Monroe and Washington

Hiked Monroe and Washington on 12/2/2014. These were peaks 534 and 535 for “The Grid over 60”. John Gutowski joined me on this hike and we had a very good day of hiking. The weather turned out to be better than forecast with perfectly clear skies and hardly a breath of wind. It was a perfect day to be above tree line. We went up the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail which was a bit icy in places but we managed with just our Microspikes for traction. The first stop of the day was as usual at Gem Pool it’s a nice place to stop although a little chilly today.

Gem Pool
Gem Pool

After ascending the steep section of trail after Gem Pool there is another crossing of the Ammonoosuc River with views up to some spectacular ice which fortunately you don’t have to climb.

Ice formation upstream from crossing
Ice formation upstream from crossing

The trail then continues up but not quite as steeply to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. The trail was icy in sections but we were able to navigate it with our traction and the aid of a few vegetative handholds (trees and shrubs)

Washington from Lakes of the Clouds Hut
Washington from Lakes of the Clouds Hut

After a short break we headed up to Monroe which was only a half mile away but the trail was also icy in a few spots.

Monroe Loop trail to summit of Monroe
Monroe Loop trail to summit of Monroe

There was no wind at all on the summit of Monroe which can be a pretty windy place.

Looking south from the summit of Monroe
Looking south from the summit of Monroe
John taking a picture on the summit of Monroe
John taking a picture on the summit of Monroe

We descended back to the hut and took another short break and talked with other hikers who were out enjoying the day.

Hikers descending Monroe on the icy trail
Hikers descending Monroe on the icy trail

We then started the mile and a half ascent up the summit of Washington. It was so warm, 20 degrees and no wind that our wind shells came off, hats came off and sleeves got rolled up.

Looking back to Lakes of the Clouds  and Monroe
Looking back to Lakes of the Clouds and Monroe
John hiking up the summit
John hiking up the summit
Thats me approaching the summit (Courtesy of John Gutowski)
Thats me approaching the summit (Courtesy of John Gutowski)

The summit of Washington was also windless and we ate our PBJs basking in the warm sun.

Summit buildings with no tourists around
Summit buildings with no tourists around
View to the west with the Franconia Ridge
View to the west with the Franconia Ridge
Me on the summit (Courtesy of John Gutowski)
Me on the summit (Courtesy of John Gutowski)

After lunch we started down the Gulfside Trail, John was continuing over to Jefferson but I went down the Jewell Trail as I had to get back for a meeting that evening.

John conquering the Cog Railway
John conquering the Cog Railway

It was a beautiful day above treeline that doesn’t happen to often in winter. Only 41 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

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