Mount Washington stands almost 2 kilometers above sea level and is the tallest mountain in the north eastern US. Yesterday, I hiked up and down Mount Washington.
Better weather could not have been asked for. We took the Tuckerman Ravine trail to get up the mountain, and the Lion’s Head trail to get down. Other than on the summit, it was warm with no wind whatsoever. On the summit, we probably could have gotten by with a thin long sleeve rather than the shorts and t-shirts we’d been wearing, but it was a bit windier and cooler and the warmer clothes while not necessary were welcome. Mostly, though, they were a waste of 10 pounds or so in everybody’s packs.
I was surprised by how much water there was still coming down off of the mountain. The streams were by no means overflowing, but they were moving right along and passed the trail a few times.
It is really amazing to look back at what you have just climbed and to realize just how steep it was. It did not seem that bad on the way up. Coming down was a bit tougher, because everybody was tired and it was getting dark. We started an hour late (one of the group got a flat tire and made it 2 minutes before we would have left without her), and a few of the people we hiked up with were inexperienced. My fiancé and I have not done any hiking or camping for years, but we are both in good shape and were able to keep up without any trouble.
I recommend anybody that is taking the trip up (and especially the trip down!) to wear good boots. I do not have any right now, so I wore an old pair of sneakers (380 miles running in them), and while it was doable it would have been nice to have something that I could rely upon a bit more. Do not bother wearing something that is falling apart; one of the guys had half of the sole of his shoe come off on the way down, which made it a little more difficult for him. There are a lot of rocks on Mount Washington. The entire trail was basically hopping from rock to rock, with very little dirt to the paths. Something that could have held my ankle in place a little better on the wobbly rocks would have been nice.
Pictures may or may not be forthcoming; I forgot to give my email address to the woman who was taking the pictures, but her father (who was also hiking with us) works with my friend that organized the trip so he is going to try get them for me. If so, I will post them up here.