Hike the Whites: Tom, Field & Willey
Having a Tuesday off with Erik means heading to the mountains. Tom, Field and Willey were in our scope and no mediocre winds were going to stop us!
We had our bags packs, and our alarms set– off to the mountains we went!
Let’s Set the Scene
Alarm clock, aka Erik, wakes me up at 3:15AM. A few bananas were eaten, and then we were out the door and driving North. The roads were clear and we were cruising. I immediately felt pressure in my head– hoping that it was just the heat blasting in my face (it was not), but I wasn’t going to let a head cold slow me down.
We watched the temperature gauge go from 8 to -5 over the course of the 1 hour 45 minute drive to the AMC Center. However, with virtually no wind at the car it made prep easy.
On went the layers, I lathered the boys’ feet in Musher’s Secret and then we were off. The trail meanders up, until it meets the cutoff for Mount Tom– then it is all up hill from there!
Adorning my still very frozen hair, we continued up the trail to Mount Tom–only 1.6 miles from the previous junction! My legs felt strong and I only momentarily stopped to gaze out over the beautiful views of the Presidential Range, while my heart rate leveled.
The sun started to poke out from the clouds, and blanketed the mountain we were headed to– even more of a reason to get there!
The forest was still very much asleep, the silence only being broken by the occasional bird chirp.
0.6 miles to Mount Tom the sign read– the sun was on us, but the wind had also started to stir. I bundled up and we made the last trek up to Tom where we received views of the Presidential Range on one side and the Bonds on the other.
Before I knew it we were running back down the trail to pay a visit to Field.
Hop Over to Field
Field is the highest of the three mountains, standing at ‘ but the climb to get there is relaxing. That’s the nice thing about conquering all the elevation gain with the first mountain!
Field was beautiful, but we decided we would fully appreciate it after we said hi to Willey. Standing on the back side of Field, gave a perfect view of Willey. Why is there always an illusion that the mountain is so far away? Well, in this case it was 1.4 miles away, luckily, it was a casual 1.4 miles.
And Then Way Over to Willey
After taking in the beautiful panorama with the peach colored sky, we descended a short and steep little section of the trail. My feet went out from under me and down I went, and fast. I was more worried about ripping my pants/skirt than anything since that is what I am so good at. No rips, but I can confirm, two days later that my buttocks is completely bruised.
Erik and I just chatted and laughed for the remainder of the way to Willey, where we found the small outlook that gave way to even more precious views. How can you be surrounded by this much beauty and not be happy? The answer: you can’t.
The way down Field was very steep and luged over from previous butt sliders (I’m jealous! It was too icy and hard for butt sliding this day). With our tummies grumbling, we decided to not go up Avalon and instead make our way back to the car.
We met four other hikers on the way back, and that was the total for the day! This is a very popular hike, so hiking it on a weekday and in winter was definitely ideal! The boys were happy to get some attention too!
Arriving at our car almost came too soon– yet the wind had really picked up making the heated seats more desirable than not.
Winter Hiking at its Finest
I’ve said it before, but I will say it again– winter hiking will remain my favorite season to hike in. The mountains have never looked so purple, the trails practically remote and the bugs nonexistent. I have no complaints– well, except for my lack of circulation. Either way this was the best Tuesday off in a long, long time.
Many treats and snuggles occurred after this wintry day in the mountains.
Happy Tails and Trails,
Stats for the Day:
Mountains Enjoyed: Mount Tom, Mount Field and Mount Willey
Distance: 9.71 mi.
Elevation Gain: 3,996′
Starting Time: 6:13 AM
Ending Time: 11:36 AM
Total Time: 5 hours 23 min
Food consumed: 1 Muir Packet (Sweet Potato & Oregano)
Happiness Meter: 10/10 (Second happy rating, second 10– doing something right!)