Mt adams 7/6/09
As usual pictures and a video on my blog
#19 Mt Adams, NH
We had initially planned on doing the ?Madams? both Madison and Adams. As we were hiking we decided that just Adams was enough for the day. I had three viable reasons
1. my knee still hurts from when I decided on a Friday at lunch I was going to run the Niantic Bay 10K that afternoon without doing any purposeful training
2. there was a chance of thunderstorms after 3pm and the rate we were going this summer it meant there would at least be rain
3. I am heading out to Seattle/Portland for some Cascades hiking (Paradise Glacier on Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and maybe South Sister) next week and want to be fully recovered for that
So we left Waterville at 6:30am for the trailhead. We decided after reading some other peoples reports (thanks Trish and Alex) that we were going to park at Appalachia and do the Airline Trail all the way up and Valley Way down. The Airline Trail was very pleasant at first. It was a mild gain at first, which gives me a warm-up. This way the muscles, heart and lungs could get warmed up before anything really serious. After about a mile and a half we started getting A LOT of mud. You wouldn?t want to do this trail right now unless you had Gore-Tex boots. Luckily there weren?t all that many bugs considering how wet it was. After about three hours we finally hit tree line. Along the way we could hear other people behind us and I was waiting for them to catch and pass us. We didn?t actually see them until we stopped above tree line for a break. They passed us but then took a break a little way up so we ended up passing them.
Up we went, rock hoping along the way. I would say these rocks were a little smaller then Mt. Washington?s so it seemed a little more technical but not too bad. We were praying all the while that it would not rain because I could imagine they would be very slippery. When we got above tree line at first the summit was in the clouds, but just barely. As we got closer to the top those clouds lifted and so in turn did my spirits that we would have some views. Sure enough, the clouds appeared to be at 7000ft so we had our 360 degree views. It was cool seeing some snow still on Jefferson. I had also never seen Mt. Washington from this side before and therefore the Auto Road. While we were up top our ?friends? as I started to call them got up there. They had done a three hour drive from Maine that morning just for the hike. (Hi Nick, Brenna, and Dennis!) They too had initially planned on doing Madison but were thinking otherwise. After a lovely lunch of Pop-Tarts Dad and I headed down.
Dad suggested going down toward the Gulf Side trail because it appeared to not be as steep. He was right. Going up we had about .6miles of steep rock hopping, going down it was only about .3. We meet up with the Gulf Side trail and headed down to visit the Madison Spring Cabin. As we were coming around the Gulf Side trail we saw our friends coming down the Airline and waved to them. The Madison hut was nice and cozy. I bought myself a Snickers and got dad some freshly baked bread. I was surprised that we could see our breath in here. It was so humid out that I did most of the hike up in shorts and a t-shirt and only had a thin Dri-Fit long sleeve shirt at the top. It turns out it was only in the 40?s at the top and maybe 50 at the cabin. Our friends followed into the cabin a few minutes later where we chatted some more. Around 2pm we decided to head back home. It didn?t take long before we started to feel raindrops. Then at 2:15 thunder, urg, that?s 45min early. There was only a little bit of thunder, maybe 15minutes worth but then it started to rain pretty good. I decided to put my raincoat on, dad decided to let the rain cool him off. The combo of rain and thunder lead me to go a lot faster down then I wanted. My knee was not so happy with this but I thought it was the safer solution. Valley Way was a much less muddy trail so I think it allowed us to go a bit quicker. It was also nice because right after leaving the hut we were below tree line and thus felt a little safer with the weather. With around a mile left the rain stopped and the sun started to come out. Around a half-mile left our friends came running up to us. They decided to run down because of the weather. They started to run ahead but then had to take a shoe-tying break. At this point they decided to walk the rest of the way to the cars with us.
Thoughts: We were all happy we decided not to do Madison because we would have been up there and exposed when the thunder came. Not the place to be in a storm. I went with what dad called the non-traditional hiking shorts, a pair of mesh, dri-fit, basketball shorts. I found these a lot easier to move in. I think I like my North Face boots better then my Asolos. I keep getting blisters in the Asolos.
Congrats on Adams! Also, congrats on getting those 360 views? Any pictures coming our way..?
Yes, sounds like it was a wise move, saving Madison for another day. Definitely don't want to be up there during a thunderstorm!
ETA: oops, I missed the blog link the first time around. Nice!
Last edited by TrishandAlex; 07-07-2009 at 04:47 PM.
A fine report on your bagging of Adams. Checked out your blog for the pictures. Very nice. Plan to go back and read your prior hiking reports too.