Stealing Presi's . . . Not So Shoulder Season Presidential Range Traverse

Date of Hike: 11/19/16

Valley Way: 3.8 miles / Osgood Trail: 1.0 miles / Gulfside Trail: 0.3 miles / Airline: 0.6 miles / Lowe's Path: 0.3 miles / Gulfside Trail: 1.4 miles / Jefferson Loop Trail: 0.7 miles / Gulfside Trail: 0.8 miles / Clay Loop Trail: 1.2 miles / Gulfside Trail: 1.1 miles / Crawford Path: 1.5 miles / Monroe Loop Trail: 0.7 miles / Crawford Path: 1.2 miles / Eisenhower Loop Trail: 0.8 miles / Crawford Path & Webster-Cliff Trail: 4.3 miles
Total Miles: 19.9 (8,908 feet elevation gained) White Mountain Online Guide

Trip Report:
-  If you ask hikers which month is their least favorite to hike in, a good number will tell you November is.  The woods look dead, it gets dark before 5PM, it's getting colder and windier by the day, and the trails and water crossings can be icy.
-  Luckily, for the second straight year, November has been pretty tame, in fact, other than this past April, the temperatures and trail conditions have been excellent since the end of the 2015 winter a year and a half ago.  This Saturday was no exception, temperatures almost hitting 50 on Mount Washington with very light wind, basically it was late summer conditions above treeline!
- Kyle and I ditched our plans for more off trail exploration in the Peimigewasset Wilderness at lower elevations to steal one last sneakers and shorts Presidential Range hike. :)

Route for the day 

Elevation profile, with presidential (and Franklin's) head shots, wait a second . . . 

 Good morning from Madison Spring Hut

The moon, which was super huge and full just a few days before this, is about half full as it sets for the day

The hut all boarded up until late May

 Some low level clouds blanketing Berlin and Gorham

 View from the summit of Mount Madison

Heading back down from the summit cone of Mount Madison

Madison Spring Hut and Madison's summit cone

This is a pano shot where you can clearly see Madison taking on a pyramid shape.  The iPhone's pano feature is a pretty cool tool to take a picture with.  Still, I miss the days of lugging my camera around in my hand, but phone cameras have made my older digital camera's obsolete unless I need the zoom function

Hiking up to Mount Adams

View from Mount Adams summit

Looking south at Mount Jefferson, Clay, and Washington

Next up, Mount Jefferson!

One of my favorite stretches of trail, the Gulfside (A.T.) between Thunderstorm Junction and Edmands Col

The mass that is Mount Jefferson

 Looking back at Mount Adams

Mount Jefferson summit area is a whole lot bigger than Adams. more places to sit and enjoy the view, and easier to escape the wind 

Heading down to Monticello Lawn

In the middle of massive boulders there's an expansive grassy flat area, this makes up Monticello Lawn.  It's one of the coolest spots along the range

My adopted trail, the Sphinx Trail.  It's steep in spots, wild, rugged, and lightly used with minimal maintenance since it's in the wilderness.  However, if you pay attention you will NOT lose the trail and will enjoy it very much as it's a secluded and beautiful trail! :) 

Looking back at Mount Jefferson

Hiking across Mount Clay

Heading to Mount Washington

The cog was on the tracks, we couldn't figure out if it was for workers, or if it was taking a special group up

The expansive Great Gulf.  Some of the steepest and wildest trails are in there.  Six Husbands, Great Gulf, Sphinx, etc

The cog tracks

Heading up to the summit

Mount Washington summit

Mount Jefferson, Adams, and Madison

Heading down the oldest maintained path in the United States, the Crawford Path

Kyle heads through a mini snow field

Hikers making there was up a snowfield.  In the middle of winter and early spring this takes on a very different feel.  One of the very few times I had to break out my crampons was here in 2010, this forms a steep slope where a fall can send you tumbling fast and out of control.

Mount Monroe

Lakes of the Clouds

Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Washington as seen from Mount Monroe

Cross Cairn :) 

Mount Washington playing peek-a-boo with Lil' Monroe and Monroe

There is a great flat spot, which I refer to as Franklin Flats or the Presidential Lawn along a small bump between Mount Monroe and Mount Eisenhower 

Heading to  the Pleasant Dome 

I always like to snap a picture here showing the intersecting trails of the Edmans Path, Eisenhower Loop, Crawford Path, and old defunct herd path cutoffs 

 View from Mount Eisenhower's summit

Talk about abundant sunshine

 Pano of the Presidential Range from Eisenhower

Heading to Mount Pierce

View from Mount Pierce

Summit Pins!