To Hale to Zealand and back

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thebrain600

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Apr 16, 2008
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Dallas, PA
Hiked Hale and Zealand.

Steve H. and I parked and spent the night truck camping in the parking lot on Rt. 302 across from Zealand Rd. Plowed and well maintained. It was -29 degrees Saturday morning. We decided that cooking off the tailgate wasn't a great idea so we went to the AMC Center for some grub.

Started out about 8am Hiked Zealand Rd. Road is well packed. (Logging trucks will fly up and down the road).

Set-up camp at Sugarloaf II campsite. We had the whole place to ourselves, LOL :)

Summitted Hale was a clear sunny day, no wind, and trail was well packed and easy to navigate. Snow Shoes.

Then it was down to the Zealand hut via the Lend-a-hand Trail.

Another well packed easy navigate trail. The hut is open and the care taker hooked us up with some hot water. We got there about 1:15pm. We only spent a few minutes and it was back out on the trail up to Zealand Cliff. We had to break trail about 4-6 inches of powder. Still not bad easy to find to trail all the way to Zealand Cliff.

Then it got a little tougher. From Zealand Cliff to Zealand Summit we had to muscle through 24 to 48 inch snow drifts. Trails was for the most part easy to navigate. The ladder is totally snowed-in. We opted to ditch the trekking poles for the ice ax at this point. Then it was hard push to the top. Summitted about 4pm. Then it was a race down the mountain to try and beat the sunset. We got about 1/2 mile from the Zealand hut, then switched to headlamps. Stop at the hut for some more water, and then pressed on to Camp. It took another 3 hrs to get to our tent.

This hike is not for the faint of heart.

We woke-up to fresh snow falling. About three inches had fallen and they were expecting about 8-12 inch that day.

Ate breakfast at a small diner off Rt. 3, they open at 8am. Really nice folks; highly recommend you stopping in.

Go take a hike!
 

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