Mount Washington Adventure

A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to get the chance to climb Mt Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast. It had been a goal of mine for a few years actually, so accomplishing it was really exciting for me. I got to share the experience with my love, Andrew, his sister and one of my closest friends, Marguerite, and her husband, Nick. And I wanted to share some pictures from the trip with you!

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Home away from home

We stayed at the Dry River Campground in Crawford Notch State Park, a truly beautiful area. The drive to Mount Washington from our campsite was about half an hour and the views of the surrounding mountains made every minute of the drive incredible. I swear, I can look at mountains all day every day and never get bored.

IMG_1241We decided to car camp so that we didn’t have to worry about hiking all of our gear in and hoping to find a spot to camp. This way we could put more energy into the actual hike, which we would do the next day.

Mount Washington trailhead

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the Mount Washington trailhead

Here I am the morning of the hike, all set to climb Mount Washington! We caught a glimpse of the mountain from the trailhead parking lot and I couldn’t believe how big it looked! I know it’s a baby mountain compared to the stuff out west, but the tallest mountain I’ve ever climbed up to that point was Mount Marcy, here in the Adirondacks, which is 5,343 feet tall. At 6,289 feet, Mount Washington is over 900 feet taller! I could already tell this would be an awesome day!

Mount Washington photo at the trailhead

Mount Washington photo at the trailhead

I love this photo of the mountain that is at the trailhead because I can see exactly where I would be hiking. We went up the Lions Head trail to the summit. And on the way down we went over the top of Tuckerman Ravine and back down the Boott Spur trail, which we thought would be longer but less steep, because this is a steep mountain! And rocky!

So yeah, Boott Spur trail. Definitely longer. But just as steep. So it’s like a much larger amount of steep terrain. Which means even more fun, right? Right!

Nick and Marguerite heading up, up and more up

Nick and Marguerite heading up, up and more up

Here’s a picture that shows just how steep and rocky Mount Washington is. It’s like this the whole way up. I was actually surprised how quickly we got to the summit because the slope was unrelenting. And walking over rocks is super tiring.

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This last bit to the summit just may have been the longest 0.3 mile I’ve ever walked.

It’s a shame it was such a cloudy day, because once we made it up to the ridgeline, the views would’ve been amazing. We did catch glimpses here and there when the clouds rolled out though.

At the summit of Mount Washington!

At the summit of Mount Washington!

The trip to the summit was a little over 4 miles and we made it in just over 3 hours. I was a little bit disappointed at the lack of wind on the summit because I’ve heard so much about how it’s so windy there. The train had also just gotten to the summit, so we actually had to wait in line to get a picture with the summit sign. A little bit different than the other mountains I’ve climbed!

A huge plus of the accessibility of the summit is there is a building with restrooms, a gift shop and a snack bar. Even though it wasn’t too windy, it was cold at the top. So we went inside and ate our lunches in the heated cafeteria!

Clouds coming up Tuckerman Ravine

Clouds coming up Tuckerman Ravine

Our route down ran along the top of Tuckerman Ravine and down the other side of the mountain on the Boott Spur Trail. The clouds would keep rolling in from the Ravine and covering the top of the mountain, surrounding us in mist, and then receding back down into the Ravine. It was super cool. I took some videos of it on my phone, but it was much more spectacular in person. As much as I would’ve loved clear skies, I’m glad we got to experience the clouds.

Summit of Mount Washington

Summit of Mount Washington

This was our view of the summit as we headed along the ridge to the Boott Spur Trail. It always amazes me how far things look when I’m hiking. Those little spikes on top are the observatory. It seems unreal that we had already walked so far from the summit! And this is just one of the reasons I love hiking.

IMG_1219The route down was 5.4 miles. It would’ve been quicker to go down the way we went up, but I love doing loops because the whole trip is new terrain.

IMG_1144This is a picture from the hike up. We were all beat after the hike down and it was already getting dark by the time we got off the mountain, so there’s no picture of us looking ragged after the hike, unfortunately for you!

IMG_1234A warm, relaxing fire was just the thing we all needed after such a long and awesome day. (And a hot shower! Campgrounds rule!)

I hope to visit Mount Washington again, hopefully on a sunny day. Maybe even for a nice train ride up the mountain!

Have you climbed Mount Washington? What was the weather like for you? I’d love to hear about it, so leave a comment below!

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Comments (04)

  1. The first time I summited Mt. Washington we were doing a 3 day presidential traverse and stayed in the huts. In the valley it was 60 degrees and overcast. We got to Mt. Washington on day 2 and it was full winter conditions! 3-6″ of snow, white out conditions with no visibility and 40mph winds. It took us 5 minutes to find the observatory once we got up there because we couldn’t see anything. Bear in mind that this was June 2nd. It was a good adventure, lol. The next day back in the valley I was in a T-shirt.

    1. Wow! Brian, what a crazy trip! Definitely sounds like there was no shortage of excitement! 🙂 I really want to go back and hike more in that area. It was my first time even driving through that part of New Hampshire and I couldn’t even handle how pretty it was. The Presidential Traverse is something I’d love to do someday!

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