Saturday, April 15, 2023
Start: winter parking for Zealand Rd
End: Lincoln Woods TH
Elevation gain/loss: 6148’/6398′
Peaks: Hale, Zealand, Guyot, West Bond, Bond, Bondcliff
I met Kevin at Lincoln Woods TH at 7:30am and we drove around to the winter parking lot by Zealand Rd. Kevin got ready and we started at 8:25am. The roadwalk into the summer Hale trailhead went by quickly, and then we started up towards Hale. We shifted into spikes after less than 0.5 miles and the spikes stayed on until we descended Bondcliff. So long as we stayed in the center of the monorail, the packed snow supported our weight. We made the summit of Hale and then headed down towards Zealand Falls. There were a few roaring water crossings in this area, but we made it across with only ankle-deep water exposure. Our feet were damp but we’d both worn insulated shoes so our feet were warm.
Our second big climb of the day was up to Zealand; we kept up a steady pace and we made it over Zealand and over to Guyot by 3:30pm. Then it was up to West Bond by 4:30pm, over Bond by 5:30pm, and down to Bondcliff to start the very long exit to Lincoln Woods. We hiked out by headlamp, with a seemingly endless tunnel of muddy leaves and moving water on the trail out. But it was a grand adventure with a friend in reasonable conditions, considering the season. The sun was out and we had blue skies for the entire day. Sunburn was a concern, and I ended up with a little bit of a burn on the back of my neck!