Friday, August 29, 2014

The Presidentials

The section of AT between Crawford and Pinkham notches is probably the most dramatic because of the towering presence of Mt Washington and the rest of the Presidential Range. The weather on Mt Washington is so unpredictable, it can beautiful and within an hour totally fogbound and chilly.

I could see Mt Washington as soon as I climbed out of Crawford Notch onto Mt Webster, almost like a beacon in the distance guiding my movement for the next two days. The first part of the ascent, over Webster Cliffs to Mt Webster, was really steep and rocky, one of the toughest of the the hike.
Enjoying the view from Webster Cliffs

Yes, that's the AT up there on those rocky Webster Cliffs

But from Webster all the way to Mt Washington the climb up isn't too bad--somewhat gradual until I reached the rocky base. The Presidentials look like someone took dynamite and blew up a chain of granite domes. The hiking is difficult, partially because of the weather, but mostly because the "trail" consists of miles of boulder hopping on granite and schist

I was disappointed that the panoramic views quickly fell apart as fog, clouds, rain, and high winds moved in. By the time I reached Mt Madison at the far end of the arc, temps were int he upper 40s and winds were blowing about 60mph. A good night to be indoors.
 The ridgewalk around the arc of the Presidential Range is impressive, even without the big views, but the climb back down to Pinkham Notch--almost 4000'--was brutal on my knees.

No comments: