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Thread: Washington, Monroe and Franklin with my daughters (Alex and Sage), Sept. 9-11, 2010

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    White Mountains, NH
    Thanked 25 Times in 16 Posts

    Default Washington, Monroe and Franklin with my daughters (Alex and Sage), Sept. 9-11, 2010

    Copied from
    Accompanying pictures can be found there.
    ************************************************** *

    Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, Crawford Path, Mt. Monroe Loop.
    About 11 miles roundtrip.

    Sage has been asking to climb Mt. Washington for months. She isn't yet ready to ascend New Hampshire's highest mountain in one day, and I'm not sure she could happily do it in two, so I booked a couple of nights at Lakes of the Clouds. I figured we'd hike up to the hut on Day One, ascend Washington on Day Two, and head back to the car on Day Three.

    Day One (September 9th) arrived, and we set out on the trail. Mt. Washington's Higher Summit Forecast called for a cold, wet and windy day, so we donned full winter clothing and prepared ourselves for a watery slog to the hut.

    The first mile went quickly, albeit all three of us felt as though we were swimming as opposed to walking...

    During the second mile, we passed the sad reminder that one does not have to be above treeline to die of hypothermia...

    Two hours after leaving the car, we arrived at Gem Pool, that lovely oasis that rests at the bottom of the final (steep!) mile.

    We didn't stop long to rest -- it was the kind of day where one needed to keep moving in order to stay warm. We had winter mindsets -- layers, going slowly but steadily, lots of snacks while walking, lots of water. Our clothing did its job, the three of us felt warm and dry all the way up.

    Wet slabs!!!

    Wet alpine zone!

    Wet everything!

    Since the Ammonoosuc is sheltered, we didn't feel the wind until that last tenth of exposed mile just before the hut. But that last tenth -- yikes! I felt for anyone trying to hike above treeline. It was NOT a day for a newbie to be out there, unless that newbie was guided. Classic case of the mountains ignoring the calendar summer.

    Though our hike up was enjoyable in spite of the weather (there was lots of singing involved), we were happy to reach the hut.

    We walked into the hut and saw that quite a few people had ventured out unprepared. The hut croo seemed to have their hands full taking care of hypothermic hikers. One of the ladies eyed us as we entered and asked me if we needed any dry clothing. I assured her we were fine, then the girls and I stripped off our wet outer layers, changed our socks, and settled in for the evening.

    The next morning we awoke to more of the same. Well, almost the same -- at least there wasn't any steady, cold, pouring rain. After checking the forecast and double-checking the hours of the summit buildings, we donned another multitude of dry layers, put on our rain and winter shells, and ventured forth.

    The "Beware" sign...

    This picture sums up our views for the day...

    Up toward the summit buildings, which are there in the fog somewhere...

    ...and, we made it! Sage was so happy and proud of herself.

    Everything was enveloped in cloud.

    We entered the snack area and the girls devoured a couple of whoopie pies while I checked our layers. We were all dry except for our gloves. Sage's hands run hot, so I wasn't concerned about her. Alex, however, has a problem with her fingers going numb very quickly. I decided to give her one of my dry glove layers and buy extra hand warmers at the gift shop, just in case. On the way back down, her hands did get cold, but by wiggling her fingers she was able to stay relatively comfortable.

    We saw only two groups of people on the way back to the hut -- a man with two boys who were probably about 12 and 9 years old (they looked well-prepared and all three were going strong) and a couple, also well-prepared and looking well. This was not a day for beginners, and I wasn't surprised that we had the trail mostly to ourselves on the way back.

    Here we are near one of the's in the photo somewhere...

    The wind was gusting now, but it was at our backs and we felt strong enough to tackle Monroe. We talked about it as we neared the hut, but I decided it would be better to wait and tag it the next day before heading down to the car. It was supposed to be sunny and warmer in the morning, and it would be nice if Sage could get some real views during this trip. So back into the hut we went.

    The next morning (September the 11th), we awoke to a different world...

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Sun, warmer temperatures, no rain or fog (!), and just plain pleasantness. After a yummy breakfast, the girls and I happily headed toward Monroe.

    After a brief climb up the summit cone, we arrived at the peak. The girls posed for a picture (Washington's in the background).


    Kids and views!

    The day was so bright and Mt. Franklin was just...over...there...and Alex and I could use it for the Trailwrights list...we easily convinced Sage to go the extra few tenths of a mile.

    On Mt. Franklin, with Mt. Monroe in the background.


    Descending Mt. Franklin...

    We stopped back at the hut before descending the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. Alex and Sage wrote their names in the dirt, just outside the entrance.

    Hard to believe this is the same trail we ascended two days ago. The sun makes a lot of difference.

    Mt. Washington from the upper part of the trail.

    We got back down to the car in a few short hours.

    Nicely done, Sage -- she's now done six "official" 4Ks. Alex and I can cross Mt. Franklin off our Trailwrights List, and I can check off Monroe for my September Grid (I already had Washington). 'Twas a nice three days of peakbagging.
    Last edited by TrishandAlex; 09-13-2010 at 04:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Boston, MA
    Thanked 48 Times in 27 Posts


    Thanks for the TR! Looks like pushing forward through the gloomy weather really paid off for you guys on this hike! I also really enjoyed browsing your blog...your adventures from the summer look like they were incredible and will undoubtedly leave a lasting and unparalleled memories for your daughters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Southeastern PA
    Thanked 329 Times in 249 Posts


    Very nice photos and TR on your blog Trish! So glad that the third day turned out to be a perfect day up there. Thanks for sharing.

    I never want to see a day
    That's over forty degrees
    I'd rather have it thirty,
    Twenty, ten, five and let it freeeeEEEEEEeeze!

    My Seek the Peak 2014 Photo Set

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Cape Cod, MA
    Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts


    Quite an adventure. Thank goodness for the hut.

    Nice weather is always welcome, but foul weather leaves more of a lasting impression.

    Looks like you had both.

    Wonderful way to get the first ascent.

    Well done and congratulations!

    Thank you for taking us along.

    Charter Member of The J. Rayner Edmands Fan Club

    Seek the Peak 2012: http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Thanked 372 Times in 193 Posts


    Great stuff, Trish! Memories of a lifetime! Sorry I haven't been keeping up but I still look when I can!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    South Dartmouth,MA.
    Thanked 173 Times in 116 Posts


    Another great trip report and pictures. Sounds and looks like you guys had a fantastic adventure. Even if there was a bit of rain and wind. Thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts

    Thumbs up

    What a great couple of days for you guys! We did a similar trip at the end of July. Lots of fun with my 10 and 7 year old boys.

    Also Trish, I saw a clip on cable showing (I think) your husband, a blind fellow and one other climbing somewhere out West. What determination! Just excellent!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    White Mountains, NH
    Thanked 25 Times in 16 Posts


    Thanks, everyone!

    Rich, yes that was Hugh, the girls' father. He still climbs, and is a friend of the fellows in the video -- Erik Weihenmayer, the blind man, is the same blind fellow who did Everest.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Rhode Island
    Thanked 243 Times in 126 Posts


    What a bunch of wonderful memories you and the girls have made this summer Trish. This one certainly has to be right up there near the top. Might have been nice if the weather had cooperated just a bit more on Thursday/Friday, but then again it's Mt Washington (and it could have been worse, it could have been snowing like today). Sure looks like a great night at the hut and a gorgeous day Saturday more than made up for it though. While I know that you said Sage has no interest in peakbagging I still have the feeling that she's going to catch up with us soon. It's just so great seeing she and Alex out there enjoying this together.

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir

    Hiking photos:
    Hiking Blog:
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Rockingham County
    Thanked 59 Times in 38 Posts


    What a great trip and report! Sounds like three days of fun to me, even with the first day or two of bad weather.

    I really think it's great that you get your children involved in hiking and nature at such an early age. It's something that a lot of children don't get exposed to if their family isn't into it. It's so impressive what they have accomplished. How are you guys doing on the Trailwrights list thus far?

    Thanks for sharing.

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