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Ascent of Mount Hale on 2012-07-01

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Sunday, July 1, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Hale
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4054 ft / 1235 m

Ascent Trip Report

I parked at the start of the Zealand Trail, and set out running north along Zealand Road to the Hale Brook trailhead. I took the Hale Brook Trail to Mt. Hale, and then continued on the Lend-A-Hand Trail, making the side excursion to South Hale (an 80 minute side trip). After that, I continued to the Zealand Falls Hut, where I refilled my water, and then headed west on the Twinway to Zealand Mtn. I then backtracked, adding on the 0.1 mile Zeacliff Pond spur. I took the Zeacliff Trail steeply downhill to the Ethan Pond Trail, which I followed north, picking up the Zealand Trail which took me back to my starting point.

While Hale and Zealand are viewless, the view from Zeacliff is spectacular. I also enjoyed the scenery near Zeacliff Pond, which is well worth the short side trip.

I liked the challenge of the Zeacliff Trail. A few sections are ledgy and remarkably steep, and a few parts were overgrown. While the nearby trails are heavily traveled, this trail gets much less traffic. Just as I crossed Whitewall Brook, and got halfway up the steep eastern slope approaching the Ethan Pond Trail, a fast-moving thunderstorm hit, and there was instant heavy, pounding rain. But almost as soon as I got the raingear on, the storm had already passed, leaving clear skies in its wake.

After pausing to wait out the intense five minutes of rain, I reached the clearing at the eastern end of the Zeacliff Trail, and picked my way across the talus field as I approached the Ethan Pond Trail. From this vantage point, Whitewall Mtn. looks very imposing. That (trailless) mountain is now on my "must do" list.

It was nice ending this longish loop with the Zealand Trail. Overall, the Zealand Trail is easy by White Mountain standards, but even still some parts are rocky and wet, or in other words more typical of the usual trail conditions.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2054 ft / 626 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2054 ft / 626 m
    Route:Hale Brook Trail
    Trailhead:2000 ft / 609 m
Descent Statistics



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