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 Winter Hike the Willey loop 
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:54 pm
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Location: Boston, MA
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 Winter Hike the Willey loop
Hey Everyone...I am planning on doing a solo hike of Tom, Willey, and Field within the next couple weeks weather permitting. My girlfriend will be dropping me off and picking me up from both trail heads. Just wondering what I should expect time wise, and if anyone has been up there recently. Thanks.

Mike


Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:59 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Location: south of the notches
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http://viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showt ... hp?t=42922

http://viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showt ... hp?t=42847

Mike, haven 't been there recently, but follow the two links for what seems to be the most recent trs. The 1st isn't much of a tr, but a couple of GREAT shots of gray jays, which are generally rambunctious on those summits.

Your time depends on many too many variables for anybody here to tell you how long it will take. Not to mention, conditions could change in minutes. Do you have a White Mtn. Hiking Guide? Generally, the timing is 1 hr per mile, add for elevation and cold weather/ice/snow conditions. Know that the ladders on Willey could be a little tricky if that's your planned route. Know too that the views from Avalon are well worth the side trip. It might be worth a call to the Highland Center. The staff there generally hikes that route frequently so they might be your best source of info.

If you can't find out specifically TFW, check trs for Jackson, Webster and Pierce. They're close enough to at least have a good idea of what you'll be dealing with underfoot.

Good luck.

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Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:59 pm
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We did Willey via the steep side today. Will be posting a report later tonight assuming I can stay up that long :) But that said, everything could change in a few days if we have a thaw or storm....

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Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:32 pm
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Adept Ascender
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I was up there last week (Avalon) and light traction was necessary, but that is eons ago in winter hiking. I assume you know about this web site:

http://www.newenglandtrailconditions.com/nh/

It's a great resource for current conditions.


Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:26 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:04 pm
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Location: Newmarket, NH
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Given that the ladders (and the trail itself) below the Willey summit could be very icy, you might want to consider starting from the Willey side first, and making Tom the last peak you hit. I'd much rather be ascending that trail if there isn't a good snowpack, even if it is very steep.

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:07 am
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So I didn't get around to the trip report last night but maybe it'll be a slow day at work today...

The ladder steps were covered with a thick layer of snow/ice on Sunday. Actually probably really good conditions, as both our microspikes and crampons were able to eat into them really well. I would be much more hesitant about going up and down them on a wet day or day with a thin layer of ice or snow.

Here is a picture - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... b62939b7df

I was a lot more comfortable descending in crampons, but as they are now, could be done with microspikes as well.

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:20 am
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It's much better when you can butt-slide the ladders. :D

Willey Ladder Sliding :D

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:19 am
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Peak Bagger
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A group of us did this saturday the 7th and took 6.5 hours. The conditions are good for quick travel in micro spikes right now:)

Good luck
Heather

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:01 pm
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I don't know anything about conditions or winter hiking, but I WILL 2nd Kathy's point that Avalon is more than worth your side trip. It's not a 4k, but IMO easily the highlight of the area and really shouldn't be missed if you're as interested in a great time as peak-bagging.

Of course, I recognize that you likely know this already.


Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:31 am
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I'm not sure whether the original poster is really hiking a loop. The subject says 'loop', but then he mentioned his wife picking him up at both trailheads, which implies a traverse. Avalon would be a 2-mile side trip if he's really doing a traverse...

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Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:53 am
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Flatfoot
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Thanks everybody for the responses, lots of great info here. I think I may ascend the Avalon and A-Z trail to Tom, then cross over to field and Willey. Rather than climb down the ladders I will turn around and descend via Mt. Avalon. Next trip I will definitely butt slide down the ladders JustJoe.


Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:54 am
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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I think that's a nice plan....Avalon really is worth it, if it's a clear day. It's still pretty steep on that section of the Avalon trail, though, so make sure to bring Microspikes or crampons.

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Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:16 am
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