4000 Footer Club

Mt. Field
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Elevation:    4340 Feet
Summited:  July 18, 2016
Weather:     Start - Partly Cloudy, 70's
                      End - Occasional Rain, Clouds, 80's
Distance:    10 Mile Loop
Difficulty:    Moderate To Strenuous
Views:         Not Many Outside Summit Areas
Route:         Crawford Depot → Avalon Trail → A-Z Trail → Mt. Tom Spur → Mt. Tom Summit → Mt. Tom Spur
                     A-Z Trail → Willey Range Trail → Mt. Field Summit → Willey Range Trail
                     Mt. Willey Summit → Willey Range Trail → Mt. Field Summit → Willey Range Trail
                     Avalon Trail → Mt. Avalon Summit → Avalon Trail → Crawford Depot

   From the end of the Willey Range Trail, I began the trek towards Mt Field, the second 4000 footer of the day. I assumed, since I was at the ridge top, hiking over to Willey wouldn't be that bad. Then, the sounds of thunderstorms in the distance. I contemplated my options, but choose to keep to the schedule. It took about 30 minutes to get over to the summit of Field, ascending about 650 feet from the A-Z Trail. Uneventful, as the sun was trying to stay out but rain was starting to come down. My camera/phone was dying as well. It must have been roaming the whole morning on the way to the trail head, as it was at 56 percent from a full charge this morning. So, while I was taking pictures of the views around Mt. Field, it decided to shut off. I packed it, and headed towards Willey. At this point, I stand just above 4300 feet, Mt. Willey stands at just below 4300 feet. I thought, no problem, 1.5 mile walk in the woods. Boy, was I wrong. I should have known since they were both 4000 Footers, they must have a good elevation change between them. I didn't. The Col between Field and Willey is relatively deep. It took about an hour to traverse it, and 1950 feet in elevation gain. Over three times the elevation than the col between Tom and Field. It was a quick descent followed by a quick ascent to another nondescript cairn, with side views in the area. Turning my phone on quickly only to take a few snaps seemed to work. Since it was now raining harder on and off, I kept my phone in my pack, only to take it out once on the way back to take a snap shot of a false summit of Avalon. The 2.5 hour hike back from Willey was as boring as it looks on paper. Pretty much the reverse, except I took the A-Z trail down to Avalon trail. A decent days hike. The weather Gods were good to me. Enough rain to keep the phone in the pack but not enough for rain gear. The base of the mountain had great weather. The ride home was as enjoyed as any of the summits today.