Mount Adams - Washington - Monroe

Day One: Kings Ravine to Adams
Day Two: Tuckerman Ravine to Washington and Monroe

Saturday, October 2nd
"Ravine of a King"
Airline / Short Line: 2.7 miles
King Ravine Trail: 1.3 miles
Airline: .6 miles
Star Lake Trail: 1.0 miles
Valley Way: 3.8 miles
Total Miles: 9.4 miles (4,500 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
-  After a week off from hiking it was time to head back up to the Presidential Range to get up above treeline and catch some views after the wild-wet-windy weather cleared off the higher elevations.
- Accompanying me on this trip would be long time friend and college roommate from "The College of the Quinnipiac University" Tom Diaz.  Diaz is a veteran hiker of the Catskills having done rough multi-day hikes of the Borroughs Range and the Devil's Path.
- On trail at 8:40am, Mount Adams summit around noon, finished 3:15pm.  Temps in 40's below treeline, 30's above treeline.  Wind out of the N/NW at 40-50mph.  Clearing views to the east, socked in on the west down into in the ravines, minor rime ice above 5,000 feet.
- The King Ravine was first explored in 1857 and constructed in 1876 and over the past 134 years the trail has pretty much stayed the same...rough, rugged, steep, and wicked fun!
- We hiked at a quick pace to the floor of the ravine where we ran into a group of five taking a break and enjoying the awesome dead end views of clouds and fog that blanketed the ravine.  After chatting it up for a couple of minutea Diaz and I headed on up to where the real hiking started at "The Subway"
- The Subway is a loop off of the main trail that travels, under, over, and around boulders ranging in all sizes up to a small house.  This was my third time on The Subway this year but it was even more fun being able to hike it with someone else as I could finally take pictures of someone crawling through these fun sections.
- Once past the Subway it was off to the "Ice Caves" which is just as fun and usually has ice the lingers year round but not this year because of the extreme heat during the summer.
- We made our way through the Ice Caves with no problems, Diaz enjoyed the last part emerging out of the last crawl up and over a rock so much that he did it again (because his poles fell off his pack back down!)
- Now it was time for the short but very steep hike up to and through the "Gateway." As we climbed higher the sun would break through the clouds giving us some views for a minute before the clouds came rushing back in.
- Higher and higher we went and colder and windier it became.  As we hiked through the Gateway rime ice began to form here and there and it was time for hat, gloves, and the winter wind breaker to keep us warm.
- We took a short break at the Airline junction before heading to the summit of Adams. From here we were exposed to the full force of the wind which was whipping constantly above 40 mph making things wild and fun.  Every once in awhile the view up to Adams and down to Madison would open up just to be swallowed up by clouds moments later just as Diaz was about to snap a picture.
- This was Diaz's first time above treeline and he was enjoying it alot as he got to experience the high winds that turn the usually tame final half mile to Adams into a enjoyable slog through the wind with some rime ice making the footing a little slippery.
- At the summit I tried to find a place out of the wind for lunch but it was a lost cause, so after a few pics I decided it would be better for us to drop down the Star Lake Trail to get out of the wind.  Within a few minutes the wind and rime ice disappeared and we took a break to eat lunch where the views were clear to the east of the Wildcat/Carter/Moriah Range.
- After lunch we headed down to Madison Springs Hut, where they are working hard with renovations to the hut.
- Originally the plan was to hike over Mount Madison and out the Watson Path and the Brookside but with the wind still whipping out of the west and north west, and wanting to hike up Mount Washington the next day we played it safe and dropped down below treeline via the very easy but very boring and wet Valley Way trail back to Appalachia where cold beers were waiting for us at the car!

Pictures from Day One's Hike

Sunday, October 3rd
"Up Tucks - Down Boots!"

Tuckerman Ravine Trail: 4.2 miles
Crawford Path (A.T.) 1.6 miles
Monroe Loop: .6 miles
Camel Trail / Davis Path: 1.3 miles
Boot Spur Trail: 3.4 miles
Total Miles: 11.1 miles (5,000 feet elevation gain)

Trip Report
- The weather forecast was superb for Sunday's hike of Mount Washington, clear and powerful sunny skies, temps in the mid to high 30's, no wind, making for an enjoyable hike with tremendous views the whole day!
- On Trail at 9:15am, Hermit Lake Shelter at 10:20am, Mount Washington summit at 11:55 am, Mount Monroe summit at 1:10pm, finished at 4:15pm
- The hike up to hermit Lake Shelter was business as usual, we made good time over the easy trail passing by many hikers of all types taking advantage of the great weather.
- We took a short break at the shelter to enjoy the views of the Ravine and the set back out where the trail began to gain elevation becoming steep at times as we reached the floor where it became very steep up to the lip of the headwall.
- With all the rain the past few day the waterfalls on the Ravine headwall looked pretty fantastic as they fell down into the ravine and rushed past us to the left of the trail. 
- Once at the top of the ravine we were rewarded with awesome views in every direction the rest of the day and with the weather turning out to be so perfect with no wind it made the hike much easier than it usualy is turning the last half mile slog up to the summit a much welcomed walk in the park!
- However once we summited our fortunes changed as we were greeted by a zoo of tourists who must have left their manners at home!  It is "Leaf Peeper" season up in the White Mountains, bringing many people to the mountains to catch the fall foliage.  95% of the people are great but at this moment when we summited we ran into the 5% that have no clue about anything! They would not let me take one second to take a picture of Diaz in front of the summit sign, they stood in front, next to, and behind him.  Finally I said "How about we let the guy who actually hiked up here get one picture!"... I gave up snapped a picture and will be photo-shopping all those dumb-asses out of the picture! 
- We didn't stay at the summit to long, we took pics from the observatory deck, quickly ate lunch, tried to retreat to the pack room but was told it's closed for the season (that doesn't sound right??!!) and then headed out down to Lakes of the Clouds Hut.
- The hike to the hut was great as we had cool views of the Southern Presidential Range. At the hut I showed Diaz the "Dungeon" before heading up to Mount Monroe where we took a much relaxing and quieter break before the long hike back to the car.
- From Monroe we dropped back down to the hut, cut across the Camel Trail, hooked onto the Davis Path, and then started our decent down the Boot Spur.
- This being Diaz's first hike on Washington I didn't want to tell him that the last section of hiking once below treeline will seem like it takes forever, that the trails never seem to end, and your mind will start going coo coo bananas from boredom!  I know the Boot Spur bites big time once past the Harvard Rock outlook so I kept say "getting there" but even after two dozen times climbing this mountain I forgot about a couple of spots on the Boot Spur that made it seem longer than usual and I even had had enough!
- Once back out to the Tuckerman Ravine Trail we had about five minutes left until we got back to the car where we took our muddy boots off, packed up the gear, and headed out through Pinkham Notch, Crawford Notch, Twin Mountains, and Franconia Notch taking in the views one last time after an awesome weekend in the mountains!

Diaz emerging from the Ice Caves
Clouds rushing over the Adams / Madison Col
 Hermit Lakes Shelter
 Diaz and the Tuckerman Ravine
 The Cog Train and the Northern Presidential Range
 Brenton Woods
 Pinkham Notch and the Wildcat and Carter Range
Tuckerman Ravine and Mount Washington

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