Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hall Point 2440' 11.15.11

I wanted something close to home because I couldn't leave early and the days are certainly becoming short. I haven't climb Change Peak which is sometimes called East Mt. Washington. In my research I found mention of a climbers trail that is not marked on the map. This seemed a perfect fit so I picked up Rob in Issy and we were off. The weather was benign and we even  managed some sun breaks. With the recent low elevation snow I was excited that we would need snowshoes. Too bad soMeonE left their snowshoes at home despite leaving themselves a note to remind them

  I had some issue getting us on route because I wasn't quite sure where the trail actually started. We ended up at the Mt Washington trailhead and forest service worker happened to pull up and gave us some precise instructions. This was a stroke of good fortune. We parked in the turnout just across from the Hall Creek crossing. I spied a worn track and we followed, we did find it easier if you start right at the concrete bridge abutment on the West side of Hall creek. The trail is steep but the going was made easier by the nice shallow layer of snow making for nice steps. Soon we reached a nice vista and the trail continues on up. We were debating on the way up if we should change our destination and stay on the ridge line since the snow cover we hoped would be shallower and the distance shorter. I didn't think we would make our goal doing a road walk without both having snowshoes. We  reached a junction with the our intended road that leads to the small pond at the head of the valley and also continues along the ridge. We decided to keep climbing and quickly reached Hall Pt. which is a nice regional viewpoint.

  We started traversing the ridge which was reasonable and soon reached J's Landing. I headed East and found a reasonable route back to the ridge and Rob went West and ran into a logging spur. We decided to head on the logging spur head to our original goal. the road was choked with alder laden with snow making for annoying travel. Finally Rob put on his snowshoes and I followed in his tracks. Thankfully this made it easier for me. I was struggling breaking trail in the knee deep snow. It became apparent that we would not have enough time to make our goal with the slow going. We found a nice sunny spot to have lunch and debate our options. We decided it would be most reasonable to head back the way we had come, so that is what we did. I did find the descent tedious since the traction always looked suspect but in the end it was just fine. I would definitely try to do this trip as a loop using our route for the ascent and descending via the Mount Washington trail. Another nice day to be out.

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