Mt Monadnock 7/14/12 – That’s Hot!

Emily was going to her grandparents to work on something with her grandmother today so I went along and snook away up to Monadnock for a hike since we were nearby.  It was super hot today with temps in the 90’s. And everything was super dry. All the normal places with mud and vernal pools were all dried up.  I went up the White Dot and came down the White Cross.  For it being so hot I made pretty good time, I could have pushed a little harder but I was scared of overheating too much.

It was hot everywhere, and even in the shade it didnt seem to be any cooler.  The summit was pretty much dead calm as far as the wind was concerned so no relief there either.  I made it from car to summit in 1hr 4min.  The summit had the population of a small city:
I made pretty good time getting down, and the White Cross trail on the way down was pretty low on traffic which was nice.  The whole hike round trip took 1hr 57 min.  After going back to pick up Emily and visiting a little with Meme and Pupup, we headed to Peterborough and went to Harlows Pub, and then to EMS to pick up some supplies for a little something epic I’m planning.

-PS This was Monadnock Summit #65 for me

Mt. Waumbek via Starr King Trail with Emily

Emily and I woke up at 4:30 this morning and headed north. After stopping at Peg’s for breakfast, we drove to Jefferson and Hiked up Waumbek.  We were the first car in the lot, and saw few other hikers the rest of the day.  It had rained all night last night and everything was wet. It was so humid on the way up that we joked with another hiker that we might as well swim to the top.  It didnt get any less humid either because when we got to the top of Starr King we were in the clouds.  The Hike up made for some neat pics:

“The Burl”

Starr King:

I took a little side trip to see Paul’s Bench With it being so humid and wet there was a ton of slugs on the trail.  For a game  I started counting near the Well and counted 93 slugs between there and the Summit.
With no views on Starr King we headed for Waumbek. Waumbek Summit: When we got to Waumbek the sun was just starting to burn through the clouds, and it started to dry things out a little, we hung around for a bit eating trail mix and hoping that the Grey Jays would show up.  Emily has not had a chance to play with the Grey Jays before, and part of my choosing this hike for today was because the 3 times I’ve hiked this hill already have included visits from the Grey Jays.  But not today, Sorry Emily for getting your hopes up.  The hike down was uneventful, and there still wasn’t a view when we got back to Starr King.  The bottom mile of the trail was pretty muddy, and the Mosquitos and Deer Flys were pretty aggressive.  It was nice to get back to the car. As we drove south out of Jefferson I looked behind us to see the sky clearing around the Mountains.  No Doubt there was a nice view on high now that we had come down.  Although we didnt get any views or to play with the birds today it was still beautiful to be in the moss carpeted boreal forest listening to the birds sing, and it was also very lovely to be with Emily.

Jefferson and Washington 6/30/12

I started up the Caps Ridge Trail around 7:30 Saturday morning.  I figured the quickest route to the presidential ridge would be crowded today, but I didn’t see anyone else along the trail until I got above treeline. I passed one couple around the second Cap, and was alone again until the Summit of Jefferson. The caps ridge trail is fun.  You get to tree line fairly quickly and once you get above tree line there are several rock slabs that require hands and feet to scramble up, and “The Caps” which are large rock out croppings are fun to climb over.   I left my camera at home today by mistake so my pics are all from my droid.

Ascending Jefferson: Looking towards the Castle Ridge:

Looking towards Washington

At 9am I reached The Summit (Eating my Scone on the Jefferson Summit.)

On the Summit of Jefferson I ran into Martha who was with a group that was trying to do the traverse.  Martha was out pacing the rest of her group and had a pace similar to mine, and we ended up hiking together for the most part between Jefferson and Washington.  Her party caught up with her when we took the (proper for the traverse in my oppinion) trail over clay and around the Great Gulf Headwall, and they took the cutoff trail. As always; Great Gulf is my favorite view in the Presi’s: (I wished I had my good camera)

We got to the Summit of Washington around 11:30  At the Summit of Mt Washington the wind was blowing 60 mph, and the temp was 56 degrees. With the weather it wasn’t as much of a battle as it usually is this time of year to get your summit pic.

I wished Martha and her crew good luck with their traverse and I turned around and headed back down (without going in to the building) the gulfside trail to connect with the Jewell Trail.  Right before I got to the Jewell I ran into Nathan Gridly. Its always neat to randomly meet friends on the trail. As I started to descend the Jewell Trail it struck me that I hadn’t been on this trail since 1992.  The Jewell trail is obviously not one of my favorite trails on Washington.  Above treeline the footing is constantly tricky, theres a lot of switchbacks and meanders, and the cog is almost always being noisy.

A few pics from the Jewell:

The reason I took the Jewell down is so that I could connect with the Boundary Line Trail.  A trail that not only would bring me closer to my car than any other, but also a trail that I needed to Red Line.  The trails is almost completely strait for a little less than a mile, because it follows the border between 2 unincorporated townships. It was obvious that this trail gets very little traffic.  I didn’t see anyother footprints in the mud for its length and there was a stream crossing near the end of the trail that doesn’t have any stepping stones, and I needed to take off my shoes to ford it.

The Boundary line trail reaches Jefferson Notch road about 1 1/2 miles down hill from the Caps Ridge Trail, so now I had to make up the vert I saved on the way up on the road back to my car.  Walking on roads after hiking always gives me hot spots, but fortunately yesterday there was a ton of wild strawberries to munch on the side of the road to take my mind off of it.

Back to my car and on my way out I stopped at upper ammonoosuc falls and took a dip to both cool off, and wash up. Because I needed to be in Lincoln at 4:30 to meet Emily and Wendy at the New England Brewfest.  I got to try a bunch of new beers.  Nothing is better than beer after hiking.  It was pretty much a perfect day.