Early Spring Sarge

- Winter is quickly vanishing in the White Mountains as February was one of the warmest and snowless months in almost ten years. With the warm temps and easy snow conditions Sarge and I took full advantage of it as February rolled into March.
- Frist up, a pre-work scamper to Tuckerman Ravine for Bowl Pawtrol with special guest Bo Jackson (see pic below). We made it to Lunch Rocks at 8AM, it was unseasonably warm and quiet, I could have easily taken a nap in the sun without worrying about getting cold at all. 
- Sarge and I had the whole ravine to ourselves and we spent about fifteen minutes soaking up the sun and taking pictures before heading back down.
 - We quicky made our way down to Pinkham Notch and were surprised to see the ravine was now full of clouds as a storm was about to roll in, perfect timing for the Dood and I and a reminder that Mount Washington's weather is always one pitch away from tossing a curve ball.

Sarge takes a seat on his thrown in Tuckerman Ravine

All smiles in the sun with Wildcat Ski area to the east

Just another morning on Bowl Pawtrol

Sarge Brings his favorite baseball card, a 1987 Topps Bo Jackson. 
"Bo Pawtrol Jackson"

A stick snack before heading back!

- Next up was a post work beach day on Mount Washington with Todd. We took the express way to the summit, the Cog Path. Not knowing what to expect we brought our snowshoes and extra gear. It ended up being so warm and easy we could have worn our summer rockpile kit of shorts, tshirt, and Houdini jacket. 

Sarge cools off in the snow as we ascend next to the Cog 

Posing with the Northern Presidential Range in the background

Sarge and Todd head up the summit cone

Beach day!

- It was such a nice day that instead of heading back down to the trailhead we made our way to Lakes of the Clouds Hut and over to Mount Monroe before steeply dropping down the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.

Leaving the summit and hooking onto the Crawford Path

Abundant sunshine as we descend Crawford Path

Sarge leads us towards Lakes of the Clouds

A still frozen Lakes of the Clouds

Sarge on Mount Monroe, capping off an incredible day above treeline!

- On Saturday, March 9th, Todd and Nate joined us for a Washington to Jackson traverse. Snow and ice conditions were the same as the day before but the winds were whipping consistently over 30 MPH with gusts around 45MPH.
 - We started at 7AM and headed up the Cog path then booked it south on the Crawford Path taking the loop trails over Monroe and Eisenhower before hooking onto the Webster-Cliff Trail over Pierce and Jackson before dropping down to Crawford Notch.
- The reason for the early start was to beat the weather as one last significant snowstorm was going to roll through by nightfall. Winds on the day were going to be rising, up to 100 MPH overnight, and temperatures would be falling throughout the day so the early start would give us plenty of time to casually hike and trail run this fourteen-mile route.
- We were shielded from the wind for the first two miles and then it instantly picked up as we gained the ridgeline just before the Westside Trail junction. It was definitely strong enough to pull us a little but not strong enough to knock us around. I was a little worried about Sarge but he had absolutely no issues at all, he led the way and sniffed the wind most of the time.

The gang heads up the Cog

Winds start whipping around up higher, time to layer up.

Sarge follows Nate along the tracks

Last hundred feet to the summit

Big snow drift against the Yankee building on Mount Washington

- Heading down from Washington we were pleasantly surprised that the wind wasn't as brutal as we thought it was going to be so it was smooth sailing all the way to Lake of the Clouds. However, once past the hut we were back into high winds over Monroe and most of the way to Eisenhower where we experienced the last of the big gust on the summit before quickly retreating to relative comfort in and out of the trees to Pierce before finally bidding ado to any exposed sections sans the summit of Mount Jackson. 

Sarge sniffing the breeze on the Crawford Path

Nate, Todd, and Sarge heading to Lakes of the Clouds

Lakes of the Clouds

Another Sarge in the wind shot as we head up Mount Monroe

Sarge scopes out the trail conditions as we make our way through the Southern Presi's

The lack of snow for the early March was a little unsettling

Looking back at Little Monroe and Monroe with Washington playing peekaboo

Mizpah Hut. Unfortunately, about a mile past Monroe we headed under the beautiful undercast we had been above leaving us in the clouds for the last six miles.