Sunday, August 5, 2007

On the AT - Crawford Notch to Mt. Washington summit, NH

August 5, 2007 | Miles: 12.6
Start: Crawford Notch
End: Mt. Washington

Wow! We couldn’t have asked for a better day to hike, especially this hike! Ryan drove the car up to the top of Mt. Washington on Saturday afternoon and got a ride down in the shuttle. That way, we would have a car at the top to hike to. Brilliant! I woke up around 5:30am, and glanced out the window… the alpenglow on the mountains was gorgeous, and the sky was crystal clear. I knew it was going to be a great day! And it was…
We started out around 9am from Crawford Notch and began the climb up Webster Cliffs. It almost felt like fall. After a stretch of hot and humid weather, the system had finally moved out and we were left with bright blue skies, a nice cool breeze and no humidity. Wonderful. I could go on and on and on today about the views. They were as good as it gets. We had lunch at Mizpah Hut, filled up our water, and headed up Mt. Clinton. From Clinton onward, we were pretty much above treeline the whole way, with great views of Washington and the Presidential Range, not to mention everything else around. It was warm and the sun was bright but the breeze felt wonderfully cool. It made for great hiking.
There were lots of people out enjoying the nice day, and most of them were simply day hikers—Ryan got a lot of weird looks and one funny comment about his “skirt” :) Also saw a fair amount of wildlife: one HUGE toad (his body was at least 4 inches long!), 2 snakes, one vole, two gray jays at the hut, a white-throated sparrow, lots of juncos, and a brood of baby spruce grouse in the col before the hut.
We really enjoyed today. What a great hike! Took us 7 1/2 hours, with a good number of stops, and some slow moving in the last 1.5 miles uphill from Lake of the Clouds Hut to the summit of Washington after a long day.

At one point today Danielle said, “Man, this is sweet!” That pretty much sums it up. The Whites are totally different. We spent about 5 hours above treeline, and it was gorgeous. The weather was ridiculous…just perfect. I really can’t say anything else that would even come close to describing what a great hike this was.