Wednesday, August 13, 2008

2008 Mount Washington Hike

Sunday after Bridge of Flowers, Kristin and I went up into the mountains again... this time with her Dad. We decided to do the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail which starts off of Rt 302 in Bretton Woods, NH, right before the Cog Railway station. This was a gamble because we knew the weather was not going to cooperate with us for very long....

The Ammonoosuc trailhead runs right from the Cog parking lot and climbs up to the Lakes of the Clouds hut. From there, it continues up on the Crawford Path to the summit. The trail was fairly muddy and we stopped for a bit to take photos along the way and to rest (Kristin was having knee issues on the way up). We hung out for a bit and used the facilities at the Lake of the Clouds hut and then headed up to the summit. With the breaks, we did the 4.4 miles in just about 3 hours and 30 minutes. As we got to the top, a mass of dark clouds and fog rolled up and in, basically blocking any views over Tuckerman. Looking out over the 302 side, it was cloudy up high, but we still had clear views across the valley. We walked around up at the top for a bit and showed her Dad around. We then had lunch on the top and perused the gift shop before deciding to take the Jewel trail down instead of going back the way we came. The reason for this is because it was evident that it was going to start to pour on us on the way down...and coming up was slippery enough already. We started down the Crawford Path to the Gulfside trail which cuts over and picks up the Jewel trail which winds down on the other side of the Cog tracks and back down to the parking lot off of Rt 302. This route was longer, but obviously not as steep once we got back down below the alpine zone. As we were cutting across the Gulfside trail the black clouds rolled in and it began to pour and hail on us for about a half hour or so...enough to soak us, all our gear, and the entire trail the rest of the way down. That aside, we came down in 2:45 (5 Miles total on the way down).

We also had another hiker tag along (we met her on the way up fairly early)...she was from Canada and was doing this hike solo so she joined us for our trip up, lunch at the top, and the hike down.

As soon as we got back out onto route 302 and started the ride home, the rain began to come down....It poured the entire way home...but we were lucky enough to get the hike in....

I took a short video clip of the Cog Railway chugging up the mountain from the Gulfside Trail on the way down (which actually crosses up and over the tracks). It was just starting to rain as I filmed this....then it got much worse.

Photos from the hike are posted here (Smugmug).

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