Ascent of Mount Hale on 2013-08-11
|Date:||Sunday, August 11, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New Hampshire|
| Elevation:||4054 ft / 1235 m|
Ascent Trip ReportTrip Report the Zealand, Bonds, Twins, and Hale Grand Loop (2 day hike):
My friends Laura Hoffman, Shawn Keefe, and I drove from Massachusetts to New Hampshire on the night of Friday August 9th. We arrive at the Zealand Campgrounds around 9:30pm and set up camp for $18. The next morning (Saturday August 10th) we got up early and were on the Zealand Trail by 7:10am. It was a beautiful sunny day. We hiked the 2.5 miles to Zealand Falls Hut and arrive around 8:50. This trail is mostly flat for the 2.3 miles along the beaver dams and ponds. The last .2 miles is up the side of Zealand Falls to the hut is a gradual climb. At this point we hiked the next .2 miles to the Twinway trail. We went up to the 1.3 mile trail which was an easy climb to Zeacliff. Zeacliff was beautiful and had outstanding views. From there we hiked the 1.6 miles to the peak of Zealand Mountain which was gradual grade rise. The peak is .1 miles off the trail and is totally wooded and is a 15 foot circle cut out in the woods. There is a small wooden sign and a cairn. There are no views from the Peak of Zealand. We then hiked the 1.3 miles to Mount Guyot. Mount Guyot is a treeless peak and the wind was very bad on top. There are multiple cairns along this trail with a large one on the peak with a White stone on top of it. The wind was about 50 miles an hour at various times and very cold. We raced across this peak because of the wind and made it to the Guyot campsite at 11:50. The .2 mile leg to the camp site is not an easy trail. After a break and setting up our tent on campsite number 2 we then made our way up Mount Bond. The climb up Bond has gradual grade and is not hard. The top of Mount Bond is clear with full 360 degree views with a wide clear area for exploration and additional views. We could see all the surrounding mountains. The sky was clear and the wind would blow for 10 minutes and then stop for 5 minutes. We continued down the back side of Mount Bond to Bondcliff. The back side of Mount Bond is very rocky and steep. I found it easy but my team members struggled on the way down. Once we got down from Mount Bond the trek over to Bondcliff is very easy as it is all open and has very easy grade up to Bondcliff. I have to say Bondcliff is the best high peak I have been on in the Whites. It is gorgeous! There are full 360 views with great cliff and rock views. We recreated the famous picture from the top of Bondcliff looking back at the valley of West Bond and South Twin. It was stunning. We then made our way back up Mount Bond and over to West Bond. The climb up the back side of Bond was somewhat difficult and the way down to the junction for West Bond was easy. The .5 mile climb up West Bond was mostly down or flat for the first .4 miles with the last .1 miles going up with steep grade. The peak at West Bond is again clear with good 360 views. It is much smaller peak than Mount Bond and Bondcliff. After a 20 minutes on West Bond we made our way back down to Guyot Campsite for the nigh. The Campsite was wicked crowded with everything full and hikers sleeping along the .2 mile trial. I would guess between 80 – 100 people at the camp site. Shawn went back up West Bond after dark to watch the Perseid meteor shower which was at its peak.
The next day Sunday August 11th we got up around 5am and watched the sun rise from the camping platform. We then broke camp and hiked back over Guyot to the Twinway trail and then made over way over to South Twin. The final 300’ up south Twin was in the sun and is a good grade. When we got to the top the wind was very strong and cold. South Twin has good views, but not as good at Mount Bond and Bondcliff as a number of mountains to the south and east are blocked from view. We then made our way over to North Twin. The hike was not the difficult and went by fast. After 20 minutes on the top of North Twin we started our way down North Twin on the North Twin Trail. We came to the creek at the bottom and there is a fallen tree that offers passage over the creek. I walked over the tree while my friends went across cowboy style and through the water. After ~3.4 miles we found the abandoned Fire Warden’s trail up Mount Hale. To find this trail you must stay on the east side of the creek and look for a small cairn. The cairn is at the bottom of a ~10 bank. At the top of the bank you can see the trail heading north. I took this trail up Mount Hale. It is a very nice trail. It still has all the soil over the rocks and is very consistent in its grade with multiple switchbacks. There are parts of the trail that are over grow and some parts are very wet and marshy. It has seen some use as you can make out the trail through the ferns. This trail goes through a beautiful Birch forest laden with ferns. When you get close to the top the trees change to pines. This trail does take you over the Hale Northwest Peak. I made it to the top in one hour. When you come out of the tree on the peak of Hale you are right behind the old fire tower foundation on the north side. The other two trails are on the other side of the clearing. The top of Hale is a 50’ circular clearing with the posts for the hold fire tower sticking out of the ground. I then made my way down to the parking lot on the Hale Brook Trail. I arrived at my car at 3:40pm. Seven 4000 footers in two days with a total of ~ 24.8 miles
Day One: (Total Mileage ~13.1) Zealand Trail 2.5 miles to Zealand Falls Hut, Zealand Falls Hut .3 miles to the Twinway Trail , Twinway Trail 1.2 miles to Zeacliff, Twinway Trail 1.6 miles from Zeaclif to Zealand Peak, Zealand Peak .1miles, Twinway Trail 1.3 miles, Bondcliff Train over Mount Guyot .6 miles, Guyot Campsite trail .2 miles, Bondcliff Trail .2 plus .5 to Mount Bond, Bondcliff Trail to Bondcliff 1.2 miles, Bondcliff back to bond 1.2 miles, Mount Bond back to Bond Junction .5 miles. Bond Junction to West Bond .5 miles, West Bond back to Bond Junction .5 miles, Bond Junction back to Guyot Campsite junction .2, Guyot Campsite .2 miles
Day Two: (Total Mileage ~11.7) Guyot Campsite trail .2 miles, Bondcliff Trail .6 miles over Guyot, Twinway Trail 2 miles to South Twin Peak, North Twin Spur 1.3 miles to North Twin, North Twin Trail 2.4 and then ~ 1 mile to Fire Warden’s Trail up to the Top of Mount Hale ~2 miles, Hale Brook Trail from top of mount Hale to parking lot 2.2 miles
|Summary Total Data|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Breezy, Clear|
| Route:||Zealand Trail, Twinway Trai, Bondcliff Trail, Bond|
| Route:||Hale Brook Trail|
|Ascent Part of Trip: Zealand Loop (2 nights total away from roads)|
Complete Trip Sequence:
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