Mts. Pierce & Eisenhower
Hiking/Walk DATE: 03/07/2015 - 03/07/2015
Trip/Event Location: Bretton Woods, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Join us for this 9.6 mile snowshoe loop to the summits of two prominent 4000-foot peaks in the Presidential Range...Mt. Pierce (4312') and Mt. Eisenhower (4760'). We will take the...
As you pass the exit for Lincoln, continue on I-93 N for 11.9 miles. Take exit 35 to merge onto US-3 North toward Twin Mountain. Follow US-3 N for 10.3 miles. Turn right onto US-302 and follow US-302 East for 8.4 miles where you'll drive by Bretton Woods Ski Area and the Mt. Washington Hotel. The Crawford Path parking will be on the left...before the AMC Highlander Center...taking a left for a short distance up the Mt. Clinton Road (beyond this, the road is closed). Total distance from Lincoln is 30.8 miles (about 35 minutes). Look for a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.
We took the Crawford Path and Mt. Eisenhower Loop trails for a 9.4 miles, out-and-back hike with 3,250 feet of elevation gain.
Weekend hiking means we get to catch up with GO members we haven't seen in a while. This winter most of our hiking friends have been hibernating. We had the pleasure of sharing trails with two great guys, Tim and Bob. We haven't seen Tim since the Tuckerman Ravine Hike/Sled trip in February. It's been over a year since we've seen Bob!
We met at the trailhead of Mt. Clinton Road near the Highland Center. It was a brisk 11 degrees when we got out of the truck at 9:00am.
The trail was packed when we arrived. We chose to wear MicroSpikes for the start. Of course, one always wants to bring the snowshoes up the mountain just in case one needs them unexpectedly...we therefore strapped our 'shoes to our packs before hitting the trail.
We took a snack break 1.9 miles up, at the intersection with Mizpah Cut-Off. We continued onward, up the final 1.2 miles to treeline. The wind was about 20mph so we layered up. From here, it was a quick 0.1 mile up to the summit of Pierce. Alternating high clouds and sun accompanied the winds and cold temps at the summit. We couldn't really enjoy the view for too long due to the below zero windchill so we headed over to Eisenhower.
Below the summit of Pierce we stopped for lunch and switched to snowshoes in a sunny, warm, sheltered nook. It was a cozy spot to have lunch in. Eisenhower ahead, we met hikers returning and there were some behind us as well. It was a 1.6 mile hike on the ridge between Pierce and Eisenhower.
At the base of the summit cone, Jon and I took off our packs for the final summit push. It was windy as we climbed up the steep summit cone but not to the point that it shoved us around. On the way up we met an elderly woman and her two companions who were helping her down. She looked like she was 75 and we were impressed she was able to pull off this arduous hike! We got to the top and we spent 10 minutes taking photos and enjoying the view.
Today was one of those days where your camera just isn't big enough to capture the massive spectable that's spread out in front of you...a breathtaking winter day in the Presidentials! An electric white, snow-cladded, granite monolith of the Presidential peaks shimmering in the sun. One of the most beautiful experiences in the winter...that's why we were there!
Once out of the wind below the summit cone, we had a snack break. We reached Pierce for the last views of the day and took a snack break at bit later in the trees as well as switch back to MicroSpikes. Here life was more peaceful...the wind wasn't much of an issue.
Our descent was routine...we got back to the truck around 4pm.
~ Jon and Mike
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- This hike has fantastic WOW FACTOR. A great hike any time of the year but even better in the winter. We rocked that one out - Thanks guys! - JDNnh
- Thanks Mike & Jon for leading a beautiful hike on this perfect winter day! It was a great workout. My body thanked me with a massive post-hike leg/quad cramp at midnight (Ugh!) Needed a Gatorade cocktail. Looking forward to doing more hikes before the winter is over! - Bobcat