Breaking Trail on Valentine's Day . . . Mount Monroe

Date of Hike: 2/14/17

Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail & Mount Monroe Loop: 6.1 miles (2,500 feet elevation gained)  Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Trip Report:
- Fourteen days into February and the White Mountains have been getting hammered with snow.  With a fresh foot-and-a-half snowfall Sunday into Monday, plus another foot on the way Wednesday into Thursday, Tuesday was the perfect day to squeeze in a hike between the storms.  Unfortunately, I had to work!  Luckily, Whitney and her friends Elizabeth, Kim, and Katahdin the trail breaking German Shepard all had the day off so they headed above treeline and broke feet upon feet of trail on their way up one of the steepest trails in the Whites, the Ammonnosuc Ravine Trail.

I'll let Whitney describe the hike, enjoy!!!

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Men!

"Well, we do...but not to break trail up the Ammo in 2-4 feet of fresh powder 😉...Five women, one dog, feet upon feet of fresh powder, and a zillion laughs made for an epic and fun Valentines Day on Mt. Monroe. Elizabeth and I made plans a couple weeks back to hike today, and then Kimberley called and recruited us for trail breaking (she needed Monroe for her W48). We met at Marshfield Station at 8:30 and coincidentally there were two other lady hikers about to start their way up the Ammo, Alex and Stacey, so we joined forces and made it a hardy party of 5. It was a bit slow going and route finding was challenging in places but we made pretty damn good time considering. We had some blue sky, grey sky, and we even got socked in coming down from the Hut. It was a beautiful winter wonderland below and above treeline. What a great day. Thank you ladies!"

 Starting off from the lower lot on Base Station Road at Marshfield Station

Katahdin follows Elizabeth and then comes back and tells everyone it's time to go! 

 Heading up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail

Katahdin having some fun in the fresh snow!
Heading towards the Gem Pool with a glimpse of Washington

Katahdin takes the lead and breaks trail

The Gem Pool has turned into a wishing well 


Heading up a nasty side hill

Breaking trail up the steep section above the Gem Pool

Katahdin breaking trail through snow that is above his height 

 Elizabeth and Katahdin break trail through the steeps

Taking a well deserved break in the snow :) 

Approaching treeline

Winter wonderland

Whitney zooms-in on a skier by the cog tracks taking a picture back at them!

Elizabeth and Katahdin keep heading up up up!

Looking back down into Ammonoosuc Ravine

Above the trees!

Making their way towards Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Mount Washington and the snow covered slopes

Katahdin waits for everyone to catch up

 Frozen Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Mount Monroe in view from the front of the hut

Lakes of the Clouds Hut emergency shelter, AKA "The Dungeon" is frozen shut, never rely on it to be a bail out option in winter!

 At Lakes of the Clouds Hut

Mount Washington's summit cone

Heading up to Mount Monroe

Sun shining through the thin overcast

Katahdin taking it all in :)

Approaching the summit of Mount Monroe

Mount Washington as seen from Mount Monroe's summit

Southern Presidential Range

Heading back down through the clouds

It doesn't take much for good visibility to vanish.  Soon after this the clouds broke up again and visibility skyrocketed back up!

 Kim falls victim to a booby trap!

Broken trail, a true team effort on a perfect day in the Whites!

This hike was approved by Katahdin!


  1. Congratulations on a tough hike in that snow! Thanks for the pictures also! Love the one of all on the hut :)

    1. Thanks, Fred. It was a wonderful day with a great group!

  2. great hike..the pics are amazing . i love the one of the southerns and those on monroe descent the best..

    1. Thanks, Mark. It was a perfect day to snap a lot of photos above treeline!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Yvon. Glad you enjoyed the pictures!

  4. Possibly the most beautiful photos I have ever seen! Great ones of the dog! Good work, ladies!

    1. Thanks, Beckie. Katahdin is really photogenic so it makes it easy to get good pictures of him. It was a great team effort breaking out that trail and we had a blast doing it!

  5. Kathadin dog must have been in heaven, it looks like he loves it!

    1. He's always such a happy dog out on the trails!

  6. katahdin will never be allowed on his namesake :( cool dog thou!

  7. Beautiful shots! What a day! Thanks for posting. I attempted Monroe on this same route the previous Friday (the wind chill warning day) with an experienced guide. Conditions did not permit us to reasonably go forward after the Dungeon, so I particularly enjoyed these pics :-)

    -- Alex D. from PA

    1. Smart move on your guides part, you can hike in almost any type of cold weather but once that wind kicks up it's a killer, extremely tough to stay warm and use your gear if needed. Hope you get back up there in the future and have a great day summitting Monroe :)