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.