Ascent to Mount Tom-South Saddle on 2011-01-29

Climber: Scott Wieman

Others in Party:Mike Geary
Ben Kuelthau
Miles Horton
Pat Megley
Noah Wentzel
Amy Levine
Steph Durell
Date:Saturday, January 29, 2011
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Mount Tom - South Saddle
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:3600 ft / 1097 m
    Remaining Elevation:451 ft / 137 m (28% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

We woke up pretty late in the cold bunk room of Zealand Falls Hut and had breakfast in the main room. After breakfast and the pain of putting on frozen socks, coats, and boots, we packed up and headed out to Mount Tom. The Avalon-Zealand Trail was tracked out but not broken very well, so we plunged into the snow and started up towards the saddle. As we climbed higher and higher, the snow got thicker on the ground and trees, coating the world in unbroken, glistening white. We were taking a very long time to go up because of how much fun we were having in the snow, so we stopped for lunch just west of the saddle. After lunch we headed back down the trail, stopping after about an hour to line a small section of it with snow angels. The only other stops were when Noah, Miles, or I would take a tumble down a particularly steep section of the trail. When we reached the Zealand Trail, we almost immediately struck out across the frozen ponds at the base of Zeacliff. This "two-lake traverse," as Mike called it, was very fun, though the sky was rapidly pouring heavy snowflakes on us the entire time.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1155 ft / 352 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:Avalon-Zealand Trail
    Trailhead:Zealand Pond  2445 ft / 745 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes, Hut Camp
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Overcast
Three to four feet of snow on the ground in the saddle. Snowing very hard by the time we reached the
Ascent Part of Trip: Zealand Falls Hut Snowshoeing (3 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Zeacliff-Zealand Falls Hut2011-01-281194 ft / 364 m
2(Attempt) Mount Tom2011-01-29 a1155 ft / 352 m
3Zeacliff-Zealand Falls Hut2011-01-29 b255 ft / 78 m
4Zeacliff2011-01-30 a900 ft / 274 m
5Zealand Mountain2011-01-30 b1040 ft / 317 m
6Zeacliff2011-01-30 c0 ft / 0 m
Total Trip Gain: 4544 ft / 1385 m    Total Trip Loss: 4856 ft / 1481 m

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