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View Full Version : Washington, Monroe and Franklin with my daughters (Alex and Sage), Sept. 9-11, 2010



TrishandAlex
09-13-2010, 04:43 PM
Copied from http://www.trishalexsage.com
Accompanying pictures can be found there.
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Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, Crawford Path, Mt. Monroe Loop.
About 11 miles roundtrip.

Sage has been asking to climb Mt. Washington for months. She isn't yet ready to ascend New Hampshire's highest mountain in one day, and I'm not sure she could happily do it in two, so I booked a couple of nights at Lakes of the Clouds. I figured we'd hike up to the hut on Day One, ascend Washington on Day Two, and head back to the car on Day Three.

Day One (September 9th) arrived, and we set out on the trail. Mt. Washington's Higher Summit Forecast called for a cold, wet and windy day, so we donned full winter clothing and prepared ourselves for a watery slog to the hut.

The first mile went quickly, albeit all three of us felt as though we were swimming as opposed to walking...

During the second mile, we passed the sad reminder that one does not have to be above treeline to die of hypothermia...

Two hours after leaving the car, we arrived at Gem Pool, that lovely oasis that rests at the bottom of the final (steep!) mile.

We didn't stop long to rest -- it was the kind of day where one needed to keep moving in order to stay warm. We had winter mindsets -- layers, going slowly but steadily, lots of snacks while walking, lots of water. Our clothing did its job, the three of us felt warm and dry all the way up.

Wet slabs!!!

Wet alpine zone!

Wet everything!

Since the Ammonoosuc is sheltered, we didn't feel the wind until that last tenth of exposed mile just before the hut. But that last tenth -- yikes! I felt for anyone trying to hike above treeline. It was NOT a day for a newbie to be out there, unless that newbie was guided. Classic case of the mountains ignoring the calendar summer.

Though our hike up was enjoyable in spite of the weather (there was lots of singing involved), we were happy to reach the hut.

We walked into the hut and saw that quite a few people had ventured out unprepared. The hut croo seemed to have their hands full taking care of hypothermic hikers. One of the ladies eyed us as we entered and asked me if we needed any dry clothing. I assured her we were fine, then the girls and I stripped off our wet outer layers, changed our socks, and settled in for the evening.

The next morning we awoke to more of the same. Well, almost the same -- at least there wasn't any steady, cold, pouring rain. After checking the forecast and double-checking the hours of the summit buildings, we donned another multitude of dry layers, put on our rain and winter shells, and ventured forth.

The "Beware" sign...

This picture sums up our views for the day...

Up toward the summit buildings, which are there in the fog somewhere...

...and, we made it! Sage was so happy and proud of herself.

Everything was enveloped in cloud.

We entered the snack area and the girls devoured a couple of whoopie pies while I checked our layers. We were all dry except for our gloves. Sage's hands run hot, so I wasn't concerned about her. Alex, however, has a problem with her fingers going numb very quickly. I decided to give her one of my dry glove layers and buy extra hand warmers at the gift shop, just in case. On the way back down, her hands did get cold, but by wiggling her fingers she was able to stay relatively comfortable.

We saw only two groups of people on the way back to the hut -- a man with two boys who were probably about 12 and 9 years old (they looked well-prepared and all three were going strong) and a couple, also well-prepared and looking well. This was not a day for beginners, and I wasn't surprised that we had the trail mostly to ourselves on the way back.

Here we are near one of the Lakes...it's in the photo somewhere...

The wind was gusting now, but it was at our backs and we felt strong enough to tackle Monroe. We talked about it as we neared the hut, but I decided it would be better to wait and tag it the next day before heading down to the car. It was supposed to be sunny and warmer in the morning, and it would be nice if Sage could get some real views during this trip. So back into the hut we went.

The next morning (September the 11th), we awoke to a different world...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Sun, warmer temperatures, no rain or fog (!), and just plain pleasantness. After a yummy breakfast, the girls and I happily headed toward Monroe.

After a brief climb up the summit cone, we arrived at the peak. The girls posed for a picture (Washington's in the background).

Views!!

Kids and views!

The day was so bright and Mt. Franklin was just...over...there...and Alex and I could use it for the Trailwrights list...we easily convinced Sage to go the extra few tenths of a mile.

On Mt. Franklin, with Mt. Monroe in the background.

Views!

Descending Mt. Franklin...

We stopped back at the hut before descending the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Alex and Sage wrote their names in the dirt, just outside the entrance.

Hard to believe this is the same trail we ascended two days ago. The sun makes a lot of difference.

Mt. Washington from the upper part of the trail.

We got back down to the car in a few short hours.

Nicely done, Sage -- she's now done six "official" 4Ks. Alex and I can cross Mt. Franklin off our Trailwrights List, and I can check off Monroe for my September Grid (I already had Washington). 'Twas a nice three days of peakbagging.

ow2010
09-13-2010, 05:58 PM
Thanks for the TR! Looks like pushing forward through the gloomy weather really paid off for you guys on this hike! I also really enjoyed browsing your blog...your adventures from the summer look like they were incredible and will undoubtedly leave a lasting and unparalleled memories for your daughters.

Snow Miser
09-13-2010, 06:30 PM
Very nice photos and TR on your blog Trish! So glad that the third day turned out to be a perfect day up there. Thanks for sharing.

Stets
09-13-2010, 07:17 PM
Quite an adventure. Thank goodness for the hut.

Nice weather is always welcome, but foul weather leaves more of a lasting impression.

Looks like you had both.

Wonderful way to get the first ascent.

Well done and congratulations!

Thank you for taking us along.

KD Talbot
09-14-2010, 12:39 PM
Great stuff, Trish! Memories of a lifetime! Sorry I haven't been keeping up but I still look when I can!

KDT

CHRIS
09-15-2010, 06:49 AM
Another great trip report and pictures. Sounds and looks like you guys had a fantastic adventure. Even if there was a bit of rain and wind. Thanks for sharing.

Rich
09-15-2010, 08:16 AM
What a great couple of days for you guys! We did a similar trip at the end of July. Lots of fun with my 10 and 7 year old boys.

Also Trish, I saw a clip on cable showing (I think) your husband, a blind fellow and one other climbing somewhere out West. What determination! Just excellent!!

TrishandAlex
09-15-2010, 10:26 AM
Thanks, everyone!

Rich, yes that was Hugh, the girls' father. He still climbs, and is a friend of the fellows in the video -- Erik Weihenmayer, the blind man, is the same blind fellow who did Everest.

mtruman
09-15-2010, 07:31 PM
What a bunch of wonderful memories you and the girls have made this summer Trish. This one certainly has to be right up there near the top. Might have been nice if the weather had cooperated just a bit more on Thursday/Friday, but then again it's Mt Washington (and it could have been worse, it could have been snowing like today). Sure looks like a great night at the hut and a gorgeous day Saturday more than made up for it though. While I know that you said Sage has no interest in peakbagging I still have the feeling that she's going to catch up with us soon. It's just so great seeing she and Alex out there enjoying this together.

KSearl
09-15-2010, 09:15 PM
What a great trip and report! Sounds like three days of fun to me, even with the first day or two of bad weather.

I really think it's great that you get your children involved in hiking and nature at such an early age. It's something that a lot of children don't get exposed to if their family isn't into it. It's so impressive what they have accomplished. How are you guys doing on the Trailwrights list thus far?

Thanks for sharing.
Karl

TrishandAlex
09-15-2010, 09:55 PM
Hi Mark, thank you. You've been a great source of online support this summer, and I appreciate it. :)

Sage is funny, she is very specific about which mountains she wants to hike. She recently mentioned that she wants to do Cannon -- in winter. She wants to winter hike up, drink hot chocolate in the building at the top, and slide down. That's the only one lwe haven't yet done that she says she wants to do, though over time, she might add to her wishlist. Alex keeps talking up certain peaks including...Owls Head. For some reason, Alex thinks Sage would love Owls Head. I'm not so sure about that one, but we may end up doing it at some point just to satisfy Sage's inevitable curiosity.

It is nice to see Alex and Sage out there together, I agree. They make a good team and enjoy each other's company on the trail, for the most part. There is sometimes sibling static. For example, I lost patience and hollered at Alex on the way up Washington's summit cone..she kept trying to push past Sage, who wanted to go first. I told her to knock it off or we'd turn this hike around right now and go back to the hut. :rolleyes: I'm standing there in 40mph wind, my outer layers soaking wet, loudly fussing at my 7 year old because she keeps trying to push past my youngest. Alex is sitting on a rock glaring at me, Sage is making eyes at Alex through her balaclava. That kind of thing. But, for the most part, they enjoy being with one another and they laugh a lot.

Hi Karl, thanks for your kind words. This is the first time I've counted how many peaks we've done for Trailwrights -- I figure it's going to take us a long time, so I haven't bothered keeping score. However, I tallied them up and we're now at 37 (you can only count one peak per hike, no doubling up allowed). This weekend we might get number 38, we'll see.

Jimmy Legs and Little d
09-16-2010, 02:36 PM
[QUOTE=TrishandAlex;43560]
It is nice to see Alex and Sage out there together, I agree. They make a good team and enjoy each other's company on the trail, for the most part. There is sometimes sibling static. For example, I lost patience and hollered at Alex on the way up Washington's summit cone..she kept trying to push past Sage, who wanted to go first. I told her to knock it off or we'd turn this hike around right now and go back to the hut. :rolleyes: I'm standing there in 40mph wind, my outer layers soaking wet, loudly fussing at my 7 year old because she keeps trying to push past my youngest. Alex is sitting on a rock glaring at me, Sage is making eyes at Alex through her balaclava. That kind of thing. But, for the most part, they enjoy being with one another and they laugh a lot.

Hey Trish,
I think it's called sibiling rivalry something that you nor I ever had to contend with growing up.

Donna

rockin rex
09-21-2010, 01:19 PM
Trish you really should write a book on hiking with kids. You have so much insight and knowledge on hiking with children. There are so many families that would love to hike with their kids but are so afraid to bring them up into the high peaks because of their lack of experience and knowledge. Trish you are so on in everything you do with your daughters when it comes to bringing them up into the high peaks. Your daughters are lucky to have you as a mom. Really enjoyed your last trip report from Lakes. Ammo can be a bit tricky when it is wet. Look forward to your fall trip reports.

TrishandAlex
09-30-2010, 08:24 AM
Rockin Rex, thanks for your kind comments. I'll respond more fully to what you wrote in about a week.