This morning as I headed to Crawford Notch to climb Mt. Willey, snow was falling. In the parking lot at the trailhead, I contemplated whether I was a peakbagger or a viewbagger and settled on the latter. According to The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains By Steve Smith and Mike Dickerman, thirty-three 4000 foot peaks are visible from Mt. Willey but it didn't seem like any of them would be showing up today.
So, Plan B was to drive a little bit farther south and hike up to Arethusa Falls. It is a short hike and not the workout that I had hoped for, but the woods would be pretty, the waterfall would be frozen and I could take my time and enjoy.
The parking area for the trail provided a nice view through the falling snow of the cliffs above the Frankenstein trestle. The last time that I hiked up there it was early spring and the peregrine falcons were swooping on the currents near the nests they built on the cliffs.
As expected, the woods were beautiful and my snowshoes were the first to hit the trail with the new snow. The snow crystals were so delicate, that they looked like spun sugar on the trees.
From reading posts by nature bloggers, particularly winterwoman, I have learned to look hard in the winter woods for color and for life. It isn't hard to find.
The snow continued to fall as I headed for the falls and after 1.5 miles and 900 vertical feet, I got to the trail junction for the falls. Arethusa Falls is 200 feet high and the highest waterfall in New Hampshire. It doesn't look like much frozen, but I could hear the water rushing under the ice and imagine its springtime power.