Mt Washington

Woke up to the usual clear warm days we have been having , but we knew at some stage today the thunderstorms were on their way . Got going early making the drive of 12 miles from Jackson to Pinkham’s Notch . After purchasing a map from the visitor’s centre we hit the trail to the summit of Mt Washington. the trail starts innocently enough but the stones soon give way to rocks. After a breif stop to view the waterfall at crystal cascades we continued on our way passing a European family of 4. Soon the track kicks up but basically your walking on rocks with the pine and elm forest on either side , and it is wide so there are no navigation issues . After hitting 4500ft at the shelters near “Hermit’s” we continue up the route called Tuckerman Ravine. Soon the trees lose height and we enter the Alpine area . The trail narrows and becomes a , stair climb , rock scramble up a steep slope next to snow and at times water running down the track .The markers which are yellow marks painted on the rocks are at times hard to see and the end of the ravine is marked when we finally cross over the stream. The end of the walk now is a steep climb across bare rocks with rock cairns marking the way . Finally we reach the top a climb of 4000ft in just on 3 hours .
After eating ourĀ  lunch that we brought with us ,in the summit building we head back down . At the first half mile we make a decision to go down the Lion Head route , mainly to avoid the steep exposed descent down the ravine. The descent at first is easier but the last portion is a steep narrow descent , where we sometimes have to resort to going down backwards. We hit Hermit lake again and continue the final portion down the route we came up .The descent takes just on 3 hours . We meet a couple with 2 daughters in their late teens who we had met at the crossing of the ravine who were on the way down having turned well short of the summit . They are impressed that we made it to the summit and down the lion head route .The thunder starts and within in hour it is pouring rain – guess their will be some wet souls on the mountain .

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