Boott Spur 5500' via Glen Boulder Trail
7.4 Miles 3900' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
We wanted to get up to see the alpine flowers above treeline on the Presidentials. It turned out we had missed most of the Diapensia, Alpine Azalea and Lapland Rosebay. We did find a few small patches of each at the higher elevations and in sheltered areas. A frost had pushed them past there prime and the sedge and later flowers are coming into bloom now. In the woods leaving Pinkham Notch we found many early spring flowers along the Direttissima Trail. Bunchberry, Clintonia, Starflower and even a few Pink Lady's Slippers were still to be found. As we gained elevation it was like a journey backwards through time as the later flowers were found down low and the earlier flowers were found up higher. There were hundreds of Goldthread along the Glen Boulder Trail as we climbed toward treeline. As we broke above the trees and made the scramble across the rocks to Glen Boulder the Labrador Tea was in great abundance along the trail. At Glen Boulder we realized it was going to be a warm day. We sat in the shade and there was a pretty good breeze coming up from the east. After a snack and a drink and some chitchat with an older couple we began the climb again. Glen Boulder trail is interesting because you break above treeline just before reaching Glen Boulder, then as you climb above it you reenter the trees. At this point we were getting hot and were glad to head back into the shade of the trees, only to find swarms of midges awaiting us. The shade was not all we had hoped for as the midges were exceedingly annoying and there was no trace of the breeze that was so nice near Glen Boulder. After what seemed like a long time the trail broke out again just below Slide Peak and we were at the mercy of the sun. We trudged on, stopping where Emma could find shade and making sure she had plenty to drink. It was clear now that she was laboring in the heat and we decided to cut our hike short and head right down from Boott Spur. The plan had been to cross Bigelow Lawn and visit Lakes of the Clouds, but this would have been way too much exposure for poor Emma. At the summit of Boott Spur we found a place in the shade and tried to cool her down as much as we could, making sure again she had plenty to drink. We ate a meager lunch and I checked the little LL Bean thermometer on my backpack, 85 degrees! Unbelieveable to me that it was that hot at that altitiude. I only remember one other time it was that hot as we crossed Mount Franklin on the way to Monroe in July. This was bad, we had to get Emma down to water and shade. We headed straight down the Boott Spur Trail. We took the short, steep Boott Spur Link Trail down to the Hermit Lake Shelters where Emma cooled off in the Cutler River that flows out of Tuckerman Ravine. It hadn't been our plan, but we descended along the Tuckerman Ravine Trail back to Pinkham Notch and called it a day. Too hot! We couldn't imagine what hiking the weekend before during the heatwave with temps in the 90's must have been like. To those who did, you're tougher than us!