2009-08-08 Mt Jefferson

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  1. #1

    2009-08-08 Mt Jefferson

    Date(s) Hiked:2009-08-08

    Trails(s) Hiked: Caps Ridge trail

    Total Distance: 4.8 miles, 2708 elevation gain

    Difficulty:Moderate up, more down

    Conditions: Sunny, cool, windy

    Special Required Equipment: Fleece and gloves.

    Trip Report:

    This trip started out at 6:30 AM on a Saturday. We actually intended to get an earlier start, but, oh well. This is 4.8 miles and 2708 feet elevation. The book says this is the easiest 5,000 foot klimb in the 48-4Kís. As this is our first klimb since our winter hike into Tuckermanís Ravine, we figure this may be alright for us. We do remember Canon Mountain, however. It was another low mileage klimb, and we remembered how that translates to rather steep. We found this to be about the same story, short mileage, steeper grade to get to the top.

    We start klimbing the Capís Ridge trail around 9:30 and figure on lunch up top around 12:30. We actually pegged the time right on the money. From the parking lot, we cross a bit of wet areas, stepping on stones to avoid the mud. It is cool out, but we are thinking the klimbing will warm us. In a bit, we are warm enough. In less than an hour, we are popping out above tree line. That is where the views start to astound us, as usual. Every time I get above tree line, I remember why I like it so much up here. Nice clean air, and I am working it a bit, so I am sucking in loads of fresh mountain air! There is so little litter as to accurately claim it to be non existent. There is a rock outcropping on the edge of the trail that provides a good vantage point for scenery. We snack on some gorp, and then continue.

    Soon, we are up to a couple of steeper areas to scramble over. I love a rock scramble, and take the opportunity to hop all over the rocks, working on my agility. I ainít so young as I once was. Jeannette is less than impressed and requests my assistance getting over some of these areas. There are loads of foot holds and toe holds, she just has to pick the ones that work for her short frame. I also lend a hand to pull her over some of them.

    As we get closer, the scenery is constantly changing. The clouds move long, providing richer greens in their shade. Some clouds are coming in quite low, threatening to sock us in then they raise up. Mt. Washington is almost always socked in the clouds. From various vantage points we are to see the Cog line, the Auto road and the peak as the clouds clear.

    As far as clothing goes, we are thinking this is August. But this is also right next door to Mt. Washington. We did not bring fleece. I did not have gloves. I would have welcomed them. We did have gore-tex pants and jackets, and putting that on beat back the wind that was driving the cold to us. We also found that the south side of the mountain got less wind and more sun. You can figure where we ate lunch behind a big ole rock! We relax up there an hour or so. Then we decide to head back down.

    Heading down, we realize that this really is a fairly steep klimb. Going down is always harder than going up, as you have to arrest your momentum with each step down. Also, each rock you scrambled over coming up, now has to be traversed again, only this time, it is with your feet leading the way, not your eyes. It is considerably slower going down, perhaps an hour longer.

    By the time we hit tree line, it has warmed up, and the breeze has stopped, not that it would help much in the trees. Guess what was out then? Thatís right, black flies. Moving faster works to keep them at bay. But, Jeannette is spent physically from clamoring over the rocks on the way down and has no energy to move quickly in the trees, so she is doused with Deet. Even so, she gets a few bites.

    At the car, we unload and head out. We are munching on cheese and crackers, and stop at a stream near the road to wash hands and face a bit. We stopped in North Conway for hot food before getting on home. We got back around 9 PM and slept real well that night!
    lovin life,

    Bob

  2. #2
    Nice TR..I like how you spell climb...Klimb..


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