Mount Hale (4,055 feet) was the second 4000 footer that we climbed in our quest to hike all forty-eight 4000 footer peaks in New Hampshire. Mount Hale is located in Zealand Notch in the White Mountain National Forest. We hiked on the Hale Brook Trail which was about a 5 mile round trip from the base of Zealand Notch to the summit of Mount Hale. According to other hikers, there are limited views on this hike and virtually none from the summit. Despite this information, we hiked it and it turned out to be more beautiful then we ever could have imagined.
We had no idea that there would be standing snow on the ground in the White Mountain National Forest already. We expected that there would be remnants but did not expect upwards of 3-5 inches of snow in the peaks. It had snowed recently because the snow was still hugging the branches of the trees along the trail to the summit. We did have limited views but the views we did get were priceless. We didn’t expect the hike to be so beautiful. We loved the winter wonderland that we entered as we made our ascent up the mountain. We got way more out of this hike then originally expected.
We learned a couple valuable lessons on this hike. Our confidence in our abilities to hike in the winter were drastically improved. We not only realized that it’s possible but actually quite comfortable with the right cold weather gear. We did not have the microspikes that most of the hikers on the trail had that day but we will get them for the next scheduled hike. There were some slipping hazards when snow turned to ice but we carefully made our way up and down the mountain with this understanding in mind. I never thought I would enjoy hiking in the snow but we all absolutely loved it!