|Looking to Mt.Whiteface from the summit.|
We arrived at the Mead Conservation Center early in the morning, and hastily began up the trail. Everything was frozen over. I only wore spikes, and that's all I needed. The trail started with a long approach, until we eventually reached the incline, which never became too steep. The early rays of the sun were visible through the trees, as we eventually reached the first viewpoint.
|Mead Conservation Center|
|The first viewpoint. Red Hill is clearly visible.|
|Rattlesnake Mountain in the foreground, Mt.Kearsarge in the distance.|
The trail climbed through a minor ravine, then winded through the woods for a time. There was a slight breeze snaking through the trees, knocking snow off of the higher branches, making it seem as though it was constantly snowing. About fifteen minutes after the first view, we saw a large ledge straight ahead of us, and we wasted no time getting to it.
|Sandwich Dome from the ledge.|
|Sandwich Dome with Mt.Moosilauke to the left in the distance.|
The views were beautiful, and the wind whirled along the summit. The trail wound around the ledge, with a prominent view of Sandwich Dome and Mt.Moosilauke. Other visible peaks include Flat Mountain, the Tripyramids, the Sleepers, and an amazing view of Mt.Whiteface, which towered above the rest.
|Mt.Whiteface through the clouds.|
The trail decided to dip down into the dark forest between the two viewpoints. The trail was still easy to follow. It lead through the trees into a large meadow with no views. The tops of the Belknap Range and Red Hill could barely be seen above the trees. We eventually found ourselves at the junction of Mead Trail and Wentworth Trail, and it was time to go to the summit.
|Mt.Whiteface, Mt.Passaconaway immediately to the right.|
We were presented with a large ledge, with breathtaking views of the Sandwich Range and Mt.Moosilauke. Along with all the other peaks visible at the last ledge, other peaks could be seen, such as Mt.Chocorua, Mt.Paugus, Mt.Passaconaway, Mt.Cushman, Mt.Kineo, Carr Mountain, Mt.Stinson, and Tenney Mountain Ski Area.
|Looking at everything, the Tripyramids in the center.|
|The eastern Sandwich Range.|
|Mt.Chocorua and Mt.Paugus|
|Looking west toward Mt.Moosilauke and Mt.Weetamoo.|
|The Tripyramids and The Sleepers|
|Crystal clear skies!|
We spent a good amount of time on the summit, but it was time to head down. We enjoyed the views from the first ledge again, and soon found ourselves back at the Mead Conservation Center. There's nothing like an early morning hike like this. Being in the lakes region, it had great views looking toward the many ponds here, but also toward the White Mountains. Mt.Israel is certainly worth climbing.