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Ascent of Mount Madison on 2009-09-05

Climber: Matthew Nelson

Others in Party:None
Date:Saturday, September 5, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Madison
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:5366 ft / 1635 m

Ascent Trip Report

Northern Presi Traverse.

The weather was beautiful at the bottom. Started hiking about 6:45AM from Appalachia. Took Valley Way and Watson path to the summit of Madison. It was a beautiful walk up. Watson path was much steeper than I expected, but worth it for the beautiful views of the terrain from there. The whole hike was pretty relentless. There were not many flat/shallow areas. Some good views once I broke out of the trees, though very windy. Great views from the summit. The descent to the hut was pretty easy. I didn't see anyone the entire way up. There were only a couple people at the summit.

Took Star Lake trail from the hut, really cool to see the lake up there. Very small, but still cool. The ascent to the summit of Adams was steep, but offered constant beautiful views to the east, and best of all, is the lee side, so there were no winds. I have heard it said various places that Adams is the premier of the Presidentials, and I would definitely agree; fantastic views all around. Unlike Washington, the view is unobstructed, and it isn't nearly as crowded. I would much rather climb Adams again before doing Washington again

The walk across Edmands Col was very relaxing after the first 2 summits, and my legs felt refreshed and ready to climb Jefferson. Jefferson was definitely the easiest of the three, though Madison might have gotten a bad rap since I came up from the bottom. Quite a few people were there that weren't dressed properly and were not ready for the high winds up there. They got up by the shorter caps trail.

The 6+ miles back from Jefferson to Appalachia were definitely the low point. To get back to the Madison hut area, you have to climb most of the way back up Adams, which was tough, and the Airline trail back down was miserable. I didn't like how it stayed above treeline for so long. It would have been easier to take the Randolph path back, but I forgot it went by Appalachia.

Immensely fun hike, but very tough as well
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4054 ft / 1236 m
    Elevation Loss:615 ft / 187 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Very Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4054 ft / 1236 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Route:Valley Way/Watson Path
    Trailhead:Appalachia  1312 ft / 399 m
    Time Up:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:615 ft / 187 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.7 km
    Route:Gulfside
    Trailhead:Madison Hut  4751 ft / 1448 m
Ascent Part of Trip: N Presi traverse 1 (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Mount Madison2009-09-05 a
2Mount Adams2009-09-05 b
3Adams 52009-09-05 c
4Mount Jefferson2009-09-05 d
5Adams 52009-09-05 e



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