Monday, July 23, 2012

Made it to Crawford Notch

Monday, July 16, 2012:

I have successfully matriculated my first semester in the Whites.  It was tough, and it wore me down.  I needed an easy day after four tough ones, and today was relatively easy, though still more than 14 miles of trail.  That was the stretch of trail between Crawford Notch and the Zealand Trail.  It never gets above 2900 feet and a bunch of it is on the old Zealand Valley Railroad bed - nearly level except where landslides and washouts have obliterated the track.  Here's where the old railroad passed through the exposed rock jumble of Zealand Notch:

In the full-sized version of this photo you can see the white gleam of Zealand Falls Hut in the distant valley.

Of course to get to 2900 feet from the 1300 foot floor of Crawford Notch, you have to do some uphill walking.  But today it wasn't 'climbing'.  The trail was relatively moderately sloped, accomplishing the elevation change steadily over more than two miles

Once up top there are some nice highlights, including Ethan Pond:

And Thoreau Falls, which curves around so that you can see both the cascade and the vista down the valley.

The section I just finished, 27.7 miles between Franconia and Crawford Notches, is the longest section in New Hampshire without road crossings.  But the next section seems just as daunting - the Presidentials, capped off by Mount Washington.  Tomorrow's weather looks horrible, though, and here I find myself right down the road from the AMC's posh Highland Center ... hmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...


Here's the map of today's hike and a chart of the elevation profile:

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