Ascent of Eastman Mountain on 2014-04-13

Climber: Will Hoyt

Date:Sunday, April 13, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Eastman Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2939 ft / 895 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mount Eastman Trip Report – 4/13/14
On our way up to Mount Eastman, we went up Route 113 which has to be the worst road in NH. It snakes through NH and Maine and some very scenic farm country. Traveling this road is like riding a roller coaster and traveling is very slow. As we approached Evans Notch, the snow got deeper.
A friend named Inna and a group of hikers had gone up Slippery Brook trail last weekend so we knew that the trail would be somewhat packed down. Our group of seven started out wearing spikes. The beginning of the trail was ice and hard packed snow. It was raining but our resident weather forecaster, Ken, assured us that we would only get 1/3 inch of rain today. Beth and I forgot our poles so I cut a walking stick. Initially the trail was pretty wide and firm but soon reverted to the traditional monorail frequently found on trails in the White Mountains this time of year.
We crossed several raging streams on our way to Circle Junction and the walking stick came in handy for balance. We turned up Slippery Brook trail. The icy, packed trail turned softer and the snow got deeper so we put on snowshoes. We soon found out that one of our group, forgot his snowshoes. Dean went to the back and hoped that we would pack the trail down enough that he could keep going but he was post holing and couldn’t continue anymore without snowshoes so he and Diana turned around and went back. Ken may have been correct about the 1/3 inch of rain but then it started to snow, then hail, then sleet and that lovely wintry mix. The monorail was now obscured by the wintry mix.
Slippery Brook trail goes through a nice birch grove and meets up with the Eastman trail. No one had traveled the Eastman Trail so the going was much harder and slower. We all took turns breaking trail. The trail was not well marked and we lost the trail for a little while. There were some big drifts to climb over. The snow was so deep that all the branches were in our faces. We reached the summit and were completely drenched from sweat, rain, sleet, snow and wintry mix. We only stayed long enough to change into dry clothes and started right back down again because we were all cold. There was no view whatsoever just a cold gray wet sky. At least it wasn’t windy.
The day warmed up enough so that the snow turned very slushy. Think of trying to walk/slide downhill on a slippery wet balance beam that is deteriorating with snow shoes on your feet and each time you slide off, you sink in a foot deep or more even with your snowshoes.
There were falls and twisted knees and legs. I just love hiking this time of year. We finally made it down without major injuries. Back at the cars, cold beer, Cape Cod potato chips, and dry clothes awaited us.
13 left to do on the 52 without a view list.

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