Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I had been waiting for a comfortable day to enjoy a nice stay on a peak. I hit it just right today - as the Mt. Washington Observatory predicted, winds were very light midday and early afternoon, allowing for a near two-hour summit stay with 80-mile views.

It was a beautiful sunny morning as I set out on the Webster-Jackson Trail, following a nice softly packed snowshoe track with a solid base beneath.

The viewpoint on Bugle Cliff, 0.6 mile up, is always worth the short side trip.

High winds the night before had completely drifted in the start of the side path.

The view looking northwest to Mount Avalon, Mount Tom and the Rosebrook Range.

Mount Tom was looking wintry.

Mount Field above Mount Willard.

Back on the main trail, Flume Cascade Brook was frozen and buried. It's been a great winter for making stream crossings.

Grades are mostly easy in the half-mile from the brook crossing to the Webster-Jackson split. The climbing is steadier from here on up.

Great snowshoeing on the W-J Trail! I saw later in a report that the tracks I was following were from uber-hikers Georg and Old Man and the Saw, who had continued on to Pierce and Eisenhower. They broke through some pretty good drifts up near the top. Thanks!

Open woods along the trail at 3400 ft.

Plenty o' snow up here.

The summit in sight ahead through a fir wave.

The steep ascent up the cone, well filled in with a ramp of snow.

Emerging from the scrub, I saw that it was a great day for views, with high thin clouds moving in for a small snowstorm in the evening. And there was virtually no wind.

The last steep crusty pitch to the top.

The Willey Range with the Twins beyond.

A drifty view of the Presys.

The Gray Jays are almost always hanging around on Jackson, waiting for a tasty handout.

Hello there!

Three's company.

A perch with a view.

A Boreal Chickadee stopped by for a brief visit.

Looking across to the dark crest of Montalban Ridge. I couldn't believe how comfortable it was to hang around feeding the jays and admiring the views. Robin and Amy, who came up shortly after me, were also amazed at how great a day it was.

The trail sign post at the summit has broken.

Carrigain and Hancock.

Wind-flagged scrub and Mount Washington.

More wind-shaped conifers.

From the northeast side of the summit, looking towards the alpine bogs on the ridge and Mount Pierce, with the Pliny Range in the distance.

The view northwest to Bretton Woods and distant peaks in Vermont. The Jay Peaks and Mount Mansfield were clearly visible nearly 80 miles away.

Descending off the crusty cone after a most enjoyable summit sojourn.

On the way back down I saw that a skier and snowboarder had headed down Flume Cascade Brook. What a winter!


  1. Hi Steve . . . well you certainly couldn't have picked a better day for doing a 4K peak, especially considering the rather intense winter weather of this year!

    That is a great shot of the Boreal Chickadee. Were there other chickadees nearby, or was this little guy just out on its own doing a solo "hike"? :-)


    1. Hi John,

      This was the day I was waiting for! There were three Boreals that came by, but only this one stood still long enough to get a passable shot. Then they flitted off towards the Dry River valley. Wish we could get down there that quickly!