New trails on Mt. Washington – 6/4/2015

In the clouds
In the clouds

As much as we love discovering new hikes, there is something utterly compelling about learning more and more about otherwise familiar territory.  Mount Washington is our exploration laboratory.

On this hike, we started on the main trail, passed the Sallus View and Great Wall detours and hiked up to a pond where, we had noted, the main trail switchbacks up but a side trail loops up the west side of the mountain.  Here is a view of that spot with the western trail behind the camera, the main trail coming up and switching direction:

Main trail is the switchback
Main trail is the switchback

This led us to some amazingly steep sections.  Hand-over-hand for at least 1/4 mile in one spot.

We had been coached on this by a man we have now run into twice.  We do not know his name but hikers in this area owe him a big debt, as he regularly (perhaps every day!) scours these trails for overgrown branches, which he trims, and new routes, which he marks:

Helpful pile of rocks mark the trail
Helpful pile of rocks mark the trail

Anyway, we absolutely loved this route to the summit and are going to do it again on Saturday, 6/6.  (we changed our plans because of the projected 85+ degree heat we will defer our 31 mile hike to a weekday, and one that is cooler).   On Saturday we will have no real time constraints and we will have the GPS device to map all the main trails.

Here is one of the scrambles, this one to the summit of what we are calling Change Peak, which is also known as East Mount Washington:

Is it redundant to say: don't slip?
Is it redundant to say: don’t slip?

The scenery around there is outstanding:

Tree with view
Tree with view
Beautiful little scene
Beautiful little scene
Civilization and its discontents
Civilization and its discontents

We did about 12.5 miles in 5 hours and 40 minutes – not too bad considering how steep much of it was and the time we spent scrambling up rocky challenges.

Derek found something like a geocache on the top of one of our landmarks and we are both going up there Saturday to leave a present for the next explorer.

A future hike: 6/29 Derek and I are going to hike with George del Campo and Darrell Hull up to Vesper Peak.  Should be fun!

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