Washington

Climbed Mt. Washington on 10/4/2015 with Mike Lynch. This was peak number 574 for “The Grid over 60”. The weather forecast was for clear sky with some wind and temps in the 30s. While we were on the summit the wind was blowing at 35 MPH, the temperature was 32 and the wind chill was 17. A nice brisk day but we were prepared with the right gear to stay warm. We went up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail which starts off pretty flat and not gaining much elevation but then it goes up rather steeply. As usual we stopped at Gem Pool for a break before starting up the steep portion of the pool.

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Gem Pool

We proceeded up the steep portion of the trail which had a few small patches of ice but nothing to worry about until we got to the first crossing of the Ammonoosuc River. There was some ice dangling off the branches that were hanging near the river.

Ice on branches
Ice on branches

After crossing the river and hiking some more steep trail the views open up looking to the west and to Mt. Washington.

Washington from the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail
Washington from the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail
Mike admiring the view
Mike admiring the view

We made it up to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut which was closed for the season. I stood in the sun while Mike hiked up Monroe. I didn’t go as my knee was bothering me and I didn’t want to subject it to anymore downhill than I had to. Several other hikers arrived and were rather surprised to find that the hut was closed, they had planned on going in and getting some warm soup.

Washington from the Lakes of the Clouds
Washington from the Lakes of the Clouds
Ice on the Crawford Path
Ice on the Crawford Path
One of the lakes
One of the lakes

We then started the final 1.4 miles up to the summit. It was windy for a while but we eventually got into the lee side of the mountain and didn’t have to deal with the wind.

Looking back to Monroe and Lakes of the Clouds
Looking back to Monroe and Lakes of the Clouds
View near the junction of Crawford Path and Gulfside trail
View near the junction of Crawford Path and Gulfside trail

We finally got to the summit and joined all the tourist crowd. There was a long line to have your picture taken at the summit cone but we went inside and ate our PBJs out of the wind. After we ate we went up to the observation deck for a few pictures and then started the long trek down the Gulfside and Jewell trails.

Looking northeast from the observation deck
Looking northeast from the observation deck
Tourists on the deck
Tourists on the deck
Cog train on the way up
Cog train on the way up

There were a few touches of color down in the Great Gulf but hardly any color to the foliage anywhere. The experts claim we had a warm September so the color will be later than usual.

Tinge of color in the Great Gulf
Tinge of color in the Great Gulf
View to the west of the Franconia Ridge
View to the west of the Franconia Ridge

It’s a long rocky descent on the Jewell tail down to tree line but excellent views the whole way.

Looking up to Monroe
Looking up to Monroe

Only two more peaks to finish “The Grid over 60”. However, they won’t be until July of 2016 so there won’t be any entries for a while.

 

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