Trails: Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Huntington Ravine Trail, Alpine Garden Trail, Lion Head Trail
Mileage/time: 7.8 miles, 3691 feet of gain, book time of 5:46, actual time of 7:26
Having hiked Mt. Washington on Thursday, it appeared to be time to give it another go. This one had been some time in the planning, with the Random Group of Hikers, and I can't say it went off without a hitch. But off it went. I had too much fun on Friday night, cooking dinner, having wine, and staying up just past midnight. Four hours of restless sleep later, with some worry about my left knee, I awoke, eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep, and prepared myself. Somehow, I was in the enviable position of not having to drive (at least the whole way), which believe me, NEVER happens! I met up with Brenda in Standish at 6:15, and we blasted north, arriving far, far too early, and parking far too far away. No worries, we prepared ourselves, and I set myself up, in what I thought was a visible position to meet up with the rest of the group.
|I got bored whilst waiting...|
Here's where pace disparity became apparent as well, with some of the group being much faster than the others. Ideally, I would have liked everyone to stay together. Mike and I had discussed splitting the group if differing paces were to exist, it just wasn't communicated to me during the hike. The final stream crossing on Huntington Ravine, was the last time I saw Marta or Mike. Taking up the rear with Stefanie and Pete, we climbed ever more steeply into the ravine.
Once we started climbing through the Fan, a huge boulder field littering the base of the headwall, Pete took off ahead, as he said he would (he had been looking forward to this). We ended up "rockwhacking" most of the Fan, as Mike and I should have done last time, the trail itself is more of a pain than just scrambling up the boulders. Spiders had efficiently spread webs between the rocks, and I tried to avoid disturbing them as best I could. Every once and while, I'd see Brenda, Leslie, and Pete above us.
Stefanie kept telling me to go ahead of her, but I knew I had a responsibility to get her to the top safely. I gave her advice on some sections, where to go and not to go. Though there were a few moments of apprehension for her, she did great, and we made the top of the ravine about an hour after starting up the slabs. I had lamented the fact that the climb last time went too fast, well, I got my wish, and spent a great majority of the day in the ravine!
|The Carter Range|
|Boott Spur across the Alpine Garden|
We reached Lion Head Trail, and a relatively constant stream of descending hikers. Soon we saw Jeff, who told us that they had made it to the summit, stuck around for an hour, with Samantha getting out the binoculars, and looking for our group. He couldn't keep up with Mike and Marta, who ended up doing the full hike. He descended ahead of us. We descended slowly back down to Tuckerman Ravine Trail, and then continued uneventfully on down to the visitors center. Talk of beer abound.
Mike's truck was still there when we returned, but upon our driving out of the lot, he was sitting in his truck. We told him of our plan to hit the Moat, and he said he'd join us. Once there, he apologized to us for taking off, it was really a miscommunication on both of our parts, though he did buy our first round for the trouble! All sins forgiven. That being said, the Moat Mountain Tripel is definitely my favorite beer of the moment, its deliciousness knows no bounds. A fine dinner, and a lot of laughs were had.
I learned a lot on this hike. Mostly about communication, and how important it is. It's left me considering the types of hikes I'll post when leading, as I may have bit off more than I could chew with this one. Everyone got down safe, and I'm thankful for that. Thanks to everyone for coming along, and sharing in my learnings.