Ascent of Mount Tom on 2012-08-17

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Date:Friday, August 17, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Tom
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4051 ft / 1234 m

Ascent Trip Report

Finally got my 4K count into double-digits!

My Dad and I arrived at the Crawford Depot parking area at around 8:00 AM. We checked out the depot for a few minutes, geared up, and then headed out on the Avalon Trail.

The Avalon Trail started off easy and quickly reached a kiosk and a sign pointing to the trail up Mt. Willard. We continued toward Mt. Tom on the Avalon Trail.

After the kiosk and junction, the trail kept an easy to moderate grade through thickish woods. It was rocky in spots, especially on the upper reaches, and it was wet and muddy (the entire route was as well). It passed by the lower and upper termini of the Cascade Loop and a big rock from which we got a good look at a brook. After that and a water crossing later on, the grade picked up.

From the trail, we could hear the brook, and there were a few water crossings, but other than that, the scenery along this leg of the hike was the same old woods and wet, rocky trail. After about fifty minutes of hiking, we reached the Avalon/A-Z Trail junction. We took the A-Z trail.

The A-Z Trail ascended suddenly and then descended quickly to another water crossing. There were occasional peeks through the trees of what looked like the slopes of Mt. Tom. The trail's grade stayed mostly moderate until the second water crossing along this leg. It followed some wet rocks for a few feet and then started ascending at a more difficult grade. It felt long, but the steep stretch wasn't that long. The trail made a series of turns, eventually making a left turn and passing by a large pointy rock. After that, the trail got less steep and even leveled out. After 2.2 miles, we reached the Mount Tom Spur, which we took for the final 0.6 miles to the top.

The Mount Tom Spur passed through typical 4,000 footer woods at a generally easy grade with a notable steep part. We saw some people heading up, and I noticed an AMC hat on one of them, so I figured that they must be with the AMC. Near the end of the spur trail, there was a fork. I quickly consulted my White Mountain Guide and read that the summit and a near-summit vista was to the left, while a view was to the right. We headed to the summit first.

After about a minute or so after the fork, we saw a cairn, which told us that we reached Mt. Tom's 4,051 ft. summit. It was wooded and viewless, although a little down a side path, there was a good view into the Pemi Wilderness. We took some pictures at the view and at the summit, and then returned to the fork to check out the other vista.

The other view had a basically 270-degree view. I could see Mounts Carrigain, Field, and Washington, among other peaks. We took a water and food break here for about ten to fifteen minutes before heading back down.

Note: The original plan was to hike Field also, but we put it aside and headed back down the A-Z and Avalon Trails. We also had limited time for this hike. When we were almost home, we realized that if we had hiked Field also, we would seriously be pushing the time limit. Oh well, it's there for another day.

Overall, this was a good hike. Although most of the hike up lacked in scenery, the summit views made up for it, it was a good workout, and I got #10!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2150 ft / 655 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Route:Avalon & A-Z Trails, Mt. Tom Spur
    Trailhead:Crawford Depot  1901 ft / 579 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy

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