July 16, 2005
Mount Washington - Huntington Ravine/ White Mountain 48-4K Series
A great day! The threat of the remnants of the hurricane bringing rain was just that, a threat. A hot day, but not too humid. Ed L. and myself had a larger than normal turn out for the strenuous and difficult trip up the Huntington Ravine Trail. Phyllis B., Charlene B., and Ray T. joined us for their first time summiting via this trail. They were all troopers and had no problem with the "fan" which is the most difficult part of the trip. It is an approximate 50 yard, or so, span of steep rock that requires excellent use of toe and hand holds. We stopped for lunch at the intersection of the Alpine Garden Trail and enjoyed the views. Phyllis saw all the flowers she believed she would see, so we decided to skip the Alpine Garden traverse and take the more direct route continuing up Huntington Ravine to the Nelson Craig Trail to the summit.
The Journey down the more popular Tuckerman Ravine "freeway" was a treat. We saw the collapse of a snow cave in the Ravine. It sounded like an avalanche and snapped this tired hiker out of his daze.
The great day was capped by a good meal and a caffeine fix in Gorham before my most difficult part of any White Mountain Trip ... "The long drive home".
Ed L submitted the following supplementary report, and all the photographs.
We had several stream crossings; I counted seven, including the little trickles we walked across below the headwall.
We emerged from treeline at the bottom of the steep boulder field below the headwall. The red X's mark the trail. The fact that there are hikers at the lower 2 X's, invisible at this image size and resolution, gives some idea about the distance involved. The 3rd & 4th "X" mark the bottom and top of the "fan".
Across the ravine, we could see three rock climbers. Again, the red X's mark the spots. We got to the top before they did.
The Fan is a very steep section of smooth rock, with relatively few holds.
The camera follows Charlene and Ray as they climb the boulders above the Fan.
Charlene observes while Ray maneuvers through an especially narrow and steep spot. Paul & Ed followed and tried a different approach, climbing over the he slight overhang just above Charlene.
Nelson Crag Trail offers a good vantage point to look down on the tourists riding the coal-powered cog railway or driving up the toll road. Of course, we hikers don't need to be on that particular trail to look down on them.
Disneyworld-Mt Washington perches majestically at the summit, the hiker's reward at the top of Nelson Crag trail. Here we could fill our water bottles, get hotdogs and coffee, and dodge the masses of tourists who rode and drove up, as well as meet the occasional AT through-hiker picking up supplies mailed to the summit Post Office.
We saw a variety of wildflowers on the way up. I am hoping that Phyllis will supply captions for these three photos.
On the way down, we found quite a lot of snow at the bottom of Tuckerman's Ravine. I asked Paul to pose in front of a snow bridge. As he was climbing to his spot in front of it, it collapsed. It took a lot of persuasion to get him to stand there after that happened.