Mt. Jefferson - July 26, 2008
Here's our trip report for Mt. Jefferson -- what a gorgeous day! I hope everyone was out there hiking about!
Caps Ridge Trail, out and back, 5 miles total.
This was a nice change. Lots of rock-hopping and bouldering, which both Alex and I really enjoy.
We were on the trail by 7 am today. Both of us were excited, looking forward to the bouldering/rock scrambling on the Caps.
We walked through a very easy, pleasant forest. Lots of mud, but lots of plank-walks to step on. We saw many colorful mushrooms on the way up to the intersection with the Link Trail (1.1 miles). All in all, this was a very easy bit of trail.
After the intersection with the Link Trail, the grade became much more steep and steady. However, the steep bits were interchanged with fairly easy and flat bits, so the experience did not seem overwhelming.
As we approached the first Cap (large batch of boulders one must climb up and over to remain on the trail), the trail became very rocky and steep. However, we knew the first Cap was coming, so we both tolerated this steep part without complaint.
Views opened up here and stayed fabulous throughout the hike, until we came back down this way a few hours way. The day was perfect. Cool-ish temps, clear skies, crystal-clear views into the descent of the Gulf from Mt. Washington, miles and miles of perfect vista.
When we reached the first Cap, we looked at it and thought...what's the big deal? We had both been told by other hikers that this would be a major undertaking, and that we might have to turn back at the Caps. Um....no. This was no different than the rock scrambling we've done in countless other places. Not a problem whatsoever, and actually rather fun.
So up and over we went. Then came the next Cap, which was actually a bit more tricky in places than the first Cap had been. Up and over that series of boulders.
Now we were getting rather tired, and looking forward to getting over that third Cap and getting onward and upward to the summit.
Third Cap was rather puny in comparison to the first two...then we had to rock-hop all the way up to the summit. This was the most difficult part for both of us. Constant rock scrambling. though we both love to boulder, we were tired after the Caps, and we wanted to be on a smooth path again. There was a lot of complaining, and most of it was from me.
We were about 10 feet from the summit when....Alex tripped over a rock and slammed her knee. She's a tough kid, but this obviously hurt her quite a lot. We sat there for a few minutes until she felt ready to continue. We then slowly made it to the top. She held my hand and limped, but she did it on her own.
After the summit, we descended sightly to the flat spot on the east side of the summit cone, the bit with the large cairn. We sat there for a long while and ate Powerbars. Alex rested a long while, then took my camera and took a few pictures of the mountain flowers and plants. Her knee seemed okay, but sore, and we began a very slow descent down.
We took our time, that's for sure. It was a slow, slow rock descent to the Caps. I did not want to push Alex with her knee, and she wanted to stop and sit every 20 feet. We finally made it to the Caps, and we got down the three of them with little trouble and apparently not so much pain.
After the Caps and the immediate rocky steep descent, Alex picked up her pace and fairly ran the rest of the way down the trail, her knee better (I guess?). She made up a long story and cheerfully narrated it to me the entire 1.1 miles down (after the Link Trail connection). She practically bounded back to the trailhead and we took a goofy picture. She then told me she wants to do Mt. Field next because she thinks it's silly that a mountain is named Field.
We're now sitting, watching a movie. My legs burn burn burn! Alex, on the other hand, is as awake and peppy as ever. Wish I could bottle that energy.
nothing better for kids
Congrats on starting the goal of climbing the 4,000 footers. Hiking is so good for kids. I really enjoyed reading your trip reports and will look forward to the others when you collect another summit and put it in your peak bag. As you folks were climbing Jefferson on Sat. I was doing Seek The Peak and climbing Washington with my eight year old son Madison. You folks should think about doing Seek the Peak next year. Your family would really enjoy it.
I met Trish & Alex on the summit of Jefferson this past saturday. Alex was resting on the summit and more than happy to speak with other hikers. It was great to see her out there enjoying the mountains with mom. Start em young!
Hey -- which nice, friendly hiker were you? Perhaps I'll take a sneak peak at your profile...
Originally Posted by kaseri
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. The above trip report was also posted in our blog, in my signature below. That version has pictures -- I still need to take the time to figure out how to post pictures here.
Originally Posted by TrishandAlex
I was the guy with the weird little camera tripod.
Ah, yes -- that black and white contraption. It was nice meeting you, and nice to run into you again here.
Originally Posted by kaseri
Thanks! I think we'll be ready to do Sneak the Peak next year. This year, we need to stick to 8-9 mile round-trip hikes. Next year her legs will be longer and then we may be ready for 10 mile+ hikes.
Originally Posted by rockin rex
How did it go with your son? I hope the two of you had a great time.
Washington with kids
Trish it is only 4.2 miles from Pinkham to the summit of Washington. With Alex doing as well as she did on caps ridge trail I see no reason she couldn't summit Washington on a good weather day. The weather is the problem.
Madison did fantastic but he had alot of people rooting him on. I had it set where if he didn't want to hike back down I had a ride waiting for him. It was nice knowing I had an out if he was to tired to climb back down. Madison blew me away. He never complained once and actually moved faster than me. We made it up in 3 1/2 hours and down in 3. As a father I couldn't have been any more proud of him for what he had accomplished. He not only summited but did it raising money for a great cause, Mount Washington Observatory. What is so great with Washington is that you can always have someone drive to the top and meet you if you hike up with the little ones. They aren't forced to make it back down if they are tired. Madison said it was the best hike he has ever done.
it sounds like some very proud parents
That's fantastic. What a great time the two of you had.
Originally Posted by rockin rex
Well then, perhaps Alex will be ready for it next year. When we do Mt. Washington, we should definitely make money for the Observatory at the same time.