Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mt Washington Hike

Photos uploaded from our hike up Mt. Washington. This was our only hike of the year (so far), so we decided to make it a good one. Conditions were good...not too hot...not too cold. We took the Tuckerman Ravine trail up to the summit. This trail proved to be a good intial challenge up to the base of the ravine. A steady flow of rocks lined the trail the entire way up. Once up in the ravine, things flattened out a bit before getting really technical. As we entered the base of Tuckerman, you are now in the 'alpine-zone' and were pleased to run into some late season snow packed in the bowl right at the base of the ravine wall. Being July 21st, I think this is personally the latest (in the season) I have ever had my hands on natural snow in New England. We stopped for some food about half way up the ravine and took in the sights and sounds of hundreds of other hikers coming up and down. It was relatively warm in the bowl (probably in the 60s), but it would get drastically colder only slightly higher up, as we got out of the ravine and started the ascent up the remaining portion of the mountain. The rest of the way up to the summit was a constant 'pick-your-rock-and-hope-it-doesn't-move' moment as you have to hop on and off of thousands of strategically placed boulders, all the while, keeping your eyes on the markers that lay the straightest line to the top. Once on the summit, we quickly became aware that the temperature was down below freezing with windchill (about 29 F). It made being outside only the slightest big uncomfortable, but it was the wind that really made it feel unseasonably cold. We took our self-gratifying pictures (with me sporting the MVS swag of course :) ) at the highest point, weasled our way through all the jerks who took the bus up to the top, rummaged through the giftshop (while realizing we couldn't buy anything because we'd have to lug it back down the mountain for 3 hrs), had a cup of hot chocolate at the snack bar, and started our trek back down (which felt even harder on the calfs and knees than the way up). All in all, it was a great day long hike that we may (or may not) do next year. See the photographic evidence here...

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