As I packed my backpack for an overnighter on Moosilauke I thought to myself, wow you don’t need much stuff for summer backpacking. Its been a while since I did an overnighter that I wasn’t carrying winter gear, or winter gear plus backcountry skiing gear. I got so caught up in doing big mileage days that I just pack light for, that its been a while since I just took a day to enjoy a mountain and spend the night in its woods.
I took my time getting out the door friday morning and got up to the trailhead for Beaver Brook at about 10:30 friday morning. I hiked up to the shelter and dropped off my pad and sleeping bag. There were a couple of north bound thru hikers hanging out and a southbounder who had spent the night there. I ended up talking with them for a bit before heading off to the summit. On the way up to the summit I heard someone ask me “ hey, are you Jan?” as I passed by. It was Rodney, a highschool clasmate from 20 years ago, he and his two sons were out for a hike. I hung out with Rod for a little bit before heading to the top. I hung out on the top for quite a while, the views were absolutely amazing, the weather was warm and there was no wind. It was fun to be there on such a nice day and watch thruhikers reach the top and get their first real view of The Whites, none of them were dissapointed with the view of friday.
Beaver Brook Trail
As I left the summit I experienced a little natural phenomenon that was really cool. Even though there was no wind I could here the grass blowing really loud, I looked off the side of the trail and about 50 feet away there was spot about 20 feet in diameter that there was a mini twister going on. I walked over to it, and I stepped into it. The winds instantly felt like they were in the 40mph range, I was able step out of it and watch it slowly move away. I now wish I had thought to video it, I could have sent it to Ginger Zee
I hiked down to the shelter and took it easy for the rest of the day and did some reading. To my surprise no one else showed up and the only company I had for the night was a little brown mouse. Everytime I saw him I would quote the Gruffalo and say “Where are you going to little brown mouse?”
Beaver Brook Shelter
“Where are you going to, little brown mouse?
Come for a feast in my logpile house.”
With no wind being alone in the woods get a little creepy, but also beautiful because you can hear every little twig break and every little animal scurry. The night never got as cold as was forecasted which was a little unfortunate because the mosquitos never went away, in fact they got worse to the point that at about 3AM I got sick of being bit and packed up. I headed down in the dark, and then slept in the back of my car until 6:30. Then I went to Pegs for Breakfast.
But before I left Kinsman Notch I took a little stroll over to the beaver pond to see if there was any wildlife around, unfortunately the only wildlife was a group of camping bikers. But the view of the mountain reflecting off the Pond was amazing, I just took this with my phone, I wished I had a better Camera with me for this one:
Yesterday I Climbed Mount Washington Twice. Once from each side. I started out at 7AM at Marshfield Station and Climbed the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to Lake of the Clouds and signed the log, The cloud ceiling was just about 100 feet higher than the hut so I headed in to the clouds and proceeded up Crawford Path to the Summit at 9:13, Clicked a quick Summit picture and then headed down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail through Tuckerman Ravine. Just below the water fall it started to sprinkle rain and by the time I reached the ravine floor it was raining, just below the Connection Avalanche Cache a full on squall hit, with gust strong enough to knock you off your feet and sheets of driving rain. I found a good size overhanging rock to huddle under with my rain gear on for about 20 minutes until the storm passed. Once back on my feet again I made it to Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at 11:40, I went over and touched Rt. 16 to make my second ascent official. I went into the Visitor Center to fill my water bottle and ask if I could check the radar, because my smartphone doesn’t get service on the east side of the mountain, and I was curious how close the predicted thunderstorms were getting to the area. After letting me check the radar on his computer, the AMC trail information guy told me it probably wasn’t a good day for a hike. I told him I actually already hiked the mountain once and now I have to go back over again because my car was on the other side. He looked at me totally confused and concerned, I think he thought I came down the wrong side by mistake. I thought it would be funny to just let him keep thinking that, and didn’t bother explaining further, and just thanked him for use of his internet. The hike back up the lower Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Hermit Lake was by far most tedious part of the hike, but the sun was shining and there was blue sky in spots for the first time that day which lifted my spirits. I followed the Tuckerman Ravine Trail back up to the summit. I would have liked to mix up the trails a little bit for the second ascent but I decided for me these two routes were going to be the fastest for accomplishing my goal of summiting twice in a day. One nice thing about coming back through Tux was that I had not noticed that the snow arch was still standing on the way down because I was trying to get out of the ravine before the rain got heavier, but I was able to enjoy it on the way up, The Snow Arch is always tempting to go through, when it is this hollow, but I decided to forego the risky adventure this time despite it looking very stable. Once above the headwall the clouds got dark and thick, visibility was in the “Hiking From Cairn to Cairn Range”. Right about at the top of the headwall my phone battery quit so I wouldn’t be able to get anymore pics. With the predicted thunderstorms in the front of my mind I made quick time above tree line despite very sore and tired legs to get over the summit. I touched the summit sign at 2:02PM and immediately headed down the Crawford Path. I didn’t go into the State Park Building on either summit visit. I stopped and signed the log again at Lake of the Clouds and Pointed an arrow to my earlier log entry. And then took it easy going down the very slippery slabs on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. I arrived back at my car 3:51PM. As I placed my pack in my car and plugged my phone in to get a final picture I heard thunder off in the distance. My timing could not have been more perfect!
Ammo Ravine in the AM
Into the Clouds. I only got one summit shot due to my battery dying on my way up for the second trip.
Tux on my way down
Tux on my way back up
The Snow Arch
Plugged my phone in and got a pic at the end of my trip back at Marshfield Station