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Spring Waterfalls and the End of Winter - David Howland Photo Newsletter Issue #9

Spring Waterfalls and the End of Winter - David Howland Photo Newsletter Issue #9
By David Howland • Issue #9 • View online
March and April were very hectic months for me. I’m in the process of finishing my basement so I only got out for a couple of trips towards the end of winter. It was just as well since once March hit, our 6-8 week stretch of cold and snowy weather ended and New England transitioned straight to spring and summer. Multiple 50+ degree days melted the snowpack rapidly and put an end to the ski season weeks early. With the melting snow, I switched my goals from alpenglow to waterfalls and started working my way through the excellent New England Waterfalls guidebook (paid link).

Before all the snow melted, I got out for a hike up Mt. Monroe with my buddy Dave Simms. We were planning to hike Mt. Washington but hurricane force winds and a foot of fresh snow shortened our day. It was a fantastic hike, though. The alpine zone was blanketed in fresh snow and ice and the wind was blasting us off our feet. We reached Lakes of the Clouds hut and decided to climb very nearby Mt. Monroe instead.
In this photo you can barely see Dave making his way back down the Monroe summit ridge through the clouds and wind. There’s something incredibly fun about hiking in these challenging conditions and this day was one of my most memorable from the winter.
Click the photo to check out available prints
Click the photo to check out available prints
At the end of the day we stopped at the “Scenic View of the Mt. Washington Hotel” for sunset. There were a few bursts of color at sunset but my favorite part was during blue hour after sunset when the lights from the Mount Washington Hotel came on and the mountains took on a deep blue color.
Later in the month, I headed back up for what I thought would be a winter hike of Mt. Lafayette. I climbed up the Greenleaf Trail and ended up submitting Lafayette, Lincoln, and Little Haystack. I descended via the Falling Waters trail to complete the rare “Greenleaf-Falling Waters Loop”. It’s rare because it ends with a slog back to the car via the Franconia Notch Bike Path. After 8+ miles of hiking, two miles on the concrete bike path is ankle and knee crushing.
The weather was fantastic - 50 degrees and sunny with not even a gust of wind on the hike. One of the problems with spring hiking is the “monorail” of compacted snow that forms along the trail and melts much more slowly than the loose snow on the sides of the trail. It’s easy to step off the monorail and plunge up to your hip into the loose snow. On this day though, the snow was deep but still solid and I made great time up to the ridge. As you can see in the above photo, there was very little snow along the tops of the mountains. Just sun and blue skies. If my hike up Mt. Monroe was the perfect winter hiking day, this hike was the perfect spring day: warm, sunny, and great hiking conditions.
In April, I took several hiking trips up to New Hampshire for the spring waterfall season. I visited the Falls of Song near Lake Winnipesaukee and explored up and down Shannon Brook as well. You can see more photos from that trip on my blog here:
Falls of Song and Shannon Brook – David Howland Photo
The next day I explored Crawford Notch State Park and visited the Flume Cascade, Silver Cascade, and Kedron Flume.
Crawford Notch Waterfalls – David Howland Photo
Up Next
I wrapped April and kicked off May with a great hike up the Champney Brook Trail to visit Pitcher Falls, Champney Falls, and then summit Mt. Chocorua. Assuming I get my second COVID-19 vaccination on schedule, I have a trip planned to New York for more waterfalls at the end of May. I’ve got a long list of hikes to try in the mountains this summer, as well. If you’d like to follow along in real time, you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @frigidlight.
That’s it for this month! As always, if you have any feedback just reply to this email or hit the buttons at the end of the email.
Did you enjoy this issue?
David Howland

Each month I share new images, a phone wallpaper, and other content about Cape Cod, New England, and beyond.

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