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Thread: Northern Presidentials - April 10, 2021

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Northern Presidentials - April 10, 2021

    I spent much of this past Saturday above treeline and what a day it was. I went up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail at 5:30 planning on doing a loop of Monroe, Washington and Jefferson. My stretch goal was Adams and Madison based on time/how I felt. Conditions were mixed on the way up but the I was able to bareboot the first 1.5 miles before putting on my microspikes. I had never been on the Ammo Ravine trail before and really enjoyed the amount of rushing water, especially this time of year. The trail became difficult to follow up high, there's didn't seem to be many cairns along the last stretch to the hut. Met two folks who camped against the Lake of the Clouds hut. It was funny as they actually wished they had had more wind in order to dry their stuff some. The trail from this point on was a mix of bare rock, snow and ice so I took my spikes off for what would end up being the rest of the day.

    Bluebird skies at the top of Monroe and the views were incredible. It was already feeling warm with temps in the 40s and almost no wind. Foolishly I realized I didn't pack sunscreen and even more foolishly I realized I left my hat in the car. I knew it would get cloudy in the afternoon and I was hoping that maybe the clouds would roll in sooner rather than later.

    Crawford Path was a stream at times leading up to Washington and I was already hot and tired when I got to the summit. Not a great sign but it was 8:30 when I got up there and I was surprised to find I had the summit to myself. Took shelter in the shade while I had a snack and then I began the long journey to Jefferson. I started to encounter people along this stretch including skiers which I found amusing. I know there was still good skiing to be had but on the Gulfside trail with so much bare rock everywhere they looked out of place.

    I reached Mt. Jefferson and had a decision. The sun had been relentless to this point. I was making myself drink lots of water (thankfully no shortage of water sources on this day) and felt good overall but knew that the heat was taking its toll. It was only about 10:30 so still early in the day and I didn't want to head down yet. So I opted to continue on to Adams, knowing that I would have to backtrack to at least Jefferson in order to head down. This stretch was long and tiring so I took my time and rested when necessary. Saw a couple big groups doing the whole traverse between Jefferson and Adams. There were a goodly number of people on the Adams summit but they cleared out soon after and I enjoyed the summit to myself for a few minutes.

    Madison always looks so close (and so much lower) from the summit of Adams but time was already starting to eek away from me and I thought better of pressing on. I made the correct decision to head back to Jefferson. I attempted to take the Cornice Trail to avoid summiting Jefferson again but I got confused by the sign at the Edmonds Col. Cornice Trail didn't seem to have been used recently and I was leery of venturing into its snowfield so I opted to just go up Jefferson again. A slow slog ensued. But at least the clouds had appeared in force and I was out of the sun much of the time.

    Back on the summit of Jefferson. Again. Took a long break and enjoyed snacks. I decided to take Caps Ridge Trail down from Jefferson. I had never been on it before but I had just read a recent report from someone who did Caps Ridge > road walk > Border Line Trail to get back to the Ammo parking lot. It sounded interested. And so it was. Caps Ridge above treeline was wonderful. I really enjoyed the rock formations. Once in the woods, the trail was sloppy heavy snow as the report suggested. I finally was able to put on my snowshoes and was happy they got some use on this day.

    The road walk was enjoyable as it's downhill and mostly bare/minimal snow. The only problem was that despite watching the distance on my watch I somehow missed the sign for the Border Line Trail and went 0.4 miles past it. That was annoying but now that I was off the mountains and out of the sun, I didn't mind. As advertised the Border Line Trail was a soggy mess. Lots of submerged bridges and flowing water. And strange microclimates - there were cool sections and then it would suddenly feel hot and humid. Wild. The short section of Jewell Trail to finish the day seemed to go forever and I was grateful when the road and parking lot seemed to appear from out of nowhere.

    Overall a great day. I'm kicking myself for not being prepared for the relentless sun but I just kept up the water/food intake and made it through alright. It was nice seeing familiar faces up on the ridgeline and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to get in this quick trip and enjoy such fantastic conditions. I'm happy with how my video came out.


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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Cool. I saw you at some point Knew you looked familiar but could not put my finger on it... until now.


    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Cool. I saw you at some point Knew you looked familiar but could not put my finger on it... until now.
    Haha, that's funny. Hopefully our paths will cross again!

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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Great video Rhody! You had some unbelievable weather. You made a good decision on The Cornice Trail...it's tedious. What brand of snowshoes do you use? I ask because they fold very flat on your pack, kind of like my old Sherpas used to do. However, my Tubbs don't allow this because of the stiff bindings.

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    Great video Rhody! You had some unbelievable weather. You made a good decision on The Cornice Trail...it's tedious. What brand of snowshoes do you use? I ask because they fold very flat on your pack, kind of like my old Sherpas used to do. However, my Tubbs don't allow this because of the stiff bindings.
    They are Dion 132s. You are right that they fit nicely together and they are definitely lightweight. But they don't have much in the way of traction so I've actually been using my wife's MSR Lightning Ascents more often than not when I venture north. But on a day like last Saturday the Dions worked great.

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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhody Seth View Post
    They are Dion 132s. You are right that they fit nicely together and they are definitely lightweight. But they don't have much in the way of traction so I've actually been using my wife's MSR Lightning Ascents more often than not when I venture north. But on a day like last Saturday the Dions worked great.
    Thanks for the info. I guess everything is a compromise...

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Wow, that was an awesome hike. 20 miles and over 7000 feet of elevation is 2 hikes for me. Well done on the video too. Producing it did not seem to slow you down very much either, unless you have an uncredited videographer setting up the shots. Very impressive all around.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Senior Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    Thanks for the info. I guess everything is a compromise...
    It truly is. I do love those Dions because they fit so perfectly into that Osprey 22 pack. But they don't quite cut the mustard on some hikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey J View Post
    Wow, that was an awesome hike. 20 miles and over 7000 feet of elevation is 2 hikes for me. Well done on the video too. Producing it did not seem to slow you down very much either, unless you have an uncredited videographer setting up the shots. Very impressive all around.
    Thanks! Video recording definitely adds some time but on a hike like this the breaks were certainly welcome.

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    Junior Member Pappy's Avatar
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    Great trip report and video too, Rhody.

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