Mt. Webster (May 27, 2013)

6 hours
The morning after the big snowstorm of May 26th, the skies were radiant blue and Peter Wyatt an I set out to climb Mt. Webster (3,910') by the Webster Cliffs Trail, coming down by the Webster-Jackson Trail. There was a few inches of snow on the ground at our Bretton Woods homes and we were expecting to find a lot of rapidly melting snow going up the mountain. The Webster Cliffs trailhead is on the other side of Crawford Notch at 1,275' and there was no snow at all there - amazing what the drop through the Notch does to weather. The Webster Cliffs Trail is beautiful and fun. As we climbed we had interesting views of Mt. Carrigain through the trees (left and right).
The first open ledges on the trail are at 3,000' and beyond that there are extensive views all along. Great views of Crawford Notch with the railroad track (left) and of the chain of mountains to the south (right). But the most interesting view is looking back towards the east, where you feel like you're on a ship surrounded by a sea of mountains (below left).
We were amazed not to find any snow until about 3,300'. After that, however, snow cover thickened rapidly and the wind was howling. No one had been on the trail since the storm and it was fun to figure out the direction of the trail. There was also a lot of hands-and-feet scrambling sections and the snow added to the fun. We got to the top in winter weather and putting on all our layers (right). There was a good view of the Presidentials cloaked in white (below left).
From there we headed back down by the Webster-Jackson Trail. There was a considerable amount of snow on the trail (we were now above the Notch), though it was melting fast. The trail was a stream in many places (right) and I gave up on trying to keep my feet dry. Some snow persisted in secluded spots all the way down the trailhead (1,900'). Amazing for a Memorial Day!
I'm also including here a couple of pictures of my son Oscar from his camping trip with friends from American University on Lake Umbagog and Acadia the week before. Here he is on top of Cadillac Mountain (left) and with his gang at Acadia (right). I'm proud to have given him the love of the outdoors!

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