In an effort to re-establish my fitness level I headed up last week to do Mt. Washington. Originally I had hoped to do Change Peak but when I reached my jump off point I wasn't too enthused with the snow conditions so I opted to stay on the beaten path to the Mt Washington summit. There was continuous snow from the parking lot to the summit and there were many postholes to be had. I did switch to snowshoes to give me more consistent footing about 2/3 of the way up.
This week I had much more resolve buoyed by my better than expected legs from the previous week. I was simply amazed that the snow had receded so much in one week without really warm weather. I did not hit continuous snow until 2800'. Shortly after reaching snow I was at the junction with The Great Wall Trail at around 2950'. There where a few sets of boot prints to follow making it snowshoes unnecessary. I passed what I am guessing is the Great Wall, which was a bit underwhelming. A short ways passed the wall I was on my own breaking trail. The snow was consistent so I stayed with booting it. Once I joined the main road I switched to snowshoes. I had planed on heading left(east) but I looking at the map I wasn't crazy about the long road walk to the east. I instead decided to head up the north ridge which looked reasonable. I was happy to find an old snowshoe track heading my way. The grade isn't overly steep but is choked with many small trees but overall it is mostly pleasant. I quickly reached the non descript summit. Not wanting to descend via my ascent route I headed down the south ridge to reach the road on the eastern side of the ridge. I had a hard time coaxing the new pup down a short talus field. I found it very interesting that dogs do not have an innate sense of what to do with rock slides and there is a learning curve for them. After some extra coaxing I was able to get the pub to rejoin me. I was now on easy terrain for the road walk to Mt. Washington's summit. I did have some trepidation due to some thundershowers nearby and gave some serious thought to dropping west off the ridge to regain the trail below. In the end my fears were unwarranted and I had no problem reaching the summit. All was left was the tedious descent to the car that was highlighted with a fall, which resulted in a sprain left wrist despite falling on my right side. All in all it was a very enjoyable day.
Actually, the Great Wall is best seen from viewpoints NOT on Mt Washington, but from other vantage points where you can see the entire Wall from the east and north. From those vantage points, it's an impressive wall! I'm too tired from my hike today to check out my photos of that wall.
Near the Great Wall we turned off to hit Change Peak there we saw footprints in the snow that looked the most like Squach I had ever seen About size 20 with clearly defined toes and no claws. I assume it was melted out bear prints but sill
-------------- "You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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