Ascent of Mount Willey on 2014-01-20

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Date:Monday, January 20, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Willey
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4255 ft / 1296 m

Ascent Trip Report

What a way to get back into 4K hiking!

My friend and I were originally going to hike the Hancocks, but we opted for Willey due to the time and weather. We parked in front of the snowbank at the Willey House Rd off rt. 302 at 9:15 AM. We quickly got going after that.

We wore microspikes for the entire hike, by the way. We walked up the road to the Ethan Pond Trail, which we took to the Willey Range Trail. It crossed the railroad tracks early on and then, after passing the Ripley Falls Trail, got steeper, but not too steep. The grade lessened after a bit and then was nearly flat to the Willey Range Trail junction. We passed the Kedron Flume Trail junction at 1.6 mi and got to the Willey Range Trail junction at 1.9 mi.

The Willey Range Trail crossed a brook early, went through some thick forest, and then the very steep climbing started. It was so steep that ladders were strategically placed, but they were often icy. After the last ladder, the grade became more manageable, but we entered the clouds, which obliterated any hope of views. We came to the outlook right before the summit, but bypassed it, as it was socked-in. We tagged the summit, where I took a video and my friend ate a sandwich. I just want to say that in my video, when the gray jay swooped toward my friend's sandwich, we did not mean for that to happen; he just saw it, swooped in and tried to go in for the kill.

Anyway, the way down wasn't that bad; in fact, it was fun at times when we buttslid down some of the steeps. There were, however, a few parts that warranted rope. No biggie though. Soon, we were back at the parking lot around 5 hours after starting, and then we went to North Conway for lunch.

This was an awesome hike with cool terrain, and I'm glad I did it! For me, allseason 4K #28 is done, and for my friend, allseason 4K #4 is done for him. This was, however, the first winter 4K for both of us. All in all a great day on the trail.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3000 ft / 914 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:AT, Ethan Pond Trail, Willey Range Trail
    Trailhead:NH 302  1255 ft / 382 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Rope
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Calm, White-out

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