Hello U.S. of A! Crossing the border I welcomed Blue Moon Beer, home style cookin’ and HUGE portions of food. Oh ya, lets not forget 24oz beer at Mr. Pizza.
Matt picked out a nice RV park. The owners were very welcoming and helpful, giving us tips on places to eat around the small town of Gorham, New Hampshire.
Patience played a huge part in this trip. First off, it rained for two days straight. Low clouds prevented us from seeing much of the mountain. Sunday was our best day to do it as the forecast had mentioned clear skies. So with some extra time on our hands we did some sightseeing and ended up in North Conway, which I highly recommend, and managed to put in a hike around Mt. Tom.
6am start and we were off to the trail head. The weather on Mt. Washington is notorious for being unpredictable. So we packed all the essentials. Our ascending route was Tuckerman Ravine. We hit the trail with the top as our destination. The trail is steep and you basically spend most of your time rock hopping. The scenery takes the edge off of your hard breathing and sweat. Stopping for a drink or a snack and you could see the steam coming off the two of us. Simply cause we are so damn hot! No really, we were. Slogging through the dense forest we finally made it up to the shelter cabins. This is where you can actually see what you are preparing to climb. Pause for a WTF moment…
The gully was massive. I thought how the hell are we going to climb this? The scenery was stunning. There is something about being above the trees in the alpine zone. We had 1.8 miles to go. It felt like it went on forever. Steep rocks all the way up. Well defined route though. I did find that I literally had to stop if I wanted to look around cause I would fall over if I tried to walk and look up at the same time. Funny enough there were a few icy patches along the way. It was a slog but worth it. Matt jumped ahead and went a little further as I came up from behind. He popped down told me we were so close. The weirdest thing occurred. The last few big steps coming up this mountain and I see a bunch of fat people (sorry I am being blunt I was aggravated). standing there taking pictures. Insert WTF? We both climbed up to a road. We had to cross a road, walk through a sea of tourists to touch the summit sign. Apart of me was thankful to have made it. Another part of me wanted to yell “get out of my way”. I felt I deserved to be up there more than any of those people who chose to drive up and wear all there hiking gear! Posers! Pictures taken and off we went to find a bench to eat our packed lunches.
We spent a few hours up at the top, looking around, reading up on the history, taking in a hot chocolate. Our patience paid off. The view was incredible.considering this mountain spends 237 days in dense fog we were able to see the Presidential range and surrounding mountains in all their glory.
Our descending route took us through Lion Head Trail which would eventually meet up with Tuckerman Ravine. It was rocky, steep and for me in particular required a lot of concentration. Matt is pretty quick through this type of terrain, it really is quite impressive. There were some really steep rocky sections that required a good stop and think. A few instances where I had to lower myself down cause my legs were just too short. It was a long way down. It was tedious but there was no alternative but to keep going. Finally got to the Tuckerman Ravine junction. I was so happy to see it as I knew the rest of the trail would be moderately difficult but nowhere near as punishing at the last 2 miles I had just done. A stop at Crystal Cascade waterfall and a sprint finish and we were back at the start. We were so focused on beer that we forgot to pick up a sticker to put on the RV. Our feet were sore, legs were tired, knees were angry but we were pretty happy to have completed that round trip of Mt. Washington in a day. To top if all off we had the pleasure of seeing Moose! Not one or two but three!!! Beer, Ibuprofen and a wicked dinner ensued.
It was an awesome challenge which we pulled off with great effort. *High Five*
*Special mention goes to the individual (we are thinking we met along the way) who left a wicked note on a dude who nearly blocked us in from Rhode Island. It was so blunt that we added a note to it 🙂