Mt Washington, February 2018

Seeing a president for President’s Day with Damien, Gunnar, Sascha, and apparently most of New England. More photos are in the Flickr gallery.

Hermit Lake.

Damien and I have been to Mt Washington together several times before, but this was Gunnar and Sascha’s first trip not just there but overnighting in winter conditions. Fortunately we were super lucky on weather and they were treated to a crystal clear summit day. Sascha and I also had a beautiful hike off the mountain via Raymond Path and Old Jackson Rd in fresh snow, well worth postholing for the first half.

Not sure if I’ll go back to Mt Washington on a holiday weekend though. At least from the Pinkham Notch/Hermit Lake side. There was a huge quantity of day trippers on the mountain. In some ways that was cool, but the stackup at the one technical section near the start was very long. Coming back down the excess crowd also made it unnecessarily dangerous, people just being impatient and dumb, not giving each other space and adding to the pressure. Lots of people being outright inattentive as well. We saw a guy fall ~50 feet down the trail when he stepped off the main down climb, stopped paying attention early and didn’t properly plant his feet on the still very steep slope, slipped, and failed to self arrest. He turned out seemingly fine, but I was prepared for him to have broken something, potentially his back, the way he smashed into several trees at speed until finally coming to a stop, and he very very nearly took out Gunnar and Sascha on the way.

Otherwise though this was a really splendid trip with good friends.

More photos are in the Flickr gallery.

Damien packing up in the Pinkham Notch gear room.
Waking up in the shelter.
Headed up!
At the summit.