Mt. Washington Fundraising Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 07/24/2010 - 07/24/2010
Trip/Event Location: Gorham, NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but I'm not running this; I'm looking for other members to join me
Difficulty Level: Very Strenuous
Participate in the "Seek the Peak" fundraiser with us for the Mt. Washington Observatory by hiking up Mt. Washington! With bitter cold, freezing fog, heavy snow and legendary wind,...
We will meet on the porch of the Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center [unless you are staying at my house]. The Center is located on NH 16 practically at the height-of land in Pinkham Notch, about 20 miles north of Conway and 11 miles south of Gorham. It is also 0.8 miles north of Glen Ellis Falls and 0.5 miles south of the base of the Wildcat Mountain.
This year was the second Seek the Peak for Jon and I. It was the first for Stephen, Chris and Stacy. We decided to go up Lion Head and down Tuckerman Ravine since it's an awesome route and we wanted Stacy to have that experience for his first time up the mountain. Everyone spent Friday night here at my house in Waterville Valley which was just great.
The weather forecast called for mostly cloudy skies with drizzle and showers. We were ecstatic to find that the summit was clearing with sunny skies.
We arrived at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center around 9:30am. After a quick stop for pictures we got out onto the trail. It was an extremely humid morning. We set out up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail with lots of other people. We enjoyed the eye candy as there were lots of cute guys hiking up the trail.
Quickly, we reached the intersection with the Lion's Head trail. Here, like usual, we lost most of the crowds. The Lion's Head trail is steep, even before reaching treeline.
When we hit treeline we started getting some views. We then rock hopped for the rest of the trip to the summit.
At Lion's Head it got windy so we put on an extra layer. We then set off into the clouds across the Alpine Garden towards the summit. At the junction of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail I was amazed as to how many people were going up and down the summit cone. It's the most people I've ever seen on the trail to Mt. Washington.
As we approached the summit, we got in line with all the other Seek-the-Peak hikers to get our picture taken. It was about 1:30pm. We were sweaty from the climb and chilled from the clouds. We were happy to get off the summit and go inside! In the summit building, we changed into dry clothes, ate some lunch, and generally dried off. The tour of the Observatory was great with the highlight being on top of the tower.
Soon, it was time to start back down. We left the summit around 2:30pm. We walked into the clouds until we reached the intersection of Lion's Head and Tuckerman Ravine. As we got near the top of the ravine the clouds started to clear and the rest of the afternoon was just incredible!
The hike down the Tuckerman Ravine headwall was beautiful and felt like we had transported ourselves into an Hawaiian paradise! The waterfalls were running strong. We had a nice walk down to Ho Jo's [Hermit Lake Hut].
Then, the last 2.4 miles to the truck were tougher ~ mainly because we were back in the trees, on trails we'd already done today. And to be quite honest, after coming down off the headwall, it's hard to believe how much "down" there still is. By this time Stephen had enough and got into the "Seek the End" mode and flew down the rest of Tucks. He did wait for us periodically so we could all finish together. The casualties of the day appeared near the end as we saw one woman with a stick in each hand hobbling down the mountain. We saw one guy carrying a teenager on his back apparently due to a severe ankle sprain and/or break.
The dinner/party was excellent again and we did not feel all that tired. We picked up our goodie bag and stuffed our faces with food. Jon even won some Julbo sunglasses! All in all it was another fantastic year for Seek the Peak and another great day on Mt. Washington.
GO raised a whopping total of $1,455 for the Mt. Washinton Observatory with Stephen Bellows raising the most money at $875. The overall total raised was $196,000 with about 479 Seek-the-Peakers reaching the summit today!
Can't wait for Seek the Peak 2011!!!
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