A Bluebird Presi Kind of Day: Monroe, Washington, Clay, & Jefferson

Date of Hike: 3/7/14

Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail: 2.6 miles  /  Monroe Loop Trail: 0.6 miles  /  Crawford Path: 1.5 miles  /  Gulfside Trail: 1.1 miles  /  Clay Loop Trail: 0.8 miles  /  Gulfside Trail: 0.7 miles  /  Jefferson Loop Trail:  0.8 miles  /  Gulfside Trail: 1.5 miles  /  Jewell Trail: 3.0 miles
Total Miles: 12.6 (5,571 feet elevation gained - GPS) (5,600 - guide book)

Trip Report:
- Winter is winding down in the White Mountains.  The first month of winter the trails were a mix of ice and low level snow.  Over the past month and half snow levels have increased making for more enjoyable winter hikes.
- The weather for the most part in the winter is hit or miss for huge views, but every so often you luck out and catch a bluebird day and if the wind chill isn't too cold, it's a recipe to head high above treeline and take in the views from the Presidential Range.
- Alton, Cole (AKA, Fancy Pants Panda Bear) and I headed up to Fabians to meet up with Denise, Kyle, and David before starting our hike up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.
- Everyone but David wore our microspikes to the Gem Pool, then we joined him in putting on the snowshoes for the steep ascent up to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut.  The Hut is closed in winter but in case of an emergency you can head to the Dungeon to escape the elements.
- We booked it up Monroe and then made the slog up to Mount Washington.  Alton, Cole, and I took off to the top of Mount Washington.  The wind was pretty gusty but since the temperature was in the twenties the wind chill was hovering around zero which is considered a fantastic day in the Presidential Range.
- We took some pictures at the summit sign before regrouping out of the wind to put on dry layers and fuel up before heading off to Mount Clay.
-  There was a lot of ice build up on the Gulfside Trail above the Great Gulf headwall so we hugged the tracks until the Westside Trail junction before hopping back onto the Gulfside Trail. The wind was at our back for the hike over Mount Clay where we had phenomenal views into the Great Gulf and back towards Washington.
- After snapping a bunch of pictures and Cole almost chasing a snowball down into the Great Gulf we headed to the Sphinx Col where we ditched our snowshoes and headed up to Monticello Lawn.  Monticello Lawn was wind blown so the gold blades of grass were shining in the frigid sun.  It was a really cool site as we made the final push up to Mount Jefferson.
- On Mount Jefferson, Alton and I joked that this was the first time we had been back to this peak in the winter since our very first hike.  That day ended up becoming an adventure on the way out but today it was smooth sailing all the way back to the car.
- The hike to the Jewell Trail junction was right into the wind so we all bundled up and made the slog back down to the Sphinx Col and back up along the side of Mount Clay before taking a shortcut to intercept the Jewell Trail.
- Once we started descending the wind quickly dies down and by the time we were back in the woods we were all delayering again.
- We all hiked out at different speeds and met up at Marshfield Station and relaxed in the sun before jumping in the cars and heading our spate ways.  It ended up being one of my favorite hikes of 2014 and was happy to share it with a great group of hikers! 
Base Station Road
Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Cole patiently waiting for everyone
Cole, gets bored waiting so he finds a stick to play with
Heading up the steep section above the gem pool
Cole, just hanging out!
Denise and David make there way up the trail
Crossing the Monroe Brook
Cole, sunning himself
Cole, again waits patiently for us
Denise makes her way up to treeline
Cole, yup waiting!
Kyle and David smile for a picture, while Denise takes a picture
Alpine Zone!
Bright, chilly sun shines over Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Bright, chilly sun shines over Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Cole leads the way up to Lakes of the Clouds
Beautiful winter landscape below Lakes of the Clouds
Cole, navigating the ice
Lakes of the Clouds Hut
The gang makes its way up to Lakes of the Clouds
High above Ammonoosuc Ravine
Mount Washington's southern slopes
Animal Cruelty!
Denise heads up Mount Monroe
Lakes of the Clouds Hut
Mount Washington
Southern Presidential Range
Brenton Woods
Alton and Cole head down Mount Monroe
Kyle, Denise, and David on the Monroe Loop Trail
Cole walking up to the roof of the Lakes of the Clouds Hut
Weather warning sign on the Crawford Path
Mount Monroe rising above Lakes of the Clouds
Denise on the Crawford Path
Southern Presidential Range
Summit cone of Washington
Alton, makes her way to the summit
Mount Washington Summit
Mount Washington Summit
Mount Washington Summit
Cole and Alton
Top of the 48 - 4,000 footers
Denise, Kyle, Alton, and Cole
Alton running down the Nelson Crag Trail to the tracks
Summit cone of Mount Washington
Northern Presidential Range
Cog Railway
Cog Tracks
Cole, patiently waiting...again!
Hiking along the tracks
Cole, waiting to catch the train!
Mount Adams and Madison
Southern Presidential Range
Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe
Heading up to Mount Clay
Summit of Mount Clay
Cole, waiting in a col!
Cole running!
Mount Washington
Cole and Alton
Heading to Mount Jefferson
Descending Mount Clay
Sphinx Col
Cole, scoping out the way to Mount Jefferson
High clouds above the Presidential Range
Mount Clay and Washington
Cole at Monticello Lawn
Mount Washignton
Mount Jefferson
Cole on Mount Jefferson
Monticello Lawn
Alton heading over Monticello Lawn
Monticello Lawn
Monticello Lawn
Alton leads the way along the Gulfside Trail
Mount Clay and Washington
Heading around Mount Clay
Franconia Ridge way off in the distance
Brenton woods and the Twin Range
Along the Gulfside Trail
Cole, once again waiting for us!
Mount Monroe
Marshfield Station
Jewell Trail
Marshfield Station
Alton, Denise, Kyle, myself
Cole, waiting patiently one last time!

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