Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mount Jackson to Mount Webster

Mount Jackson Summit (4.052 ft.)

Bagged another 4,000 footer. Today it was Mount Jackson (4,052 ft.) over to Mount Webster making a loop using the Webster-Jackson Trail and Webster Cliff Trail. Brand and I arrived at Crawford Notch to cool temps and a blustery breeze. We suited up with about three layers, walked across the highway and hit the trail. Was not long before we hit the first patches of trail ice.

Heading Up Webster-Jackson Trail
Icy Path 

Navigating the Ice
Mount Jackson Summit

Heading to Mount Webster
Feathered Visitor

 Continuing on we reached the fork in the trail and took it - up to Mount Jackson. Hiking further up the trail we finally hit a long path of ice and decided to pull the microspikes on. This sure makes navigating the trail a whole lot easier, one wrong slip...well, it's best to take the proper precautions. The microspikes stayed on until reaching the ledges just below the summit. It was a quick scramble to the top.

Obscured view from Webster Cliff Trail
Looking into Crawford Notch

View from Mount Webster
Looking across Crawford Notch

Looking into Crawford Notch
Perched atop Mount Webster

The wind was relentless on the peak and clouds covered the higher summits. There were still some great views to be had despite the clouds. We met a couple of hikers that started their hike just before us that were resting out of the wind (as much as possible). I asked one if he would snap our photo, he did and I responded in kind taking their picture with his cell phone. It was not a day for basking in the sun on the summit. The clouds moved in, snow flurries were in the air, it was cold and did I say the wind was blowing? We found a place slightly out of the wind, had a snack took a couple more photos and it was time to move on.

Rt. 302 far below
Another view from Mt. Webster

Trail junction
Heading down

Silver Cascade Brook
Taking a short break

We bare-booted over to Mount Webster leaving our occasional posthole signatures along the side of the monorail. At some point along this stretch our water started freezing - isn't this April!? It was a quick trek and we were soon on the summit. We took some more photos and didn't linger long. It was time to head back down. We started out bare-booting but soon put the microspikes back on.

Continuing down the trail
Highland Center Lodge in background

One last break
Almost down

Standing on the Elephant Head Cliff
On top of Elephant Head Cliff

One of the highlights of the entire hike was when we dropped down steeply into Silver Cascade Brook. It was a surreal spot on the trail. The surrounding area including the cascade, pool and ledges were encased in a thick layer of ice - it was a spectacular sight! A steep climb up and we were back down to the trail junction. Before reaching the trailhead we took a couple of side trails to some cliffs. One of the cliffs known as Elephant Head provided great views in both directions of Crawford Notch. A couple more photos and we finished the last three-tenths mile of the Webster-Jackson trail.

The end of our hike!

It was cold, windy and grey for most of the day but we both had a great time bagging our second 4,000 footer!

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