Sunday, February 2, 2020
Start: Zealand Hut
End: AMC Highland Center/Crawford Notch
Elevation gain/loss: 2820’/3502′
After dinner and chatting with new friends, I headed to bed around 9:15. The bunkroom was quiet and fairly warm – probably around 40 degrees. By morning, it was probably around 45-50 from all of the warm breathing. I woke up 8 hours later around 5:30am and decided that was good enough. I packed up my sleeping bag and other things into my backpack and climbed down from my loft bunk and went into the common area. There were maybe half a dozen people awake and preparing to head out. I took my time packing up my bag and eating a hot breakfast. The clothes I had hung on the ceiling-high drying racks were dry as a bone. After packing up, I threw on my snowshoes and headed out.
I went Zealand trail to A-Z trail, where I followed my footsteps back up to the intersection with the Willey Range trail. I dropped my pack and headed back to hike the Mt Tom spur trail. The sun was starting to shine and show through on the summit.
On the way back down, I encountered a dog and two humans. The dog looked like a Boxer/Rottweiler mix and it was scared, particularly of me in that moment. I was worried the dog was going to lunge and attempt to bite me, but it didn’t.
I retrieved my pack and then headed up towards Field. I quickly made the summit, dropped my pack again, and then headed toward Willey. I had a nice walk through the forest and then had some spectacular views from Willey.
From there, I went back and retrieved my pack and then headed down Avalon trail to get back to Crawford Notch and my car.