Northern Presidentials

Date of Hike: 11/13/10

Valley Way/Watson Path: 3.9 miles
Osgood Trail: .5 miles
Gulfside/Airline: 2.5 miles
Mount Jefferson Loop: .4 miles
Castle Trail: 5.0 miles
Presidential Range Rail Trail: 3.0 miles
Total Miles: 15.3 (5,800 elevation gain)
Click here for trail descriptions page

Trip Report:
- With unseasonably warm temperatures over the past couple of days and a forecast of mid 40's with light wind and abundant sunshine it was time to head up to the Northern Presidential Range and do a long loop hike of Mount Madison, Adams, and Jefferson!
- On trail at 6:15am, Madison summit 8:45am, Adams 9:50am, Jefferson 11:15am, finished 3pm.  Crystal Clear skies, temps starting in the low 30's warming up fast into the mid to high 40's, light wind, 100 mile plus visibility.
- The hike up the Valley way to the Watson Path was business as usual (very boring).  There was no snow or ice but of course once I stepped on the Watson Path that all changed within a couple of tenths of a mile and as soon as I crossed the Snyder Brook I put on my microspikes.
- The Watson Path gets pretty steep and with all the warm day time temps the snow and ice starts to melt then refreezes overnight making for some tedious hiking in a few spots.
- Once I popped up above treeline the hiking became alot more fun and except for the final push to the summit on ice and frozen over snow it was easier than the steep mile stretch up through the woods.
- Views from Mount Madison's summit were spectacular as I had the whole summit to myself!
- The hike down to the Madison Spring Hut went pretty fast as I maneuvered around some minor icy sections.  As I approached  the hut I noticed two workers on the roof of the hut continuing to do renovations.
- The hike up to Mount Adams via Airline was the usual slog over the knee hammering rocks but the views from the top were well worth the effort.
- From the summit of Adams to the Jefferson Loop Trail I removed my microspikes for the most of the hike.  I finally ran into another hiker just before descending into the Edmands Col.  She had come up the Caps Ridge to Jefferson then headed north to Adams and now was heading all the way to Washington!
- The short but steep ascent up Jefferson was great as the snow field on the eastern slope of Jefferson has reappeared and will be hanging out from now until next June!
- There were about a dozen people on the summit of Jefferson who had come up the Caps Ridge Trail enjoying the unlimited views from the summit.
- After warming up, refueling, and taking in the views I contemplated heading to Washington but then decided it would be best to head down the Castle Trai and back to the car.
- The hike down over the Castellated Ridge over the castles was pretty kick ass and once past the trail junction for The Link the Castle Trail becomes incredible easy except for the water crossing where I just said screw it and walked through the Israel River.
- Now I had the pleasure of walking the flat and pretty boring Presidential Range Rail Trail back to Appalachia where I was hoping to see a moose but of course I didn't.  When I arrived at the parking lot I was pretty exhausted and shocked to see about twenty five cars in the lot which was about twenty four more than when I had arrived!
- You don't get days like this in November so I was pretty thrilled to get in such a great hike!

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

Mahoosuc Range
 Madison Springs Hut and Mount Madison
Mount Clay, Washington, and Monroe
 View of Mount Madison from
Castle Trail Parking Lot

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