Mount Washington and Monroe (Huntington Ravine up, Boot Spur Trail down)

Date of hike: 9/20/09

Tuckerman Ravine Trail: 1.3 miles
Huntington Ravine Trail: 2.4 miles
Nelson Crag Trail: .8 miles
Crawford Path: 1.5 miles
Mount Monroe Loop: .5 miles
Crawford Path: .5 miles
Camel Trail: .7 miles
Davis Path: .7 miles
Boot Spur Trail: 3.4 miles
Tuckerman Ravine Trail: .4 miles
Total Miles: 12.2 (elevation gain 5,100)

Trip Report:
- After taking a beating the previous day in winter conditions I was going to skip out on this hike and do an easier hike (Osceola's). However I decided to check myself into a motel (Moose Brook in Gorham) stuff my face with food, drink a few cheep beers, take a hot shower, and watch hours of college football (Go ND!). The next day I awoke to summer conditions and decided to tackle Huntinington Ravine eventhough my knees were still aching from the hike above treeline and the two annoying falls coming down howker ridge yesterday
- Left motel around 7:30am, drive down Route 16 to Pinkham Notch was great, not a car on the road, not a cloud in the sky and already 50 degrees.
- On trail at 8am, finished at 4:15, temps below treeline and in the ravines mid 60's, temps above ravines high 40's to mid 50's, 30-45 mph wind. Not a cloud in the sky, visibility 125 miles plus
- Before I reached the fan (huge open boulder field below the headwall) I ran into a group of 8 people who for .2 miles would not let me pass them, when they finally did they wouldn't get out of the trail forcing me to tippy-toe my way around them, I was thankful that I didn't have to deal with them or watch them on rock scrambles
- The first rock scramble up the steep and smooth slope of the main gully now has two routes. The original route is to follow the arrows, however about 2/3 the way up if conditions are dry and you trust your balance you can slowly walk across the exposed slopping ledge to the scrub on the other side and bypass the last steep section that goes up and to the right. However the bypass across the sloping ledge has no hand-holds so you can't crawl across making it pretty tough
- There seems to be another option on the second major scramble as well but it's best to follow the arrows
- The 3rd major scramble I thought had another way around so i took it, got 15 feet up the 20 foot scramble and was screwed, had to go back down by crawling, clawing, and cutting myself up. It's easy to pull yourself up with handholds and jamming your foot in a small space between rocks and lifting yourself over but when you have to go down those options are gone and gravity is on your side in the bad way. If you lean forward the weight from your pack makes things unnerving unless you're an experienced rock climber which I am not, so I went into safety mode until I was down to a safe area
- When I was a teenager I had no issues on Huntington, took Teddy the dog up this trail about 3 times with my dad, now that all seems impossible. Hiking solo for me seems to make the tough parts more difficult, if I was with people I think it's be much easier for some odd reason
- On the final scramble I cought up with a group of 3 people, two young guys in their 20's and an older man in his 50's, the older man was bleeding from his mouth and his face was cut up. He was in good spirits and was not hurting, just roughed up when his face didn't agree with an overhanging rock!
- Once above the ravine headwall I ran into a couple coming down the Nelson Crag trail heading to Huntington to go down it, I told them that's not such a good idea, hopefully they took the alpine garden to Lion Head or Tuckerman
- Hiked on tracks again the last .2 miles to summit, arrived at 11:15, left at 12 when the cog arrived with annoying fat tourists!
- Hike on Crawford Path to Lakes was great, could see every mountain in the Whites south of me
- Hike down boot spur had some great views of Wildcat, Carter range, and a close up view into Tuckerman Ravine, I'd imagine with the nice weather there were hundreds of people all over Tuckerman Ravine

Pictures: Click here to view all pictures

Looking up into Huntington Ravine
First rock scramble follow the arrows carefully Jefferson, Adams, Madison from Washington Summit Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe Lakes and Washington from Monroe Loop Cross cairn on Monroe Loop looking south Washington from Boot Spur

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