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Thread: Mt Washington by way of Jefferson and the Great Gulf

  1. #1
    Senior Member Becca M's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Pelham & Bristol, NH

    Mt Washington by way of Jefferson and the Great Gulf

    August 7, 2012: some new trails (to me) in the Presidential Range. General route: Caps Ridge to Jefferson, up and over onto Six Husbands Trail, Gulfside, down Sphinx, (jct @approx 3600’) to Great Gulf (back up) to Washington. From there, I took the Trinity Connector to Gulfside and the Cornice back to Caps Ridge. Weather was exceptional!!!!

    Here’s Washington from Caps Ridge

    Sphinx Trail was not a bad descent. I have ascended it and recalled how pretty it was.

    Occasionally, I lost the Sphinx Trail near water crossings but could always find trailwork that showed the way. An AMAZING amount of trailwork has been done on the Sphinx!!! Here's an idea of what the trail maintainer(s) are up against

    After turning the corner and taking the right to ascend Great Gulf Trail, I noticed many pretty pools

    I only got video of Spaulding Lake because pictures (mine anyway) do not show how amazing that area is…. A beautiful pool in the bottom of a HUGE cirque…. Truly AWESOME!!!!

    So, onward up the headwall. At first the blazes were evident… but then they disappeared:

    The rocks are actively moving, making me nervous that I would pull out a rock holding up a bigger rock over my head. As a result, many blazes were not visible. Occasionally mini cairns led the way but I had MANY tense moments looking across the vast rockslide for ways to go. It took me a LONG time to ascend back up to the Gulfside Trail!!!

    Typical blaze when there was one

    Another view of the slides – many channels in the rock – trying not to touch off some loose ones

    From higher up on the Great Gulf headwall – Spaulding Lake in the middle

    Up to the summit of Washington from the top of the headwall – a BUSY place on such a great day!!!! Hey, who is that???? YAY – it’s Guy at the information desk!!!!

    Down to the Cornice of Jefferson – a final view of the double-top of Jefferson

    And back to the Caps Ridge Trail – the top cap

    A fine day!!!!! Plus a little bit of sunburn!!! YAY!!!
    Yay for winter!!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member blaze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Scarborough, Maine
    brilliant route, great photos!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2003
    Sounds fun and very nice pics.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bethlehem, NH
    Becca, what an exceptionally interesting report!

    For sure, it must have been very disconcerting to have those "actively moving" boulders on your way up the Great Gulf Trail. Yikes!

    And regarding photos of Spaulding Lake, you're not alone in having difficulty with capturing the beauty of that lake from an "up-close" location. I've had the same problem. My best photos of Spaulding are from a location on the Great Gulf Trail where you break out of the scrub and begin the "serious" ascent of the headwall.

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