Monday, November 14, 2011

Mt. Washington, Mt. Monroe, Boott Spur - 11/13/11

It was a perfect day to do my most recent favorite hike all over again and knock off Mt. Washington and Monroe in November. This was my fifth time to the summit of Mt. Washington, and 3rd time to Mt. Monroe this year, and on this trip it was my 31st Trailwright peak. I also got to visit Boott Spur again. The weather was perfect the entire time with the highest winds only at the summits. The average wind on the summit was 61mph and visibility was listed as 70 miles.

As I pulled into the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center parking lot, I couldn't wait to get out of the car. The sun was just rising over the Wildcats spilling its rays onto the top of the high peaks. At 7am, I started up the Tuckerman Ravine Ravine Trail. Although the trail looks snowy, it was pretty much bare, and posed no difficulty all of the way to Lion Head Trail.
Tuckerman Ravine Trail
I made it to the Lion Head Trail summer route (winter route not open yet) and continued on bare-booting. As I went along, there was still a slight haze to the east, but there was blue sky right above me, up over the mountain. The wind picked up slightly as I made it out of the trees. The crystal clear and impressive ravine views were incredible on the approach to Lion's Head. It got a little bit colder and windier as I continued past Lion's Head and approached the top of the ravine. I now had my microspikes on. I love the blue/pinkish colors of the sky during snowy hikes, and feeling good I was moving along just keeping my eyes to those views.
Switchback and steep section on the Lion Head Trail
Top of Tuckerman Ravine
The push to summit was fun. The wind was ripping, making it tough to keep my step on target as I climbed the last few rocks. When I made it, I had to hang on to the sign or fall down. There was someone else who had just reached the summit shortly before me who captured my summit photo. I stood around for a couple of minutes myself in the wind taking in the full wrath and views from the high point before ducking out of the wind for a minute.
Me on the summit of Mt. Washington for the 5th time.
As I started to descend on the Crawford Path, the wind was coming across pretty good still, so that required me to stop and get out the ski goggles. I passed two pairs on the way down this section, and saw a guy fixing the chimney on the hut at Lake of the Clouds; after that, I didn't see anyone else until I finished. Lake of the Clouds was iced over, but not completely. Still looked beautiful as ever against the blue sky and rime.
Lake of the Clouds
I love the steep climb to Monroe. This was the first time I made the approach to this awesome summit with no one else on it. When I got to the top, I looked around and still saw no one, and the mounds of mountains seemed to be endless. I think the views were the best I've had from any trips to the Presidential's.
Mt. Monroe, 31st TW72 peak
It was about 1:30pm on the summit of Mt. Monroe, and the sun appeared as if it was already starting to set, which is incredible. It's very easily to overestimate daylight during this time of year. I quickly descended Monroe and I pretty much hiked continuously, without stopping, to Boott Spur. I quickly made a stop at the marker and continued down. After Boott Spur, I took off the spikes as they were no longer needed, and on this side of the mountain there was the least amount of snow and ice. I took a break at treeline to mow down a bunch of snacks and an Advil for the rest of the arduous descent.
Along the Camel Trail 
There were many planes taking in the beautiful day
After a handful of steep sections, the Boott Spur Trail evens out in places as it approaches the junction with the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. By no means is it an easy descent, but I really like it because it comes out pretty close to the end on Tuckerman, so once there I can swiftly jog back to my car. It's amazing that I can complete a hike like this and feel great, like I went for a walk in the park. I've now climbed over 100 named peaks this year alone, including a NH 4000 footer over 70 times. Yikes! I'm starting to not believe this myself! Thanks for reading everyone.
Looking down into Pinkham Notch
Lower Tuckerman Ravine Trail
Hike Stats:
Trails: Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Lion Head Trail, Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Crawfrod Path, Monroe Loop, Camel Trail, Davis Path, Boott Spur Trail
Distance: 10.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 5,050 ft
Book Time: 8hrs 40min

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  1. Ah - sommeone else doing the Trailwright's list! Cool. We should try to get a hike in together this winter. I'll be doing the Carter Moriah Range this weekend, but of course, I can only count Carter Dome as a Trailwrights peak.

  2. It has been fun trying to pick a Trailwright to count each hike I plan. There's no question about it that its a tough list to complete, and I'm looking forward to some of the unique hikes it will require to complete. I like the ability to count a peak from a traverse that would be a PITA to do on its own.