It felt like we climbed up a beast deep in slumber and got down much before it even realized anything. All that I had visualized about this supposedly treacherous hike was flipped all over. Most likely due to the weather, which was was way too perfect! It actually made it feel much easier than the Franconia Ridge trail hike we did last weekend!
Reached the trailhead and started the hike promptly at 07:00am on Saturday. Hiked up the Ammonoosuc ravine trail that slowly winds up by the Ammonoosuc river.
Within about an hour we were at the Gem pool.
Pretty much beyond this point, the trail gains considerable elevation and finally lands you on the AMC lakes of the clouds hut.
Some points on this stretch were a bit tricky but nothing too demanding. Rain or fog would probably make this a bit challenging.
With the sun shining pretty bright and almost no winds all through, the climb was more of a mildly intense workout than anything else.
The summit is visible on the left as you climb up to the hut.
A quick stop at the hut for some tailwind shots and sandwich pops and we hit the 1.4 mile Crawford path to summit Mt. Washington.
A bold warning sign warns of the inclement weather up on the summit. However, today’s weather makes it a no-brainer to surge forward. The wobbly rocks make it a bit tricky. We reach the summit at around noon and spend about an hour up there.
With the weather being pretty good the Cog rail was flooding the peak with quite a few folks.We soon start making our descent.
The Gulfside trail which leads up to Mt. Jefferson (which we decide not to summit today) crosses the Cog rail line that goes all the way down to the Marshfield station.
As we descend we come across quite a few rail coaches that are sluggishly making their way up and down the line. Makes for a fun distraction as you try and find food placement on the stone riddled path.
Pretty soon we hit the Jewell trail which would eventually get us off the ‘ridge line’, back into the woods and finally down to the parking lot.
With infrequent stops we close out the loop at around 04:00pm. The Jewell trail ends across the parking lot, right off the Base Station road.
9.5 miles in 8+ hours with an elevation gain of about 3500 ft. Not too bad. Given the weather conditions and our pace, I believe we could have easily covered both Mt. Monroe and Mt. Jefferson. Totally calls for a revisit again later this year.