Mt Washington, Mt. Monroe Saturday, 5/29/04

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  1. #1
    NH_Mtn_Hiker
    Guest

    Mt Washington, Mt. Monroe Saturday, 5/29/04

    Fun in the Clouds

    Date(s) Hiked:
    Saturday, 5/29/04 (8:00am-5:45pm)

    Trails(s) Hiked:
    Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to Lake of the Clouds Hut.
    Unknown trail to Mt. Monroe and back to hut
    Crawford Path to Mt Washington
    Trinity Heights Connector to
    Gulfside Trail to
    Jewell Trail back to parking lot

    Total Distance:
    10.0 miles est. (includes est. .5 miles from Lake of the Clouds Hut to Mt. Monroe and back to hut).
    Elevation gain = 4172'

    Difficulty:
    Mucho Grande Very Extremely Difficult (see wind speeds below)

    Conditions:
    Cloudy above about 5700', Partial Sun below.
    Temp. at base = 35 deg. F. Temp. at Mt. Washington summit = 21 deg.
    Wind speed on arrival at summit = 65 mph.
    Wind speed on departure from summit = 65 mph.
    Max. wind speed gusting = 87.5 mph.
    Weather info provided by:
    http://www.wunderground.com/

    Special Required Equipment:
    Wind gear including: Top, bottom, gloves, baclava, goggles.
    Waterproof boots rec.
    Non-cotton clothing

    Trip Report:
    The Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail is just as the AMC White Mountain Guide described it. A well-maintained trail which starts out easy enough until you reach the Gem Pool. Then the trail becomes very steep until you reach the ledges. Some parts of the ledges were steep, but they would not have been difficult had it not been for the layer of ice on the rocks and ledges above about 4500'. As we approached the upper part of the ledges the wind quickly picked up.

    Reaching the Lake of the Clouds Hut we found the wind speed to be approx. 35-45 mph and the temp was 24 deg. F. The hut was not officially open (opens 6/1/04), but the crew working inside was allowing hikers to use the dining area and the restrooms, which were partially functional. We ate some lunch, and prepared to bag Mt. Monroe.

    As we moved towards the north slope of Mt. Monroe, name of trail not known, the winds accelerated, gusting to about 50 mph. The hike from the hut to Mt. Monroe and back would generally be an easy hike, but putting one foot infront of the other with a 50 mph crosswind proved to be difficult. Fortunately, this was a short hike.

    When we returned to the hut we discovered a group of about 45 students from Canada. They were just departing for Mt. Washington. Most were wearing typical summer hiking attire and winter jackets. Most did not have packs, goggles, wind pants or wind jackets. Some didn't even have hats and gloves. We saw 1 adult with the group, a woman who had a very difficult time getting herself up the mountain. I half expect to hear about some of these kids in the next day or two on the news.

    When we left the hut for the second time, headed up the Crawford Path, we found the wind getting stronger and stronger. By the time we reached the summit cone the winds were blowing at approx. 60 mph. Walking, especially, walking on the trail was getting to be nearly impossible; but we pressed on.

    When we reached the summit area, we proceded directly to the summit marker. The last 50' up to that marker was the most difficult 50' I've ever walked. I had to practically crawl the last several feet to keep from being blown away , literally.

    After bagging the summit we spent about an hour-and-a-half in the summit building drinking hot coffee and buying a few light souvenirs. At 2:00 we began our descent down the Trinity heights Trail. (We were unable to find the Gulfside Trail near the summit). We chose to take the only trail that appeared to be going in the correct direction, North North-West. Luckily, a few tenths of a mile down the trail, we found the Gulfside Trail.

    We proceded down the Gulfside trail towards the Cog Railway Track. Shortly after crossing the track a summit bound train came into view. We stood there about 30' from the track and watched it approach. A strong wind, about 50-60 mph, was blowing straight at us from the trains direction. (Some of you probably know where this is going ) As the train neared, we discovered why you don't stand directly down wind of the train in high winds, especially when it's climbing a steep grade. The little train blows ash and unburnt charcoal (golfball size) out the stack, and when it hits you in the face at 50-60 mph, it hurts.

    After waving to the train passengers, we proceded towards Jewell trail. The AMC Guide describes the upper part of the Jewell trail as "only moderately rough and rocky". I beg to differ. The trail was, in my opinion, very rough and rocky, and the trail proved difficult to follow (for Jewell noobies) because some of the cairns were only about 1 foot tall and in many sections there was no discernible trail between the cairns. The lower portion of the trail is relatively easy; not too steep, no ledges, and fairly easy to follow, though, there aren't any good views either.

    Note:
    1) The only blowdowns we encountered were people.
    2)Their is a restroom in the parking lot, hidden near the Ammonoosuc ravine Trailhead.
    3) I greatly appreciated having an able and well prepared hiking partner or this hike. Thanks Mike.


  2. #2
    Super hike and trip report!

    I see you wrote after 11 in the evening after a day of hiking.
    You must mean Lakes of the Clouds hut. I do this often.
    The trail is called the Mt Monroe loop, I believe.
    __________________
    Keep the hikes and reports flowing!

  3. #3
    NH_Mtn_Hiker
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMagic
    Super hike and trip report!

    I see you wrote after 11 in the evening after a day of hiking.
    You must mean Lakes of the Clouds hut. I do this often.
    The trail is called the Mt Monroe loop, I believe.
    __________________
    Keep the hikes and reports flowing!
    Exactly, it was a long day.
    Corrected

  4. #4
    Hmm ... I always call it Lakes of the Crowds.


    Glad you had a great day! I love that loop - I hope you get a chance to revisit it on a calmer, warmer, drier day (though there is much to be said for the amusement value of growing your own rime ice).

    Didja visit the Cascade on the way up (side trail)?
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

  5. #5
    NH_Mtn_Hiker
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJ
    Hmm ... I always call it Lakes of the Crowds.


    Glad you had a great day! I love that loop - I hope you get a chance to revisit it on a calmer, warmer, drier day (though there is much to be said for the amusement value of growing your own rime ice).

    Didja visit the Cascade on the way up (side trail)?
    Rime Ice, thanks, I couldn't for the life of me remember what that 6" thick frost was called. Mike did take a short side trip to a view point along the steep section between Gem Pool and the ledges, but my interest was primarily in bagging the summits and the views above treeline, and taking it easy on my legs, so I could hike again on Sunday.

  6. #6
    Lake of the Crowds is widely accepted amongst the hikers or just LOC. (Other huts have nicknames too, Flea, Zoo, Mad are a few of them.)

    The Gulfside Trail does not go to the Washington Summit but starts just below it on the C-Path. The AT used to skip the summit of Washington going from the C-Path to the Gulfside, They built the Trinity Heights Connecter, (painted a few rocks as this trail is nothing but unlevel rocks definitely not built by J.R. Edmands), as the AT can not double back on the C-Path which at the time was the only trail that actually ascends the summit proper. the ones from Huntington/Nelson Crag stop technically stop at the building or intersect with the C-Path just feet below the summit sign in the lot.

    I've done the TH Connector once to say I've done it but it's easier & probably quicker to walk the extra .10 of a mile on C-Path to Gulfside as the trails there are i great shape.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P.
    Lake of the Crowds is widely accepted amongst the hikers or just LOC. (Other huts have nicknames too, Flea, Zoo, Mad are a few of them.)
    The Croo newsletter used to be called "Among the Crowds", a take off on the newspaper that was published in the summit house "Among the Clouds".

    Additional nicknames are Ghoul, Zeal, and Puh. Not sure of any nicknames for Carter or Lonesome, although I have heard that latter called Loathsome in a moment of fun.

    -dave-

  8. #8
    mryan
    Guest
    great hike and trip report. the last time i was on washington(july 2002), it was storming like a bastard: 65 mph winds and rain, almost sleet. once at the top, we wimped out and committed the ultimate sin: paid for a van ride down.

    cheers,mryan.

  9. #9
    we wimped out and committed the ultimate sin: paid for a van ride down.
    So we know one thing ... you're not a peakbagger.
    Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face. - Dave Barry
    Waterville 11/30; Loon 12/7; Cannon 12/13, 1/17, 2/23; Sugarloaf 12/20, 21-22; Bretton Woods 1/3; Jay Peak 1/24-25; Heavenly 2/9; Squaw Valley 2/10-2/11; Wachusett 3/3; Sunday River 3/7-8

  10. #10
    mryan
    Guest
    screw you pal.

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