Cheating the southern presidentials
I drove up on Sunday morning with my dad and brother for the sunrise drive around 3:00AM. It would have been pretty hard to know where I was on the road if there weren't any brake lights ahead of me to follow. Some sections had practically zero visibility due to the intense fog. Once we reached the top we just hung out in the summit building for awhile with everyone, hoping that the fog would clear. While we were waiting, we paid for a full years membership with the observatory. We were told that the only observer that would have been awake to give a tour at such an early hour would have been the night observer, and we didn't want to bother him, so we decided to take the tour another time. After we decided the fog wouldn't clear we decided to head back to the car. My brother and I grabbed our bags to head out and my dad drove the car back down. We told him to meet us at the Highland Center in about 7 hours. As we started on the trail the conditions were terrible. We had poor visibility, and it was raining. The slick conditions make it difficult getting off the summit cone as most of the angled rocks were pretty slippery. On the way down we met a nice man who said he had hiked up to the Lakes of the Clouds hut the night before. He said he was having second thoughts on hiking back down and we told him that he had the option of taking a van down if he wanted.
We continued on through the same conditions, minus the rain, until around Eisenhower. Around that area we had a beautiful view of Bretton Woods. From this point on we encountered many other hikers who were coming up from the Mizpah hut. Once we reached the hut we took a small break and went inside to take a look around. It's a very interesting hut and I like the look of the exterior. The section from the hut to Highland Center was probably the hardest part of the hike for us. It seemed like it would never end, but eventually we reached the bottom. We completed this hike in just under 6 hours, which is faster than we expected, but this is obviously due to the fact that we cheated and started at the top after driving up. Now that I have hiked both the northern and southern presidentials I will most likely try the full traverse sometime before summer is over.
Not cheating in my opinion - particularly in that weather. Nice pictures and TR. I'd be happy to cheat my way through that day any time. Thanks for sharing Joe.