Saturday, March 2, 2019

Mount Garfield: 3/1/19

A gorgeous, comfortable day for a long walk in the woods to one of the best viewpoints in the Whites. Superb packed powder snowshoeing conditions. Thanks to the trail breakers!

Reaching the summer trailhead after the 1.2 mile road slog.

The first 0.7 mile of Garfield Trail rolls along an attractive hemlock-clad mini-ridge. Typically thin snow cover here.

Lots of moose sign on this section.

The crossings of Thompson and Spruce Brooks were well-frozen.

For the next mile and a half the Garfield Trail ascends easily through open hardwoods, sunny and expansive on this fine late winter morning.

Rolling along.

Open birch and conifer on Burnt Knoll, a minor 3000-ft. eminence that was seared in a 1902 fire.

Mellow grades continue on a series of seven switchbacks through conifer forest, winding up the NW slope of the mountain.

High-country winter beauty.

On the upper switchback I had the pleasure of chatting with Suzanne and Tom Perry, frequent visitors to the store (this was winter peak #18 for them), and Chantal Gervais, who is working on her Northeast 115.


Final approach to the ridge.

Junction with Garfield Ridge Trail. Here a lone skier came up behind me. He switched to snowshoes for the final steep push to the summit, then skied back down the Garfield Trail.

Looking back at the Twins from Garfield Ridge Trail.

Powdery snow softened the steep pitch up to the peak.

Summit ledges, topped by the foundation of the fire lookout station that was occupied here from 1940-1948.

Oh my!

The Bonds.

Bondcliff with Mt. Carrigain behind on the L. If you look closely, you might see the tip of Mt. Chocorua peeking over the R side of Bondcliff's summit.

Mt. Guyot's double summit, witth its alpine zone and scree slopes.

The Twins with the shining Presidentials beyond.

Mt. Washington peers over the slope of North Twin.

Mts. Adams and Jefferson.

Rime-frosted ledge.

An hour and a half summit stay in winter? On a day like this, why not!

The dark dome of Mt. Passaconaway.

The Osceolas.

The Franconia Range beyond Garfield's south spur and the Lincoln Brook valley.

Mighty Lafayette.

Peering down into the upper Franconia Brook valley, overlooked by the steep slope of Owl's Head - one of the more remote areas in the Whites.

Birch glades, the legacy of the 1907 Owl's Head fire.

It's hard to pull away from the Pemi Wilderness vista, but Garfield also offers sweeping views to distant horizons. Looking west over Big Bickford Mountain you can see many peaks in the Green Mountains.

Gazing north over wild Flat Top Mountain to the Nash Stream, Pilot and Pliny Ranges and Cherry Mountain.

One last look into the Pemi.

Birches in late afternoon sun.

Burnt Knoll woods.

Suzanne Perry had spotted a fallen pole from the old fire warden's phone line on the way up. She wrote my name in the snow so I wouldn't miss it on the way down. Thanks, Suzanne!

Garfield Trail is a great route for snowshoeing.

Last sun in the hardwoods.

Hello there! The hemlock mini-ridge on the lower part of the trail is this young bull's hangout.

1 comment:

  1. Looks gorgeous, and with a moose, too! Thanks for sharing.