Sarge's First Presidential Undercast . . . From Mount Washington

Date of Hike: 4/25/19

Jewell Trail: 3.7 Miles  /  Gulfside Trail: 2.8 miles  / Jewell Trail: 3.7 miles
Total Miles: 10.2 (4,318 feet elevation gained) Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- Long time, no trip report!  I have still been hiking with Sarge quite frequently, with an Instagram page for him here (sgt._pepper_goldendoodle).  Also, all my hikes automatically get uploaded to Strava, so unless it's one of my original routes or one where I snapped some really good pictures, I will not be updating the blog as much.  Luckily, there are a tremendous amount of reports here over the past ten years making for a solid catalog of data and info for hikers to peruse through.  My Strava profile is here (Chris Dailey Strava), you need Strava to view my hikes and follow me, but I do upload the links to the trip report page on this blog and those can be viewed individually.

- On Thursday, Sarge and I joined Ashley for a spring hike of Mount Washington.  Trail conditions have drastically changed over the past two weeks in the White Mountains, from deep solid snowpack to mud, running water, and snow with failing monorail.  I chose the Jewell Trail because it melts out relatively fast compared to the Amoonoosuc Ravine Trail which holds snow much longer below treeline as it doesn't get good sun exposure.
- The first two miles were mostly bare ground with a few tenths of a mile of rotting snow.  The last mile to treeline was when conditions got really interesting, balance beam of snow, some solid, some failing.  It was quite the workout, we made the best of it and laughed off our slip and falls.
- When we broke above treeline conditions were still tedious as the previous days snowfall was melting fast but made things very slippery.  We were hiking in thick clouds when all of a sudden around 5,800 feet we were suddenly above the clouds in bright sunshine!
- We moseyed our way up to the observation deck enjoying the undercast.  At the summit, Ashley went inside to visit her OBS friends who work up there, (fyi, the observatory is still closed to the public).  Sarge and I basked in the sunshine and hung out on the deck until Ashley reappeared with some cookies the staff made!
- After chilling on the summit and snapping photos we started to descend, and just as we started heading down the clouds broke open below us making for stunning views of the Great Gulf and the Northern Presidential Range.
- We timed our descent perfectly, the views kept get better and the trail had now melted and dried up making our drop back to treeline much easier.  Once back in the woods we battled the failing monorail for a mile before a relaxing last two miles back to the car.
- It was a great day to head up to the rock pile, Sarge had a blast and so did Ashley and I. :)

 Below treeline, hiking on top of the rare Old Man's Beard monorail

Sarge at the tracks wanting to see a train

Still waiting for that train!

Top of Mount Washington

Sarge with a sea of clouds behind him

Summit photo!

Ashley on top of the tower

Just hanging out

Ashley and Sarge on Washington!

Sarge enjoying the undercast

I'm going to dodge it.  Train dodge, dig it!

Trust me, this is his excited face!

 Clearing out of the Great Gulf

This was pretty cool to see as we hiked back down

Ashley enjoying the clearing of the Great Gulf

Peekaboo Sarge, do you see him??!!


  1. I miss your trip reports ! But I understand you can't write the same things over and over. And there is a huge amount of information on your blog to access when needed. Cheers - Wendy

    1. Thanks, Wendy! Hopefully I will get in some new big routes soon once the snow melts away and the warm temps return!! :)

  2. Chris, I agree with Wendy, I miss your trip reports but appreciate all the information on this blog. I have used your trip reports to make a few hikes that I would of never thought of.

    I got my first undercast last September, a Friday night on the classic Franconia Ridge hike. The best part was how empty it was on the ridge. I passed about 20 people going up Falling Waters, only saw 1 other person after Little Haystack, sat down just before the summit of Lafayette enjoying the solitude of it all.

    Thanks for the link to Sarge's Instagram page, I enjoy his facial expressions.