Ascent of Mount Hale on 2012-11-11

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Date:Sunday, November 11, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Hale
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4054 ft / 1235 m

Ascent Trip Report

Well, I finally got a quarter of the way through the 4,000 footer list!

Wanting to get 1/4 of the way done list like the crazy hiking addict I am, I set out for the Hale Brook trailhead with my hiking buddy, and we arrived there at about 10:25 AM. After taking a long time to get ready while my friend was all set a long time before, we finally got going at about 10:30.

The trail ascended to a small wooden plank bridge over a stream and then picked up in grade. The snow and ice became more prevalent as I ascended, and we soon put on our spikes. There was a family of four and a group of two way in front of us, but we caught up to them and later passed some of them.

After some slushy walking, we came to the first water crossing, which wasn't too bad. The trail got steeper and paralled Hale Brook, which could be clearly heard from below, for a while. The ravine where the brook was then ended and the trail turned left to recross the brook. The second crossing was easier than the first.

After the second crossing of Hale Brook, the trail began to switchback up the mountain at a moderate grade, but it felt steeper because I had a heavy pack, and because of a pulled muscle in my leg that I got while hiking up Mount Pierce. The snow from the trees melted down onto the trail and onto our heads, in such a way that we thought it was raining, but the skies were clear, so it was definitely the melting snow.

Upon exiting the last switchback, the trail curved upward to the summit. The trees turned into more alpine trees, and the snow was deeper. At a grade, there was an opening in the trail, and when we got closer, we saw a sign for the trail pointing back to Zealand Rd. The cairn for the 4,054 ft. was dead ahead. Summit time: 12:05 PM.

Hale's summit had no views (except for a little peek at a peak through the trees), but it was wide open with plenty of places to sit and take a breather. All of the people who had hiked up as we did were at the top, so it was a little busy up there. We stuck around for a while and ate a bit, and then descended back to the trailhead.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2300 ft / 701 m
    Distance:4.6 mi / 7.4 km
    Route:Hale Brook Trail
    Trailhead:Zealand Rd  1754 ft / 534 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear

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