Ascent of Mount Washington on 2015-09-02

Climber: John Kriz

Others in Party:April
Date:Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Washington
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:6288 ft / 1916 m

Ascent Trip Report

We had a perfect weather window for this trip, with 8AM temps in the 50s at the Ammonoosuc trail head and highs in the mid 60s at altitiude. The Ammonoosuc started off pleasant enough and was a very enjoyable hike to Gem Pool around the 2 mile mark. We bagged a neat geocache at the pool and ate a quick snack there. The last mile to the hut was very challenging for us, having not hiked in a long time with only a few warm up hikes in VA and MD over the last month. Lots of steep rock scrambles, a ladder, and many many many tall rocks up to the summit. The views are spectacular all the way up this trail. We stayed overnight at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, which was its own unique and enjoyable experience. I soaked my tired feet in the ice cold lakes which brought welcome relief. After a hearty dinner of stuffed shells, fresh salad, pumpkin bisque and brownies, a good night's sleep, and great breakfast, we started out again for the summit. We took the Crawford path to the summit which was far easier than the Ammonoosuc, but a little steep at the summit, which drove a poor decision we'll visit later.
We ate hot dogs and clam chowder in the summit facility (warning, they only take cash). We photographed the Cog trains, and bagged a webcam geocache. We decided to leave a little early, right around noon, to make the descent and make sure we'd be back for dinner at the Hut at 6. We decided to take the Tuckerman Ravine trail down to the Tuckerman Junction and across the Tuckerman Crossover thinking it would be a little easier that the steepest of what we did on the way up. Huge mistake. The descent down Tuckerman is grueling and tedious, with gnarly rocks all the way to the junction. We worked at a snails pace all the way down. The Tuckerman Crossover, however, was extra nice. In the middle of nowhere, you could hear no man made was silent. The 3rd day we went down via Crawford, Westside, Gulfside, and Jewell trails. This path, despite what people say, is absolutely beautiful. A portion of it crosses under the Cog Railway, which was really neat. We were lucky and videoed a train as it went by in the fog. The top part of Jewel is pretty darn steep, but easier than Ammonoosuc would have been. The rest is also consistently steep and relentless, but eventually tapers off to nice dirt trail. All in all, an outstanding trip and accomplishment for us both. Be prepared, work up to it, and take your time. This is a challenging hike with huge rewards all along the way.
Video of our hike up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail to the summit of Mount Washington September 1-3 2015.
The Jewell Trail descent is posted here:
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Hut Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Near record high temps in the mid 60s and very good visibility.
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
    Start Trailhead:Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead  
Descent Statistics
    Route:Jewell Trail
    End Trailhead:Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead  
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by John Kriz
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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