May 31, 2017

Mount Washington

A simple report for a simple hike.  Over Memorial Day weekend Brian and I continued our Presidential Traverse warmup by hiking Mount Washington.  We took a route that I'd never done before, ascending via Nelson Crag Trail and then descending down Boott Spurr Trail.  We got an early start, leaving from the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at about 6:45AM and headed up Old Jackson Road (which is actually just a trail) towards Nelson Crag Trail.

The ascent was straightfoward, with some sections of Nelson Crag Trail pretty steep and also pretty narrow.  Once we reached treeline, the trail parallels the Auto Road off and on the rest of the way to the summit.  Besides a few cars and few people on the Auto Road, we actually didn't see any hikers on our way up.  This seemed unusual for Mount Washington on a holiday weekend but Nelson Crag Trail is clearly a less popular route and we also got a very early start.

Weather conditions were cold and windy with no rain, but the summits were mostly in and out of the clouds while we were up there so we had only a few peaks for views.  It was fairly quiet at the summit but things started to get busy since the Cog Railway ride was dropping off its first train full of passengers as we arrived.  We stopped in the summit building for a bit to eat our snacks before heading off.

The trip down was fairly uneventful.  We saw about a dozen hikers on the small section of the Crawford Path that we went down before making a left turn down Davis Path and eventually Boott Spur Trail.  We saw a few more groups on the way down but not many, and we made it back to the parking lot in the early afternoon.  It was a good sized 11 mile day hike with the traverse just a few weeks away!

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