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.
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.
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)
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.
There was no wind at all on the summit of Monroe which can be a pretty windy place.
We descended back to the hut and took another short break and talked with other hikers who were out enjoying the day.
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.
The summit of Washington was also windless and we ate our PBJs basking in the warm sun.
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.
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”.