franconia Ridge peeking out behind the Willey range, and I think I even saw the Bonds. Very nice.

Mount Washington and the Southern Presidentials

Mount Washington

Mount Carrigain

Summit carin on Jackson

Mount Washington and it's South-Eastern Leg

Washington and the Southern Presidentials

After a while I started packing up to go, and 2 other couples summited right then. I left the gray jays to beg from them and headed to Webster. From here on I saw no one until the road.

The trail between Webster and Jackson I have never been on, but it was pretty steep in a number of spots, and butt-sliding was very helpful on a lot of ledges. The trail was well-broken and easy enough to follow, though the trail was overgrown in a number of spots. Heavy brushing will be needed come spring, though some of it will ease once the snow melts off the limbs that were only in the trail because of snow. Hit the trail junction just below Webster, popped up to the summit for a little to take some pictures into Crawford Notch. Headed down at 12:40, and was back at the car right at 2PM (left the car at 8:20).

Mount Willey from Webster

Mounts Field and Tom from Mount Webster

I was a shade over 5.5 hours for the whole loop with a long stop on Jackson, not too bad.

A great hike, thanks a ton to those that suggested it!

Winter 4K #2....


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