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Haystack 3/6

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  • Haystack 3/6

    When I started my winter list, Haystack caused me the most concern, primarily the potential for steep icy conditions above tree line. With a dozen peaks left, I've exhausted the low hanging fruit and much of the mid-hanging fruit. I was on Marcy this past Sunday and found the alpine conditions to be very favorable, pretty much no exposed rock or ice. That, along with a favorable forecast, convinced me that today was the day for Haystack.

    Signed in from the Garden before 7. One solo hiker ahead of me registered for Haystack, Basin and Saddleback. I've got no problem with having another human out there when I'm by myself on a remote peak. Trail conditions were very good. Well packed powder snow to tree line. Beyond the intersection with the range trail, there was just the one hiker's tracks. Out of an abundance of caution, I switched into crampons before heading up little Haystack. Otherwise, snowshoes door to door. Traction was excellent above tree line. Crampons were overkill, but I was not complaining.

    Finally met up with the rabbit as she was descending HS while I was going up. After a brief chat, she continued her decent to the col and then to break trail over to Basin and beyond. Seemed like a really capable hiker. Meanwhile conditions heading to summit were pretty nice. No clouds and winds between 0 and 2 mph. My only problem was having to take off layers as I approached the summit. Such a nice feeling taking in the vast views from the summit which feels like its dead center of the high peaks to me. Long but easy walk out to a cold Vermont microbrew stashed in the snow beneath my car in the sunny parking lot.

  • #2
    Congrats greenvt! I wish the weather/conditions were as favorable when we attempted Marcy and Haystack on 2/3. Marcy was doable (although the last 0.3 mile was pretty gnarly weather) due to the aspect of the Phelps trail providing cover from the strong SW winds but Haystack would have been brutal and we wisely didn't attempt. So which peaks do you still need to finish out your W46?


    • greenvt
      greenvt commented
      Editing a comment
      3 Dixes, Skilight/Gray, Allen, Sewards, Basin. Hopefully a couple of more trips by 3/21 and finish up late 2018 or early 2019.

  • #3
    Nice work. We tried Haystack in late January and it was completely covered in sheer ice in every direction, coupled with 60 mph gusts of wind. I opted for a later date, which I hope will be this coming Monday, pending the conditions after this current system moves through. I've left Haystack and Basin until my final 3 on the winter list. Hoping to cross them off this season, along with Iroquois for the finish.
    LT 06