Hiking/Walk DATE: 03/05/2016 - 03/05/2016
Trip/Event Location: Bretton Woods, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
Join us for this 6.4 mile snowshoe to the summit of a prominent 4000-foot peak in the Presidential Range...Mt. Pierce (4312'). We will take the Crawford Path up to the summit of Mt. Pierce with...
As you pass the exit for Lincoln, continue on I-93 N for 11.9 miles. Take exit 35 to merge onto US-3 North toward Twin Mountain. Follow US-3 N for 10.3 miles. Turn right onto US-302 and follow US-302 East for 8.4 miles where you'll drive by Bretton Woods Ski Area and the Mt. Washington Hotel. The Crawford Path parking will be on the left...before the AMC Highlander Center...taking a left for a short distance up the Mt. Clinton Road (beyond this, the road is closed). Total distance from Lincoln is 30.8 miles (about 35 minutes). Look for a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.
We parked at Mt. Clinton Rd where there is plenty of parking and it does not interfere with the Highland Center. We put on our MicroSpikes for the entire hike. Taking the connector to the Crawford Path we were pleasantly surprised with how much snow there was on the trees!
At the bottom of the Crawford path, its ice scratched up from spike's traveling on it. Not bad and there's a lot to grab so, we are doing well. It's getting noticeably quieter as we travel up the trail away from the traffic passing by on the highway. Seems to be a less crowded day today but it's still early. As we climb, there are a few thin spots that are nothing but ice flow so care is taken to not slide off the edge. There's no snow at our house so, this makes us smile.
We stop and check out Gibb's Falls. I’m heating up so I’m down to my shirt and a headband but I have my gloves on with hand warmers. I have my medium weight synthetic underwear on with my insulated pants. As we hike up to the Mizpah Cut off we start to encounter more snow on the trees! No Gray Jays greet us today. A quick food break here for us and we notice a drop in temp and starting to feel some wind. The Crawford Path is filled in nicely with snow that seems to be increasing as we climb. We start seeing some views down below through the trees. A few people had hiked past us heading down as we were heading up and all seemed to be in good spirits. We approached tree line and I could feel the winds increase now. We put on extra layers in preparation for the wind chill.
At the trail junction with the Webster Cliff Trail, the Presidentials are in full display! We make our way up to the summit with the winds to our side. But as we approached the summit winds began to subside. We take a few shots with our cameras. We encounter a few people at the summit who were tagging the peak, enjoying the gorgeous views and having lunch. The summit of Mt. Pierce had some protection from the wind so we rested, basked in the sunshine and ate our sandwiches. This is winter to me…blue skies, sunshine, snow covered peaks and bit of chill in the air!
Once back safely in the trees, a couple of gray jays visited us. Anthony fed them but they were so fast I could not get a picture of them on his hand. Our pace is a lot quicker for the descent. There were a couple women who had carried small toboggan sleds for the descent and we saw their tracks on the snow. It seemed like that was the way to go for descending…next time!
There's quite a few people on the way up. We stop at the junction for the Mizpah Cut Off for a quick break. I know from here the trip will go by quickly. We cross paths with a few other hikers on the way up as we are coming down. Once back at the car, we are off for coffee at the Bretton Woods gas station for the drive home.
Pierce was an easy hike but gave us a taste of frigid winter conditions at the top. A fantastic winter hike in what seemed like a nonexistent winter!
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