Well to start it off let me say that I've never ever gotten so lucky when it comes to weather in the Whites. Think of this. The whole presidential hike started off with an idea a few months ago that my friend and I would take 9 days off to bike from CT to Gorham, NH and back. So I took my time off work 2 months in advance but my friend couldn't get his time off so "plan b", the presidential hike, came to mind (I wasn't going to sit and do nothing with my time off). So, with this thing planned 2 months in advance, we got so lucky to have 5 days in a row of clear weather, not to mention 2 of them (first day and last day) to be the 2 clearest I've ever seen.
Pics on the way up
"Color Wheel" around the sun
The range from I-93 in Littleton
I got a 300 on Royalty Inns' Bowling game in Gorham haha along with the top 5 scores.
So for the trip report. When we drove up there this past Sunday we arrived an Pinkham and asked for last min. pointers, etc. We also reserved our seats on the shuttle bus to take us to the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch. When we weighed our packs, mine weighed in at 42 Lbs and my dads at 37....ouch, not something I was looking forward to hauling for 3 days.
When we started the trail began with a slow but steady incline to the Mizpah Hut. Which broke off of and hit the Summit of Peirce.
Starting to clear up
After we left the summit of Peirce, the trail then started to drop down to the ridge line and passed some cool flowers and managed to get a good shot of this guy.
We then began the accent up Eisenhower. As the day went on the winds picked up big time, as you can see by my shirt.
Going Towards Franklin
Summit of Franklin, number 3
Monroe, number 4
As it got later, we noticed that there was a few rain showers brewing around us, so we decided to head down and find a place to camp out for the night.
Rain shower passing behind Jefferson.
Right as were starting the decent to Lakes, we got hit by a heavy but brief rain shower, so we huddled under some rocks and waited it out, then continued on to Lakes.
This is where things turned ugly, as we were heading down towards tree line, I noticed there was a T-Storm heading right at us!
We got very fortunate and found a grass area in the middle of the trees to camp at, the bad news was right as I pulled the tent out the skies opened up so we put every thing under the tent and huddled under it ourselves and waited for it to pass lol. Eventually we set up camp and ate our freeze dried meals (which aren't half bad).
We then relaxed and watched the sunset which was amazing.
Not too bad of a nights sleep, muscles were a little sore but we stretched them out and looked at our next goal.
When we got back up to Lakes, the wind was howling, from a distance the wind generator sounded like a weed whacker. We made it to the top of Mt Washington (number 5) by 9:30. It was neat being up there that early as there was still hints of orange in the sky.
We spent an hour and a half at the summit since it was the closest thing to civilization up there and left for Clay, Jefferson, and Adams at 11:00
Jefferson Summit Number 7
Views from Jefferson to Adams
View from Mt. Adams
number 8, almost there!
After Heading down Adams, we decided that we really didn't feel like camping out and finding a camping place, etc. so we asked the people of the Madison Hut if the had open bunks and they let us stay. To say the least we were VERY happy to have their dinner and a place to sleep. During the stay everyone gathered outside to watch the awesome sunset which was even better then the night before.
After waking up the next morning, my dad and I decided we'd take advantage of having to come down Madison the same way we came up and leave the packs at the hut. not having the weight gave us hope that we were going to be back at Pinkham notch in no time, we made it to the top of Madison in about 25 mins.
number 9, we made it
Well....I spoke too soon about an easy trip to Pinkham. The trip down Madison Gulf Trail was brutal and with the heavy packs just a plain pain in the ass. When it finally leveled out, I could see how far we still have yet to go. Out of the Madison gulf, across the great gulf, over a ridge near Lowe's Bald Spot, and down Old Jackson Road to Pinkham. This trip took a long time, it was miserable as we were out of energy and with the hot humid valley air and the sun on us, it wasn't helping. Well I'll tell you, it was such a relief to see the buildings of Pinkham Notch! We sat down there and hung around for about an hour to give our sore feet a rest before hitting the car.
Lessons learned from the first time:
PACK LIGHT and stay at the huts!!! This will make the trip MUCH more enjoyable!
Park at Appalachia...Pinkham is WAY too far away right after a Presidential hike.