View Full Version : A Visit to One of George's Neighbors: Mt Monroe (22-Jan-2010)

01-23-2010, 12:24 PM
My friend Marty drove up in the morning from his home in Boston for a hike on fine winter day. Upon his arrival we had a brief discussion and quickly settled on doing the short trek to Mt. Monroe using the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail as our highway to the Presidential Range.

We got on the trail close to 11:30-ish and right from the "get-go" at The Cog parking lot, we could see that it was going to be beautiful day to be above tree line.

View from the Cog Parking Lot


We slapped on our snowshows and headed off. It was a fantastic day for snowshoeing. There was firmly packed powder until we were perhaps a tenth of a mile from the LOC Hut. At this point the trail was no longer visible due to drifted snow. However, the snow was firm enough that it was no problem to just head uphill across the trackless snow toward the hut. And within just a very few minutes, the snow-encased image of hut appeared on the horizon.

LOC Hut in Winter


Although it was a brilliant sunny day, and only a hint of a breeze, we were the only hikers up there! We would not have seen another person all day had it not been for a chance meeting with some backcountry skiers who dropped by the hut along their way down the mountainside. They swooped by just shortly after we arrived, and they immediately went up on the roof of the hut to have their lunch.

Skiers on Roof of LOC Hut


Perhaps it's not unusual, but I found it amazing that there was open water at that elevation at this time of year, and that it was actually flowing!! The aquamarine color of the water against a stark-white landscape of Mt. Washington was quite a contrast to see.

Open Water at the Doorstep of Mt Washington


After basking in the sun and having some lunch, we headed off for Mt. Monroe. Due to a lot of drifted snow, there was no obvious snowshoe track to the summit from previous hikers. That was fine with us. It was actually fun to "snow-whack" our way to the top!

Within 20 minutes or so, we arrived at a wind-free Mt. Monroe where the air temperature on my pack thermometer read a balmy 30 degrees. Of course, there were the stunning 360 degree views. And on this particular day, the southwesterly view was made especially interesting by a slight undercast. The full beauty of this view was difficult to adequately capture since it required shooting directly into the sun which was low on the horizon.

Southwesterly View from Mt. Monroe


Eventually, we had to pry ourselves off the summit and start heading for home. Marty took the lead and I lingered a bit longer to take a few more snapshots, including one of him as he hiked along the ridge of Monroe admiring the northward view of the Presidential Range.

Northward View from Mt Monroe


On our return trip back down the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, we were treated to some nice alpine glow (or is "alpenglow" the more correct term?:confused:). I've seen even more stunning demonstrations of this light phenomenon, but nonetheless, this was a pretty good show.

Alpenglow from Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail


It was also quite impressive to look overhead at the alpenglow on the treetops against a blue sky, and punctuated by a picturesque half moon.

Looking Skyward at Alpenglow Effect


This was by no means an epic hike. It was just a simple out & back. But, it was a day tailor-made for an unhurried hike above tree line to enjoy the Whites in all their wild & wonderful winter-glory.


01-23-2010, 01:27 PM
I've already commented on this fantastic TR on another forum, but I've got to ask a question here. How is it possible that there is open water at Lakes now? Is this typical?

Snow Miser
01-23-2010, 01:27 PM
Beautiful photos of the snowy landscape John. What a wonderful day to be out there. Thanks for sharing.

01-23-2010, 03:51 PM
I would be so nervous losing the trail....

I really enjoy so much reading about your hikes and your photos are just absolutely beautiful.

Thank you...:)

Anna LeBlanc
01-23-2010, 05:03 PM
John I can't say it enough, you have the most unbelievably interesting TR's and your pictures are always beautiful.

It's like watching the Pats play on a 54" hi-def LCD tv.Except they win the game!!!:p:D:p



01-23-2010, 07:28 PM
Happy Hiker the pictures are beautiful, it reminds me when I hiked this same trail to Mount Monroe in early fall, it is quite a contrast.

Thanks for sharing!!!

01-23-2010, 09:27 PM
Great trp report and unbelievable pictures. What a beautiful day to be out there. Thanksfor sharing.

01-23-2010, 10:32 PM
Mark, Bob, Kathy, Anna, Trailsend and Chris:
Wow! My deepest thanks to each of you for your incredibly generous comments about my report and photos!!

Some Additional Comments:

Mtruman: Bob . . . I hope someone on this Forum can provide some insight as to why there would be open water at Lakes at this time of year. It seems unusual to me, but maybe it's not?!:confused:

It's like watching the Pats play on a 54" hi-def LCD tv.Except they win the game!!!:p:D:p
Anna: I loved your quip about the Pats as quoted above!:D
Yes, well there's always next year!;)

01-24-2010, 09:46 AM
Amazing pix, thank you for sharing!!

I've been wanting to hike Monore for quite some time now (it can help full fill a New Years Resolution)

Love the skiers on LOC....for some reason I am always amused/impressed by skiers on MWN.

01-25-2010, 02:43 PM
I am sooooooooo jealous! I'm waiting of my beautiful day on the presi's in winter! We are going to attempt Pierce this winter, due to the fact that there's a lot of below tree line, should the weather take a nasty turn. And if not, Eisenhower is not too far away for some great views! Nice TR. Awesome pics!

01-25-2010, 04:15 PM
I ran out of words to describe your consistently beautiful pictures long ago. So, at the risk of sounding repetitive, I'll just say -- Wow!! :D

01-25-2010, 07:35 PM
John, that is wild stuff!

Thanks so much for showing off Winter on such a grand stage!

01-26-2010, 04:29 PM
Once again, a huge "thank you" to each of you for your very complimentary replies!

In some ways, I almost feel like it's "cheating" to post photos taken from hikes in the Whites. There is such beautiful scenery at nearly every place you look, and so it's very difficult NOT to get a good snapshot!

KD Talbot
01-26-2010, 08:55 PM
Your Tr and pics continue to amaze!